If you don’t want to cook a whole turkey for Thanksgiving this year, cooking a boneless turkey breast is a great option. If you prefer white meat, you’ve got it made, since the breast is 100 percent white meat.
Choosing a Boneless Turkey Breast
When choosing a turkey breast at the store, you will find breasts that are self-basting and others that are minimally processed. If you want more control over the final taste of the turkey, choose a minimally processed turkey breast.
Boneless turkey breasts weigh about three pounds, and will serve about 3-4 people, depending if you want leftovers. If you plan to cook two or more turkey breasts at the same time, choose breasts that are very close to the same weight. I highly recommend smoking them.
Basted turkey breasts have been injected with flavored brine. If you buy this type, all that needs to be done is to flavor it with your favorite seasoning before it’s smoked. Be sure to use a seasoning that’s light on the salt, since the pre-brined breast already contains salt.
Brining the Boneless Turkey Breast
The first step in the process is selecting your brine recipe. The Spice Islands® Turkey Brine Kit is the perfect pairing for a juicy, flavorful Butterball turkey that works for any occasion. Once you’ve selected your brine you’ll need to:
- Prepare your brine. Be sure to mix ingredients until all of the salt is dissolved. If your brine is heated, be sure to cool it to room temperature before brining.
- Place your turkey breast in a large container made of food-grade plastic, stainless steel, glass or in a brining bag. Be sure the container will fit in your fridge.
- Add brine, covering the entire turkey breast.
- Place in the refrigerator for the specified period of time.
- Remove turkey from brine after recommended time. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Cook turkey as desired.
If you need more help, Butterball has a how-to video on brining that is also a helpful guide!
Smoking the Boneless Turkey Breasts
Pre-heat your meat smoker or grill to 300⁰F. If using a grill, cook the breasts using the indirect grilling method.
Apple and pecan wood chips have a light flavor and produce a nice color on the finished turkey breasts.
- First, make sure you soak your chips in water. You can either use a handful of the chips on top of the charcoal or, if using a gas or electric smoker or grill, you can make a couple small foil packets of chips and continue adding chips when there isn’t any more smoke present.
- The smoked turkey breast is done when the internal temperature reaches 165⁰F. Remove and cover with foil, allowing it to rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.