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Apple Brined Turkey Breast Smoked Over Apple Wood

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(Recipe ID: 854)

Source: Chef Joseph Lowery


Items indicated with an astrisk (*) available for purchase in the Avanti Savoia store. See below to add these items to your cart.

  • 1 gallon Water
  • 1 quart Apple Juice
  • 1 cup Coarse Salt* *
  • 1/4 cup Cross Creek Orange Blossom Honey * *
  • 6 whole cloves Garlic, mashed with the edge of a knife
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 2 teaspoon each Green Peppercorns, Juniper Berries, Cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon each Rosemary and Thyme
  • 2 Tablespoons Dried Sage
  • 1 4-5 lb Turkey Breast, thawed if frozen


To prepare brine (2 days ahead):

  1. Combine all ingredients (except turkey) in a large (5 gal) stainless steel stock pot.  The pot will need to be large enough to hold both the brine and 4 or 5 lb. turkey breast.  Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer for about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove stock pot from heat and cool completely.  When cooled, cover and keep in refrigerator until ready to add turkey.

To brine the turkey breast (1 day ahead);

  1. Rinse turkey and remove neck bone and loose skin around neck if necessary.  You may also need to flatten or remove some of the rib bones on the under side of the breast so that it can be set flat.
  2. Place turkey breast in stock pot with brine, cover with lid and refrigerate overnight.

To smoke the turkey breast (early on the same day as serving):

You will need:

  • Brined Turkey (remove from brine, rinsed, patted dry and place uncovered in refrigerator until ready to cook).
  • Reserved brining liquid for water pan
  • Quality charcoal
  • Thumb-sized pieces of apple wood
  1. The best smoking is done over indirect heat.  If you don't have special smoking equipment, the same result can be achieved using a simple kettle-type grill and arranging the charcoal in a ring around the edge of the grill.
  2. After lighting, allow charcoal to reach glowing stage and just before adding meat, place a big handful of apple wood chips on top of the glowing charcoal.
  3. Pour some of the leftover brining liquid (including some of the seasonings) into the water pan.  Spray the rack with cooking spray to prevent sticking and place the prepared turkey meat skin side up in the middle of the meat rack.  Cover grill.  You can adjust the amount of heat and smoke by leaving space between the lid and grill.  The cooking breast can be turned over once or twice as needed, but make sure not to ruin the appearance of the top surface.
  4. If coals are hot enough, turkey should cook for about 30 to 40 minutes per pound.  Replenish wood chips if necessary.  When turkey is done, remove from smoker, tent with aluminum foil and allow the turkey to "rest" 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.  If it is going to be longer until serving, hold turkey, wrapped in the foil in a warm oven.

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