5poundturkey breast within a 4-7 pound range, thawed if frozen
For The Brine:
1tablespooncrushed red pepper
How To Brine The Turkey Breast:
Combine all the ingredients of the brine solution, in a large bowl. Whisk the solution until all of the salt dissolves.
Place the breast into a 1 to 2-gallon size zip-top bag. Pour the brine solution over the meat. Make sure the meat is submerged completely. If you do not have enough to cover the meat, then make another batch.
Seal the bag squeezing as much air out of the bag as possible. Place the bag inside a bowl (to ensure no messy leaks inside the refrigerator).
Refrigerate and brine for 1 hour per pound of meat, but no longer than 24 hours.
How To Smoke Turkey Breast:
Preheat the grill or smoker for indirect cooking at 250 degrees F. Fill a pan with warm water and place it below where the turkey will sit on the grate above.
Remove the turkey breast from the brine solution and rinse it under cold water. Pat the skin dry with paper towels.
Place the turkey breast-side up onto the smoker over the water pan.
Plan on smoking the turkey breast for about 30 minutes per pound at 250 degrees F.
Place turkey breasts in the smoker with 1 to 2 hickory chunks on top of the hot coals. Close the lid and smoke the turkey, keeping a close watch on the smoker to ensure it stays as close to 250 degrees F as possible. Resist the temptation to open the lid unless you need to add more charcoal or wood to maintain temperature and smoke.
Smoke until the turkey breast has an internal temperature of 160 to 165 degrees F, about 2 to 3 hours for a 5-pound turkey breast.
The carryover heat will finish cooking the meat.
Rest, Carve and Serve The Brined Hickory-Smoked Turkey Breast:
Remove the turkey breast from the smoker and transfer it to a carving board. Allow the turkey breast to rest tented with foil for at least 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.
Tip: Using a glass bowl helps you see whether or not the salt dissolves. Another way to check is to use a spoon and scoop up the brine from the bottom. There should be no salt in the spoon.About Temperature:It’s important to cook the turkey based on the temperature, not time. There are a lot of variables that can affect the outcome. David usually uses a Thermoworks Smoke™ probe thermometer, but since he had other meat on the smoker that day it was unavailable. Instead, he allowed the turkey breast to smoke for 1 hour then periodically checked the temperature of the turkey breast every 30 minutes thereafter with his Thermapen instant-read thermometer and observed the pop-up on the turkey. [Learn more about the Theromoworks thermometers David uses for smoking HERE]
Did you try this recipe? Tell us what you think!Give this recipe a star rating, leave a comment below and share pictures of your food with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter! We can't wait to see them! Don't forget to mention @TheMountainKitchen or tag #TheMountainKitchen!
Thanks for visiting TheMountainKitchen.com We hope you like this recipe. Please share your thoughts about this recipe with us!