Print
Tired of tough, dry turkey breast? Then you've got to try this Citrus Brown Sugar Smoked Turkey Breast. It's seriously easy to make and the most tender, juicy turkey breast you'll ever eat! From the brine to the rub you cannot go wrong!

Citrus Brown Sugar Smoked Turkey Breast

Tired of tough, dry turkey breast? Then you've got to try this Citrus Brown Sugar Smoked Turkey Breast. It's seriously easy to make and the most tender, juicy turkey breast you'll ever eat!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, smoked turkey breast
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 14 hours
Servings 6 servings
Author Jessy Freimann and the brine was adapted from a brine recipe created by Aaron Nau

Ingredients

Brine:

  • 8 cups water, divided (4 cups to simmer + 4 cups ice water)
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 orange, cut into eighths
  • 1 lemon, cut into quarters
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf

Smoked Turkey:

  • 1 split turkey breast, around 2 1/2 pounds
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • Traeger Apple or Hickory Wood Pellets

Instructions

Brine:

  1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 4 cups water, apple cider vinegar, 1 cup brown sugar, kosher salt, orange, lemon, thyme and bay leaf.

  2. Simmer for 5 minutes stirring periodically until the sugar and salt have dissolved.

  3. Remove from heat and stir in 4 cups ice water. Cool at room temperature.

  4. Once it's almost cool, remove the split turkey breast from it's packaging and submerge it in the brine. 

  5. Cover and refrigerate over night.

Smoked Turkey:

  1. Remove the pot from the refrigerator. Rinse the split turkey breast and dispose of the brine.

  2. Pat the split turkey breast dry with paper towel. Set aside to rest for 20 minutes.

  3. While the split turkey breast rests, combine salted butter, onion powder, poultry seasoning, lemon zest and 1 Tablespoon brown sugar. Mix well.

  4. Rub the butter mixture all over outside of the split turkey breast and if there is skin, pull up the skin and rub it underneath as well.

  5. Fill the hopper of the Traeger Wood Fired Grill with your wood pellets of choice (I tested this with both apple and hickory and both were fantastic!) and set the dial to Smoke with the lid open. After 10 minutes you should see smoke.

  6. Close the lid and set the dial to 300 degrees to preheat. It should take around 10 minutes.

  7. Once the grill has reached the temperature, place the split turkey breast onto the rack. 

  8. Plug the probe into the grill (below the dials) bring it through the slot to the right of the dials and place the probe into the thickest part of the turkey breast, being careful not to touch the bone. 

  9. Close the lid and smoke for approximately 2 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches between 160-165 degrees. Keep a close eye on this as it could go quicker and start checking the temperature after an hour and a half. 

  10. Remove the split turkey breast from the grill and place it on your cutting board, tented in foil. Rest for 10-15 minutes.

  11. While the turkey breast rests, close the lid and switch the dial to Shut Down Mode. After 10 minutes turn it off and unplug it. Cool completely before cleaning and covering.

  12. Slice the turkey breast and serve immediately.