Impress the family at your next gathering with a Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast! You will not BELIEVE how delicious, juicy and EASY this recipe is! Besides the turkey, there are just THREE ingredients!!! Smoking a turkey breast (or a whole bird) is one of my favorite ways to cook a turkey and it’s so simple. Plus, I’m loving the leftovers (and that crispy skin!).
This is the perfect recipe for a small family when you’re looking to make a holiday meal. Sometimes we don’t need a whole 15 pound turkey for just 2-3 people – but still want a juicy turkey and delicious smoky flavor!
Ingredients for the best Smoked Turkey Breast
This recipe is super simple – no brining, no rub, just three ingredients to the best turkey breast you’ll ever eat!
- 1 bone-in turkey breast can do whole bird, boneless, etc. – cooking time will just be different
- 2 jars Woeber’s Cranberry Honey Mustard
- 1/2 stick of butter – I like using butter more than olive oil because it mixes with the mustard into a paste
- 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
The secret was in the MUSTARD! Yes – I found this amazing Cranberry Honey Mustard from my friends at Woeber’s. I toured their plant a couple years ago (and made this awesome Buffalo Cheddar Chicken) and fell in love with so many of their products! This Cranberry Honey Mustard though – is my new favorite. It’s not overpowering on any of the flavors but they go together perfectly. And on the turkey – WHOA – game changer!
Woeber Mustard is truly a brand I ALWAYS have in the house. Their Mrs. Mustard is my favorite – it’s a spicy honey mustard. So good! I mix it with mayo and then it makes a honey mustard just like Outback Steakhouse serves! They have so many different kinds of mustard – from brown to yellow, spicy to sweet – I love them! Woeber also has mayo, garlic, vinegar and so much more. I love supporting them because they’re local – just an hour away in Springfield, OH.
What if I’m using a boneless turkey breast?
This recipe is really delicious when working with a turkey breast that has the skin on it – but would work on a boneless turkey breast as well. Those are typically wrapped in a netting which if you cut off – it sort of falls apart – so just put the rub on the outside of the whole thing. You’ll smoke a lot less time as well – maybe just 1.5 hours. Always check poultry with a meat thermometer to check doneness.
How do you marinate and prep a turkey breast?
I bought just a turkey breast for this recipe – but you could EASILY do this for a whole turkey – just would take a little longer.
- Thaw the frozen turkey breast in the refrigerator. Rinse turkey and pat dry with paper towels
- In a small bowl, mix together a half stick of softened butter and a jar of Woeber’s Cranberry Honey Mustard.
- I would recommend buying two jars – so you can use one to marinate with and the other for basting, gravy and dipping!
- Rub the mixture of the butter & mustard all over the turkey. You also can put some of the mixture under the skin onto the meat.
- One of the best ways is to use a knife to separate the skin from the breast meat and slipped some under the skin as well.
- Cover the turkey with plastic wrap and place turkey breast in refrigerator overnight. I also had some fresh rosemary and slipped some under the skin as well.
Then – when you’re ready to smoke the turkey, take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature while you prepare the Traeger. THAT’S IT!
How do you smoke a turkey breast on the Traeger Grill?
It’s super easy when you have a great smoker like the Traeger (but any smoker or grill will work). For the Traeger – the process is super simple:
- Turn Traeger on to SMOKE setting for five minutes
- Change temp to 250 degrees
- Wait for Traeger to come to temp
- Pop the turkey breast on for 2.5 hours – temp check – once the internal temperature reaches 155-160 degrees you can remove it from the grill
- Grab your instant read thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the thickest part of the breast
- You don’t need to use a roasting pan – I put directly on the grill grate. That said I did have to leave it against the top rack so it didn’t fall over.
- Let rest for 15-20 minutes – set on a cutting board or in a pan and cover with an aluminum foil tent
Just a note too about smoked turkey – it may appear a little pink – but it’s because you’ve smoked it! As long as it temps to 160-165 when you eat – you’re good!
How do you make turkey gravy from drippings?
