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Smoked Turkey Breast

If you are not feeding a crowd, a turkey breast is a good choice for a dinner and sandwiches. This 6 1/2 pound breast was just right for my wife, one son, and I. It was a Butterball so it should NOT be brined. Butterballs come already brined. If you buy frozen poultry be sure to check and see if it has saltwater added. It is illegal to inject poultry with water to increase its weight, but saltwater is considered seasoning and is legal.

1 turkey breast

If the turkey is frozen, thaw it according to the package directions. I always smoke poultry skin-on, although I do not eat the skin. It helps keep the meat moist. The skin must be dry to brown; to achieve this pat it dry with paper towels and refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours.

Prepare the Creole Seasoning (recipe follows). I used a seasoning with no salt since the turkey was brined. If smoking an unbrined bird, I recommend my Creole Seasoned Salt (BLOG post of February 1, 2018). Prepare the smoker for 225° to 250°F. Push your hands between the meat and skin and loosen it. Fold the skin back and rub the meat with the seasoning. Fold the skin back in place.

Place the turkey in the smoker and add wood for smoking. I use a 50/50 mix of pecan and wild cherry, but apple is also a good choice. The rule of thumb for smoking poultry is 30 to 40 minutes per pound, but this is highly variable. Outdoor temperature (summer/winter) and wind will significantly affect cooking time. I have a sheltered area for smoking since I live near the water and always have at least a breeze.

Creole Seasoning

2 tablespoons paprika

1 tablespoon onion powder

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cayenne

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Thoroughly mix.

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