Turkey Burnt Ends
- Turkey Burnt Ends
- 2 5 lb. boneless turkey breasts, trussed
- 1 gallon turkey brine
- 1/2 c BBQ rub
- 2 c cranberry barbecue sauce
- 1 box Stove Top stuffing
- Turkey Brine
- 10 c water
- 10 c apple cider
- 1 1/2 c kosher salt
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1/2 c whole peppercorns
- Cranberry Barbecue Sauce
- 1 can jellied cranberry sauce
- 1/2 c brown sugar
- 1/4 c orange juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 c ketchup
- 1 tbsp orange zest
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- Pinch of powdered ginger
- 1/4 tsp cayenne powder
Mix brine ingredients together until well incorporated. Fully submerge turkey breasts in brine. You may need to use a plate to keep the turkey fully submerged.
Place in the refrigerator overnight.
Before smoking the turkey, remove the breast from the brine, rinse gently with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Be sure to thoroughly sanitize your sink and kitchen surfaces after this step.
Liberally coat all sides of the turkey breast with Flabby Phoenix rub or your favorite barbecue rub.
Preheat your smoker to 225°F and cook turkey breasts until they hit an internal temperature of 140°F. Remove from heat and rest for 15 minutes while preparing the cranberry barbecue sauce.
In a large cast-iron skillet, add all barbecue sauce ingredients and stir until well incorporated, whisking to remove lumps from the jellied cranberry sauce.
Slice turkey breasts into 1×1 inch cubes and then roll liberally in the sauce.
Ramp up the smoker to 400°F and place the cubes directly onto the grill (don’t use a foil pan).
Smoke the burnt ends until they hit a minimum temp of 165°F internal, and the sauce has darkened and caramelized.
Make Stove Top stuffing (or your favorite recipe) and cook into waffles using a waffle iron.
Serve Turkey Burnt Ends immediately on top of the waffle, adding more of the cranberry barbecue sauce as desired.
Recipe Note from the Author
Turkey Burnt Ends are your newest favorite go-to meal that you didn’t know you had. They are tender, textured and the perfect combo of sweet, with a kick of spice at the end.
I wasn’t sure what the best technique was for this one, so I ended up buying two frozen turkey breasts. One of them I left pretty much as is, with the netting and the skin still attached. The other I trimmed aggressively, removing as much of the membrane and skin as possible. Ultimately, the difference wasn’t huge, but the breast contained in the netting was slightly juicier, so that’s the one I plan on doing next time too.
When cooking turkey, especially for a dish like this where it will be cubed, the biggest consideration is keeping it tender and juicy, so brining is going to help you keep it juicy.