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Turkey for a Small Thanksgiving Gathering

While we love the Rockwell-esque imagery of a large multi-generational Thanksgiving gathering, many of us will choose to host a small number of family members and/or friends at this year’s Thanksgiving celebration. In fact, research sponsored by the nation’s largest grocery chain, Kroger, shows 43 percent of its shoppers plan to spend the 2020 holiday only with people in their immediate household.

Word on the street is that smaller turkeys (in the 8- to 10-pound range) will be in short supply this year, so I tested two new recipes from Steven for the boneless netted turkey breast “roasts” often found at meat counters during the holiday season.

Last week, I compared bourbon-brined and herb-rubbed dry-brined turkey breasts. Both recipes are easy to follow and prepare. The turkey breasts were smoke-roasted for an hour and a half on a Big Green Egg XL. Both were basted with butter while cooking. The results were two delicious turkey breasts that were the perfect size for a small gathering—or even two people (with leftovers).

The bourbon-brined turkey was juicy, buttery, and had golden brown color. The herb spice rub created a flavorful crust that kept the turkey juicy on the inside. (Note: Do not brine the turkey if it has already been injected with a salt solution prior to sale or is advertised as kosher.)

The herb-rubbed turkey even had the hint of a smoke ring. Both turkey breasts had a light smoky flavor. I would encourage you to try one or both delectable recipes for your family’s Thanksgiving.


Smoke-Roasted Turkey Breast Recipes for a Small Thanksgiving Dinner:

1. Bourbon Brined Turkey Breast

Sliced Smoke-Roasted Turkey Breasts

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2. Herb-Rubbed Smoke-Roasted Turkey Breast

Smoke-Roasted Turkey Breasts on the Grill

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Other Thanksgiving Tips and Recipes:

For more Thanksgiving-related posts, see below.


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