This tender and juicy Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast can be prepared using bone-in or boneless meat. The turkey is seasoned to perfection using a dry rub with or without a brine This spread can be made with any smoker or pellet grill for holidays, weeknight dinners, or any occasion!
What Type of Turkey to Use Bone-In vs Boneless
The decision for bone-in vs boneless turkey is up to you. In general, bone-in meat usually has more flavor and is more tender than boneless meat. The bone allows the turkey to retain more moisture. Bone-in breasts are usually a little cheaper (by pound) than boneless.
A boneless breast is usually only one breast, whereas a bone-in turkey breast usually has both breasts intact. I have seen some places like Trader Joe’s sell bone-in breasts with just 1 breast if you are looking for something bone-in and small.
Both types of breasts will need to be cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
How to Season the Turkey/Do You Have to Brine
The use of a brine is personal preference and is up to you. I prefer to use a dry rub for the turkey along with an injection.
Dry the turkey breast with paper towels. I like to spritz the turkey with olive oil using this spray bottle from Amazon. This will allows the spices to adhere. You can also drizzle it on and rub it in.
If you are injecting the bird with butter, you don’t need a ton of olive oil, unless you want it! Getting the skin nice and moist with oil will help produce crispy skin on the turkey. You can also use butter.
Then add your spices. I use the following:
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
- Dried or Ground Thyme
- Dried or Ground Oregano
- Paprika (I prefer Smoked Paprika)
- Salt and Pepper
Once you have your olive oil (or butter) on the skin, combine your spices and rub them in all over the breast front and back. Next, I inject the turkey because it’s one of the best ways to ensure it’s juicy. You can make your own butter marinade injection or buy a store-bought version like Tony Chachere’s Butter Injection Marinade or Tony Chachere’s Garlic and Herb Injection Marinade.
If using an injection marinade you should inject 1 ounce of the marinade per pound of turkey you have. This breast was 6 pounds so I used about 6 ounces of marinade.
How to Make Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast
Detailed measurements and full instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
- Drizzle the turkey with olive oil and season the entire breast and rub the spices into the skin.
- Place the turkey breast in the smoker.
What Type of Wood/Pellets to Use
I love to use apple. You can also use the Traeger Signature blend, cherry, pecan, oak, peach, or alder.
I smoke the turkey at 225 degrees.
Cook Time/How Long to Cook
Ultimately, you will want to cook the turkey breast until it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. It will usually take 30-40 minutes per pound of turkey you have to fully cook.
How to Slice and Carve Turkey
These tips for slicing and carving up a turkey breast will work well for any poultry that needs slicing! So this isn’t a skill you only need around the holidays.
Always wait 15-20 minutes before slicing into the turkey. If you slice it up too soon you are going to waste all of the juices that have been running wild inside that turkey! This will really dry out your turkey.
You will make your first cut right at the breast bone of the turkey. Find the breast bone and run your knife alongside, so swipe the meat away from the bone. You will have to follow the knife along the top and bottom to fully release.
How to Freeze
The turkey will last in the fridge for 3-4 days. You can leave it sliced, or shred or dice it and place in a tightly sealed container or freezer bag for up to 3 months. Leftover turkey is great to have on hand to toss on salads or to throw into soups!
More Turkey Recipes
Smothered Turkey Wings
Smothered Turkey Necks
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
Juicy Spatchcock Turkey
Cajun Roasted Turkey
Air Fryer Turkey Breast
Leftover Turkey Chili
Leftover Turkey Nachos
Leftover Turkey Wild Rice Soup
Turkey Bone Broth Recipe
Instant Pot Turkey Breast
Turkey and Cheese Sliders
More and Traeger and Smoker Recipes
Traeger Smoked Bacon
Smoked Turkey Wings
Smoked Mac and Cheese
Traeger Smoked Salmon
Traeger Smoked Chicken Breast
Traeger Smoked Turkey
Traeger Chicken Wings
Smoked Lobster Tail
Traeger Smoked Brisket
Traeger Smoked Turkey Breast
- 6 to 8 pound turkey breast Bone-in or boneless.
- Injectable Butter Marinade Optional. You will need 1 ounce per pound of turkey. See notes for information on what I used.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or butter Or olive oil spray. I use a lot less by using oil I've added to a bottle
- 1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar or sweetener
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the smoker to 225 degrees.
- (Optional Step) Inject the turkey breast with the marinade. Focus on areas throughout the entire breast.
- Drizzle the turkey with olive oil or I like to use this oil spray bottle that I load with olive oil. It makes it easier to coat the turkey by spraying it on and you will likely use less oil since it’s also injected with butter.
- Season the entire breast and rub the spices into the skin.
- Place the turkey breast in the smoker. Smoke for 3 hours.
- Adjust the heat on the smoker to 350 degrees and cook the turkey until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. This can take 1-3 additional hours depending on turkey size. (I adjust the heat for crispy skin. You can continue to smoke it at 225 if you wish).
- You will need to use a probe or meat thermometer to test. You always want to test the thickest part of the turkey. Ensure it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. I usually test several areas of the turkey to be sure.
- Allow the turkey to rest for a minimum of 15-20 minutes prior to slicing to allow the juicies to settle. If you slice too soon it will result in dry turkey.
- Keep the turkey drippings if you plan to make gravy. I combine it with a tablespoon of butter and then start with a tablespoon of flour and add more if necessary to thicken.
- Any turkey breast of any size will work for this recipe. Ensure it reaches an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees. I usually test several areas of the turkey to be sure.
- Feel free to use your favorite spices or rub.
- Ensure the turkey is fully coated with spices. Add additional spices if necessary.
- Because this turkey is injected with flavor I do not brine it overnight. You can if you wish.
- You can use any store-bought injectable marinade or make your own. Here are options: Tony Chachere’s Butter Injection Marinade and Garlic and Herb Injection Marinade.