HOW TO COOK A TURKEY BREAST ON PELLET GRILL
May 15, 2020 By Brenda Kipkemoi
With the spring-summer season upon us and with most of us stuck at home due to the current global pandemic, there’s never been a better time to up your grilling game!
Turkey breast is easier to grill and carve than a whole turkey, and goes well with just about any side from mashed potatoes to couscous salad. The leftovers make for incredible meals too – make leftover salad with walnuts, cranberries, diced celery, and mayo, or serve in anything from sandwiches and tacos to lasagna and white chili.
Just make sure you don’t overcook your turkey breasts — white meat tends to dry out incredibly quickly during cooking. You’ll want to look over a guide with the best pellet smokers and make the best selection for you.
WHY GRILL YOUR TURKEY BREASTS?
Smoked turkey breasts are an excellent alternative to roasted turkey, particularly in the warmer months; it’s easy to do, doesn’t take as long as roasted turkey, and imparts a beautiful smoky flavor from the fire and the wood pellets. Be sure to use some flavored wood chips for extra flavor.
Prep Time: 2 hours
Cook Time: 1¾ hours.
1 4-5 lb. bone-in, skin-on turkey breast, thawed
1 cup butter (2 sticks) grass-fed butter, softened
1/2 cup paprika
1/4 cup garlic powder or garlic salt
1/4 cup kosher salt, fine sea salt, Celtic sea salt, or Himalayan pink salt
1/3 cup Demerara or brown sugar
2 tbsp. onion powder
2 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp. ground cumin
1 tbsp. cayenne pepper
1 tbsp. dry ground mustard
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tsp. rubbed sage
1 tsp. rosemary (optional)
2 cups wood pellets of choice
When making smoked turkey breast or roasted turkey, if your turkey was refrigerated beforehand, remove from the fridge 1 – 2 hours before cooking to bring it up to room temperature.
Rinse the turkey breast thoroughly and pat dry with kitchen paper. At this juncture you can place some softened butter under the skin to help the turkey retain its moisture as it smokes.
Mix all the spices for the dry rub in a small mixing bowl and generously sprinkle the spices over the turkey breast, making sure to rub the seasoning into the chest cavity and on all sides. Store any leftover spice rub in a covered container for use later.
Sprinkle the dried thyme and rubbed sage all over the turkey, and set aside.
COOKING THE TURKEY BREAST
Set your smoker to the “SMOKE” setting with the lid open.
After approximately 4-5 minutes, the wood pellets will have ignited, and you should see lots of smoke coming out from your grill.
Up the grill’s temperature to 300°F – 325°F and close the grill cover; preheat for 10 – 15 minutes.
Once the grill is hot, place the seasoned turkey breast directly onto the grill grate.
Close the cover and cook for approximately 1¾ hours. Remember, the grilling times will vary depending on the weight of your turkey breast.
Continually check the turkey breast’s internal temperature using a meat probe inserted into the thickest part to ensure that you don’t undercook or overcook the turkey. Also, keep basting the turkey with melted butter to keep the skin crisp and flavorful. The melted butter also stops the breast meat from drying out.
When the meat probe registers an internal temperature of 165°F when inserted at the thickest of the breast, pull your turkey off the grill, transfer it to a cutting board, and cover loosely with aluminum foil.
“Rest,” the smoked turkey breast for approximately 15 – 20 minutes before, carving up and serving. Make sure that you do not skip this step as the “resting time” helps the meat juices to redistribute, resulting in tender and juicy turkey.
Season with more salt and pepper if required, carve up your turkey breast, and enjoy!
Prep the turkey with the dry spice rub and dried herbs while your gr
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