It’s turkey season—and we’re celebrating at BBQ Island by showing you how to prepare one of our favorite recipes, the smoked turkey breast, from Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay’s “Franklin Barbeque” cookbook. Here’s what you’ll need to create the dish yourself.
Ingredients and Tools
1 (3- to 4-pound) skin-on, nonsolution turkey breast
1 cup butter
Heavy-duty aluminum foil
Generous ¼ cup Pork Ribs and Turkey Rub
1.Start the fire and heat the smoker to 265 degrees F.
2.Trim the turkey breast and apply the rub (2 parts black pepper to 1 part salt).
3.Cook the turkey for 2 ½ to 3 hours, then wrap.
4.Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees F (about 1 hour).
5.Let rest for 30 minutes, then serve.
Step 1 START THE FIRE.
Get a fire going and heat the smoker so it’s about 265 degrees F at grate level.
Step 2 TRIM THE BREAST AND APPLY THE RUB
If the skin is on the turkey breast, remove it. We just tear off the skin and throw it away. I use the same rub for turkey as pork spare ribs, so 2 parts black pepper to 1 part salt. Use your judgement, but I think a bit more than ¼ cup rub per turkey breast is a good guideline.
Step 3 COOK THE TURKEY UNTIL GOLDEN, THEN WRAP.
Place the turkey, skin side up (meaning, the side that formerly had skin), in the smoker and cook until golden brown (typically 2 ½ to 3 hours). Remove the turkey from the smoker, place the butter on top of the turkey, and wrap tightly in two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil, dull side out. The turkey breast ends up braising in quite a lot of melted butter and its own juices and the double layer of foil ensures against leakage. Return the turkey to the cooker, this time flipping it so it’s skin side down.
Step 4 FINISH THE COOK
Continue to cook the turkey breast until the internal temperature registers 160 degrees F. This should take about 1 additional hour.
Step 5 LET REST, THEN SERVE
Let the turkey rest until the internal temperature drops to 140 degrees F, then slice thinly against the grain and enjoy!