Thanksgiving may be over, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy turkey breast all year long. In fact when it’s not Thanksgiving, Erik likes to experiment with cooking turkeys in ways that are different than the usual oven roasted norm.
He’ll fry them and grill them. But one of his best methods of cooking turkeys is to smoke them over wood chips. This method gives the turkey such a deep complex flavor. And it always turns out juicy, tender and full of flavor. Erik cooked this particular turkey for his colleagues at work. In fact he smoked up 7 turkeys to feed a group of 60 people for an event he likes to call “Turkey-palooza”. This is a perfect event for Erik because, if I haven’t mentioned it before, he normally cooks for a crowd….even when he is only cooking for the two of us! However, I always have to make sure to grab some turkey for me and the kids before he takes it to the office because he never brings home leftovers….there are none!
So remember, turkey is not just for Thanksgiving. In fact, the other 364 days of the year are perfect days to mix up the traditional oven roasted variety. Try smoking it. You’ll be thrilled with the robust and complex flavor that your turkey breast will have!
- 1 Whole Turkey Breast or a couple of split breasts 6-8 Lbs
- 1 c. Paprika,
- 4 TBLS kosher salt,
- 2 TBLS ground black pepper,
- 4 TBLS granulated garlic,
- 2 TBLS dried mustard.
- 1 c. brown sugar
- This works for both fresh and previously frozen turkey though if you are using a turkey that was previously frozen or labeled “self-basting” check the packaging to see if there has been any salt added during processing. If so omit the salt from the rub. Thaw per instructions.
- In a medium bowl, mix paprika, salt, pepper, garlic, mustard, and brown sugar together.
- Coat the turkey generously with the rub working the spice into the meat with your hands. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
- Set up the grill for indirect cooking and light the coals. Once about half of the coals are burning close the lid and adjust the vents until the temperature settles at about 300-325 degrees. Put the turkey in the middle between the coals, add a generous handful of previously soaked wood chips (I like apple or cherry) to each side of the coals, cover and adjust the vents as necessary to keep the temperaturure in the 300-325 degree range. Cook until an instant read thermometer reads 160 degrees in the thickest part of the breast. It will take about 90 minutes to 2 ½ hours depending on the size of the bird and the temperature of the grill. Err on the side of the grill temp being a little low and the cook time a little long. If the heat is too high it will make the meat tough. Take the bird off the grill, cover, and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing for service.