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Mike's Smoked Turkey Breast


1 whole turkey breast; 7 to 8 pounds.
1/3 cup honey
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine
1 cup kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 quarts water
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
freshly ground black pepper
assorted green herbs
1 turkey size oven roasting bag

The night before you smoke: Remove the plastic mesh from around the frozen turkey breast and place it in a large stock pot. Cover with cold water and let stand for 1 hour. Drain the water and replace. Repeat until turkey is fairly well thawed, three to four hours. Remove the plastic wrap from the turkey and discard the neck bone. Rinse the turkey and place it in the roasting bag. Put turkey in fridge to continue thawing overnight. The next day, about 8 hours before you expect to eat: Thoroughly rinse the turkey in cold water, put it back in the bag. Mix Kosher salt and sugar in a large container with about 1 1/2 to 2 quarts water, less is better. Mix until salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Add a teaspoon or so of red pepper flakes. Pour this brine into the bag with the turkey. Don't bother testing it, brine aint supposed to taste good. Place the bag inside another container so that the turkey remains completely submerged in the brine. A Tupperware bread box works well. Put the turkey back in the fridge for about an hour. If it is not well submerged in the brine, be prepared to keep turning it over every 20 minutes. While the turkey is in the brine you can start your firebox. It takes me over an hour to get the Klose ready for meat, slightly less on the old Black Diamond. When your smoker gets up to cruising altitude: Remove the turkey from the bag and discard the brine. Rinse the turkey really well with cold water. Pat dry. Rub the entire outer skin surface with oil, vegetable or olive, whichever you like. Sprinkle some salt, pepper, and green herbs on the skin area, parsley, basil, oregano, whatever. This is more for looks as your gonna end up discarding the skin anyway. The oil lets the skin turn a nice golden brown, which is important when you bring the bird in off the smoker and there are a bunch of hungry people watching you. Melt the butter in a tiny sauce pan or in the microwave. Add the honey and wine. Gently heat and stir till smooth. Lay the turkey in a shallow pan, breast side down [the open chest cavity is now staring at you] Using a kitchen syringe, begin making injections around the outside edge of the chest cavity. Pierce the meat just under the skin but not exactly against the bone. Keep the needle pointing down, and strive to fill the meaty area of the breast meat with injection. If your careful, the turkey will begin to bloat noticeably. Keep injecting until you have used all but about 1/8 cup of the honey. Carefully lift the bird into the smoker breast side down. I set the bird at the far end of the smoker with the meaty end facing the firebox. Pour the remaining honey into the chest cavity. Close the smoker and leave it closed for the next 6 to 7 hours. Try to keep your temp around 250. Smoking a turkey too slow doesn't do it much good. I thumbnail it at about an hour a pound, and don't mind the little temperature spikes. You can go a tad hotter than you would for pork shoulder or brisket. You can test for doneness by poking it with a fork to see if the juices run clear, or you can use a thermometer, but then you've just lost all those nice juices. I just know it's done by the look, after a few birds you'll know the look too. The skin should be a deep golden brown, with just a hint of black around the edge. The meat should be just beginning to pull away from the bones. Too many people over cook their turkey when smoking it. If the breast meat is starting to turn a light brown on the ends and is getting kinda dry, it's overcooked. Turkey breast should be completely white all the way through, slightly juicy, and melt in your mouth tender. Allow the bird to set a little, then discard the skin and carve the two breast halves from the bone. Slice across the grain and serve with your favorite barbecue sauce or turkey gravy. Posted to the BBQ List in Nov. 1998 - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Yield: 8 servings

Preparation Time: 0:00

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