Smoking turkey breast is the best way to minimize your stress this holiday season. It’s much quicker than smoking a whole bird, and you can still satisfy your cravings for turkey.
Plus, if you smoke your turkey at 250 for 2-4 1/2 hours, it will come out moist, delicious, and juicy.
- Is It Better to Smoke Turkey Breast at 225 or 250?
- Do You Wrap Turkey Breast in Foil When Smoking?
- How to Turkey Brine Breast for Smoking
- Tips For Smoking Turkey Breast
- How Long to Smoke a Turkey Breast at 250?
- How Much Turkey Breast Per Person
- Final Thoughts
Is It Better to Smoke Turkey Breast at 225 or 250?
Unfortunately, there will always be confusion regarding smoking temperatures, whether it is brisket or turkey breasts.
Some believe 225°F is the perfect temperature for smoking turkey breast. Others believe 250°F is the best temperature for smoking turkey breast.
The truth is you can smoke turkey breast at either temperature. If you smoke it at 225°F, it will take a little longer to cook. However, it will be moist and juicy.
In contrast, turkey breast will still be moist and juicy if you cook it at 250°F. Plus, it will cook faster.
Nevertheless, whether you smoke turkey breast at 225°F or 250°F is up to you.
Do You Wrap Turkey Breast in Foil When Smoking?
There is no need to wrap turkey breast in foil while smoking it. The foil will prevent the smoke from penetrating the turkey breast.
Always place the turkey breast into the smoker skin-side up. This allows the smoke to penetrate the meat and gives it a rich flavor.
You can wrap the turkey after you remove it from the smoker. The foil will keep the turkey warm as it rests.
How to Turkey Brine Breast for Smoking
Brining turkey breast infuses it with flavor and helps the meat retain moisture. There are two types of brine: wet and dry brines.
Wet brine involves submerging the turkey breast in a mixture of water, salt, sugar, or other spices.
In contrast, dry brining involves coating the turkey breast with salt, sugar, or other spices and letting it sit in the fridge.
As the turkey breast sits in the fridge, the salt pulls moisture out of the skin. The moisture is reabsorbed back into the meat along with the other spices in the rub.
The salt will soften the meat’s juices creating tender, juicy meat. The cold air from the fridge will dehydrate the turkey skin, which gives it a crispier texture.
You can wet brine or dry brine your turkey. Both methods will have the same effect. However, it is easier to dry brine turkey breasts.
To dry brine turkey breasts, wash them and pat them dry using paper towels. Brush the turkey breasts with neutral-flavored oil or melted butter. The fat will help the rub stick to the turkey.
Add your favorite poultry seasoning or BBQ rub to the turkey breast and massage it all over the breast using your hands. Place the turkey breasts onto a wire rack set on top of a sheet tray and let it sit in the fridge for 12 hours or overnight.
Tips For Smoking Turkey Breast
If you purchased a frozen turkey breast, let it thaw completely. Depending on size, the turkey breast can take 1-2 days to thaw in the fridge.
You can also thaw the turkey breast by submerging it in cold water. However, you must change the water every 20 minutes until the turkey breast is defrosted.
Additionally, you must smoke the turkey breast immediately. You cannot refreeze it, place it back in the fridge, and cook it another day.
Remove your turkey breasts from the refrigerator about 30 minutes to 1 hour before you smoke them. Letting the turkey breast come to room temperature helps it cook more evenly.
Smoking times can be unreliable. Always use a thermometer to tell if turkey breast is finished cooking.
Turkey breast is finished cooking when it has a temperature of 165°F. However, you can remove the turkey breasts from the smoker when it has a temperature between 155°F and 165°F. The turkey breast’s internal temperature will rise as it rests.
Last but not least, let the turkey breast rest. As it cooks, the juices are drawn to the surface of the meat.
When you remove the turkey breast from the smoker, the juices will still be on the surface of the meat. So, if you cut it, a pool of turkey juices will be on your butcher block or plate.
In contrast, if you let the turkey breast rest, the juices will disperse back into the center of the meat. As a result, most of the juices will stay inside the meat.
How Long to Smoke a Turkey Breast at 250?
Several factors influence the smoking time of turkey breast. However, the biggest influence is the size of the bird. A larger breast takes longer to cook than a smaller breast.
Generally, it takes about 30 minutes per pound to smoke turkey breasts at 250°F. However, the most important thing is to remove the turkey breast when it reaches a temperature between 155°F and 165°F.
How Long To Smoke A 4 Pound Turkey Breast At 250
A 4-pound turkey breast takes about 2 hours to cook at 250°F. However, check the bird’s temperature after 1-1/2 hours and adjust the cooking time if necessary.
How Long To Smoke A 6 Pound Turkey Breast At 250
As I mentioned above, the equation is 30 minutes for every pound of turkey breast. Therefore, a 6-pound turkey takes 3 hours to cook.
How Long to Smoke a 7.5 Pound Turkey Breast at 250
A 7-pound turkey breast takes about 3 1/2 hours to cook at 250°F. In contrast, a 7 1/2-pound turkey breast takes 3 hours and 45 minutes to smoke at 250°F.
Check the turkey breast temperature after 1-2 hours. If you are cooking a 7 1/2-pound breast, you may have to cook it another 15 minutes if it does not have a temperature between 150°F and 165°F after 3 hours and 45 minutes.
How Long to Smoke 8-Pound Turkey Breast at 250
Thirty minutes per pound is the equation for calculating smoking time. So, it takes about 4 hours to smoke turkey breast at 275°F. However, remember the temperature is the most important. It will prevent the turkey breast from overcooking.
How Long to Smoke a 8.5 Pound Turkey Breast
An 8 1/2-pound turkey will take 4 hours and 25 minutes to 4 1/2 hours to smoke at 250°F. Check the breast’s internal temperature after 2-3 hours to ensure it does not overcook.
How Much Turkey Breast Per Person
Before you run out and grab your turkey breasts to smoke, you need to know how much turkey breast to buy. The amount of turkey breast you buy will depend on the number of people you intend to serve. It also depends on whether you are smoking bone-in or boneless breasts.
Generally, it takes about 3/4 pound of bone-in smoked turkey breast to serve 1 person. So, if you are cooking a 3-pound turkey breast, it would be enough to serve 3 people.
In contrast, if you are smoking boneless turkey breasts, aim for 1/2 pound per person. A 6-pound turkey breast will feed about 12 people.
Smoking turkey breast is relatively easy if you know how long to cook it at 250°F. So, pull out your smoker and smoke turkey breasts this holiday season.
I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.