South Hollow Cooking

Recipes from South Hollow Road

Smoked Turkey Breast December 27, 2007

Filed under: BBQ Recipes,Main Courses,Poultry,xmas — southhollow @ 2:03 pm
     This is a variation on a the whole smoked Turkey, based on a recipe from Cooks Illustrated.


     Turkey and brine

  • 2 cups salt
  • 1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds gross weight), rinsed thoroughly, giblets, neck, and tail piece discardedSpice rub
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seed
  • 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 3 tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vegetable oil

  1. Dissolve salt in 2 gallons cold water in large stockpot or clean bucket. Add turkey and refrigerate or set in very cool spot (about 35 degrees) 4 to 6 hours.
  2. Meanwhile, toast coriander, cumin, allspice, mustard, and cloves in small skillet over medium heat, shaking pan occasionally, until fragrant and wisps of smoke appear, 3 to 5 minutes. Cool mixture to room temperature, then grind mixture to fine powder in dedicated coffee grinder, spice grinder, or with mortar and pestle. Transfer mixture to small bowl, stir in paprika, ginger, thyme, cayenne, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg; cover with plastic wrap, and set aside.
  3. Remove turkey from brine and rinse under cool running water. Pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Place turkey breast-side up on flat wire rack set over rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix 1 tablespoon spice rub with vegetable oil and set aside. Remove turkey from refrigerator and wipe away any water collected on baking sheet; set turkey on baking sheet. Carefully separate skin from breast meat and rub oil-spice rub mixture directly onto breast meat. Rub 3 tablespoons spice rub inside turkey. Apply remaining spice rub to turkey, beginning with back-side up and finishing with breast-side up, pressing and patting to make spices adhere, and picking up and reapplying any spice rub that falls onto baking sheet. Tuck wings behind back; and ends of drumsticks together. Set turkey on wire rack, set wire rack on baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, 6 to 24 hours.
  4. Ignite about 6 quarts (1 large chimney or about 6 pounds) charcoal briquettes and burn until covered with thin coating of light gray ash, about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, place 3 cups mesquite or hickory wood chips in center of 18-inch square heavy-duty aluminum foil; fold in sides to make a packet, then turn packet over and use fork to tear about 6 large holes in packet. Empty coals into grill and pile to one half of grill, creating a triple layer of briquettes. Place wood chip packet on coals, position grill grate over coals, and open bottom vents halfway. Spray V-rack with nonstick cooking spray and set turkey breast-side down on V-rack; set V-rack with turkey over cool side of grill. Open grill lid vent halfway and cover, positioning vent over turkey; grill-roast 1 hour.
  5. Remove grill lid. Working quickly and using potholders, transfer V-rack with turkey to rimmed baking sheet. Remove grill grate; using tongs, move wood chip packet aside and add 12 new briquettes to coals. Replace wood chip packet and grill grate. Using large wads paper toweling, rotate turkey breast-side up and return V-rack with turkey to grill so that leg and wing that were facing coals are now facing away. Cover and continue grill-roasting until instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees, 1 to 1 1/4 hours longer. Remove turkey from grill, let rest 20 to 30 minutes; carve and serve.

FOR BREAST ONLY: Smoke turkey breast at a temperature between 225 degrees F. and 250 degrees F. for 2 1/2 to 4 hours depending on the size of the turkey. The breast will be done when it has reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees F. When Breast reaches temperature, remove from grill, wrap inn foil and then place wrapped breast in a paper bag and let rest for at least 1 hour.

Toasting the seeds for the rub.

Rub turkey with spice rub. Let stand for at least 1 hour.

Or wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours.

The breast after it came out of the cooking chamber,
before wrapping in foil to rest.

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