Nutrition Facts

Honey Glazed Smoked Turkey Breast

honey glazed smoked turkey breast
Cooks in 2 hours
Serves 5-6




Backyard Boss


Justin McChesney-Wachs, Salt Pepper Skillet


  • 5 to 8 lb bone-in turkey breast
  • 1 tbsp butter or canola oil
  • 8 c water
  • 1/2 c Diamond kosher salt
  • 1/3 c sugar
  • 1 tsp peppercorns
  • 1/3 c honey
  • 3/4 c packed brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 c apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 c bourbon (optional)


Brine the Turkey:

Make the brine by adding 2 cups of boiling water in a large container with the salt, sugar and peppercorns. Stir to dissolve completely, then add a combination of 6 cups of cold water and ice.

Place the turkey breast in the brine and refrigerate for 8 hours.

Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Make the Glaze:

While the turkey smokes, make the glaze. In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, add the glaze ingredients and stir to combine and dissolve. Bring to a simmer and reduce the heat to low, continuing to cook until the glaze has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon.

Smoke the Turkey:

While the breast comes to room temperature, prepare the smoker according to the manufacturer’s instructions for indirect cooking with a water drip pan in place. Add wood chunks (or pellets) and bring the temperature to 250° F. 

Rub room-temperature butter or canola oil all over the turkey, then place in the smoker.

When the internal temperature of the breasts reaches about 130° F (about 90 minutes in), glaze the turkey and repeat after 15 more minutes.

Remove the turkey at 160° F, as it will continue to rise at least 5° F to finish at 165° F. Verify with a probe thermometer.

Rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving with a drizzle more of the glaze.

Justin’s Smoked Turkey Breast Recipe Tips

Brine the breast for about 8 hours for a juicy, flavorful result.

Cook/smoke time: about 2 hours.

Use the right smoke: apple, cherry or hickory. Nothing too heavy.

Smoke with indirect heat using a water/drip pan below the turkey to keep it moist and catch drippings from the glaze.

Don’t overcook. Remove the breast at a lower temperature for carryover cooking. I pull mine at around 160° F and the temperature continues to rise to 165° F while it rests. If you cook in a higher temp smoker, then pull the breast even sooner (more like 155°).

Rest it uncovered for at least 20 minutes or longer to allow the juices to redistribute before slicing.

Remove the breast from the bone for easy slicing. That’s my preference, but you can totally slice while it’s still on the bone.

Save the bones for making turkey stock.

It’s even better the next day!

Read more from Justin at saltpepperskillet.com!