This turkey breast didn’t actually have any drippings after cooking – but – it came with a little plastic bag to make gravy with. (be sure to take that out before you cook it! haha) But I cooked another turkey a week before and had a mason jar full of basically perfect turkey broth! Here’s how I made some gravy to go with this Traeger turkey recipe:
- I popped the turkey broth in a saucepan
- Add 3 tablespoons of the cranberry honey mustard and whisked that together.
- Once that was boiling, whisk in cornstarch and let it boil until it thickened.
- Be sure to keep whisking while you add the cornstarch so it dissolves.
What if I don’t have an electric smoker or a pellet grill? How would I make this on a regular grill?
If you want that smoky flavor – but don’t have a Traeger smoker – you’ve got a couple of options!
- Wood chips – Soak them in water for 30 minutes before starting the grill. One cup of wood chips will last for about 20 minutes. Keep adding chips to the grill throughout the process.
- If you use a charcoal grill, light the coals, when the coals are ready, place them on one side of the grill. Place some of the wood chips on top of the coals. Place your food on the side without the coals to cook it with indirect heat.
- Smoker Tubes – My friend Nick introduced me to the wonderment of a smoke tube! It’s a metal tube with holes – fill that tube with Traeger pellets and then light it with a butane lighter. Once the pellets catch fire – let them get started – then blow the flames out. Set them in the grill with your chicken and shut the lid. The smoke flavor is all those tubes will leave behind! If you like lots of smoke – this is the way to go – you can even add it to the smoker to get more smoke.
What kind of pellets should I use to smoke my turkey?
There are many flavors of pellets that work in your Traeger pellet grill. I keep it simple and always use the Traeger Signature Blend which is a blend of Maple and Cherry. That said if you’re looking for something specific for turkey – the best are Pecan, Cherry and Apple wood pellets.
How do you store and reheat leftovers?
If you have any Thanksgiving turkey leftovers (or whenever you eat this bird) cherish them! They’re yum! Store in an airtight container and refrigerate up to a week – or freeze up to three months. Reheat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes.
What to serve with Traeger Smoked Turkey?
I’ve got a slew of holiday side dishes – here are my favorites:
- Mary Mac’s Baked Macaroni & Cheese
- Mom’s Pumpkin Pie
- Mom’s Pineapple Stuffing
- Slow Cooker Stuffing
- Jarlsberg Dip Macaroni Salad
- Copycat KFC Coleslaw
What to do with Leftover Turkey?
- Leftover Turkey Casserole
- Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich
- Chipotle Chicken Pizza (you can easily swap with turkey!)
Other Delicious Traeger Recipes
- Traeger Smoked Chicken Breast
- Smoked Bacon-Wrapped Meatloaf
- Traeger Whole Smoked Turkey
- Smoked Cream Cheese
Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast
- 1 bone-in turkey breast can do whole bird, boneless, etc. – time will just be different
- 2 jars Woeber's Cranberry Honey Mustard
- 1/2 stick butter
- 3-4 sprigs fresh rosemary
- Remove thawed turkey breast (bone-in) from refrigerator. Open package and rinse turkey. Remove any gravy packet.
- In a bowl, with spatula mix together one jar of cranberry honey mustard and 1/2 stick softened butter.
- Using a knife, separate the skin on the breast from the meat so you can slip some under the skin
- Rub entire turkey breast with mustard/butter mixture – be sure to get some under the skin as well.
- Slip fresh rosemary under the skin as well
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight
- Preheat smoker to 250 and place turkey in a roasting pan with a rack
- Smoke at 250 for 2.5 hours and temp check to 160 degrees
- You can baste the turkey with more cranberry honey mustard after about an hour
- When temp is 160, remove turkey from smoker and let rest for 15-20 minutes.
- While turkey is resting, you can make gravy in a saucepan! Using the gravy packet (or 1.5 cups broth) heat to boiling and add 3 tbsp of the cranberry honey mustard. Whisk together. Then add 3 tbsp cornstarch (slowly) and whisk as you go. Keep simmering and it will thicken to be the best gravy!