Last updated November 18, 2014

Living in Texas, I’m surrounded by great barbecue. Every time I stop into a new BBQ pad, I try all of their meats to see which I like best. Surprisingly, I’ve fallen in love with smoked BBQ turkey breast.

Prior to Texas, turkey was something I fixed every November or something the deli lady in the hairnet gave me for my lunchmeat. Thank you Texas for introducing me to a moist, lean piece of meat that makes a fabulous entrée.

Turkey is fascinating because it really absorbs the flavors around it. Traditionally, we stuff it with sage, onions, celery, etc. But I threw some of my Zestuous Rub on a turkey breast and attempted to smoke it in my oven.

My first issue was that I couldn’t find a fresh turkey breast at the grocery. The type I wanted was frozen solid…but I wanted to make this for dinner tonight…so that wasn’t going to work. What I did find however was marinated turkey breast loins. They were soaking in who knows what for who knows how long. I’m sure that helped with the brining process, but I wanted my own flavor, so I rinsed off the packaged marinade and patted them dry to prep them for my own Zestuous Rub.

Once I had them in the pan, my initial fear was that smoking indoors would lead to a disaster. I pictured fumes oozing out of the oven and triggering the smoke alarms…which would notify ADT…who would send a fire crew to my door. Wouldn’t that be embarrassing? Fortunately, that didn’t happen.

Instead, the pleasant aroma of mesquite filled my kitchen without any sign of smoke. With all that said, I can’t claim this to be a perfect Texas BBQ success. While the turkey was moist, flavorful and a wonderful shift away from Thanksgiving dinner, it didn’t have a very strong smoky flavor. I think next time I’ll use a couple dashes of smoke flavoring and a few more wood chips. But minus-the lack of overt smokiness, it was great!

Oven Smoked Turkey Breast

Oven Smoked Turkey Breast


  • 1 turkey breast
  • Zestuous Rub
  • 2 cups hickory or mesquite wood chips

Soak about 2 cups of wood chips in a bowl of water for about an hour.

Line the bottom of a pan with foil. Be sure to allow extra foil to hang over the edges. This will help later in the recipe.

Remove the wood chips from the water and spread them along the bottom of the pan. Pour in about ½ cup of the water that the wood was smoking in. Here’s where you could add smoke flavor, too. Place a baker’s rack in the pan on top of the chips.

Rinse the turkey breast and pat it dry with paper towels.

Rub thoroughly with Zestuous Rub.

Place on the rack.

Cover the pan with foil. Pinch the top foil with the overhang from the bottom layer to enclose the entire baker’s rack, turkey and wood chips.

Place in a 300-degree oven and bake for 2-2 ½ hours, or until the meat reaches 180 degrees, at the thickest point.

Use caution when opening the foil because steam will escape.

Remove the turkey to a cutting board, and be sure to pick off any wood chip pieces that might have stuck to the meat. Allow the meat to rest for about 5-10 minutes and slice.

Serve with rice, pasta or on a fresh plate of lettuce greens.