Newsletter Up In Smoke

Get Raichlen's Burgers! plus weekly recipes and tips straight from Steven Raichlen!



Herb-Rubbed Smoke-Roasted Turkey Breast


The herb spice rub creates a flavorful crust that keeps the turkey juicy on the inside. Smoke-roasting the turkey breast adds a light smoky flavor.

(Note: Do not brine the turkey if it has already been injected with a salt solution prior to sale or is advertised as kosher.)

Hosting a small Thanksgiving gathering? Also try: Bourbon Brined Turkey Breast.


Other Smoked Turkey Recipes for Thanksgiving: 


Herb-Rubbed Smoke-Roasted Turkey Breast

Recipe Notes

  • Advance Prep: 2 hours for dry-brining the turkey breast
  • Active Prep: 15 minutes
  • Grill Time: 1 to 1 ½ hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 45 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8
  • Method: Smoke-roasting / indirect grilling
  • Equipment: Can be cooked on a charcoal or gas grill. You’ll also need: hardwood chunks or chips (if using the latter, soak for 30 minutes in water, then drain)


  • 1 3-pound rolled netted boneless turkey breast

  • 2 tablespoons poultry seasoning
  • 4 teaspoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon freshly and finely grated lemon zest

  • Extra virgin olive oil for rubbing
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter for basting

Recipe Steps

1: Thaw the turkey breast in the refrigerator if needed. Place it in a jumbo heavy-duty resealable plastic bag.

2: Make the rub. Place the poultry seasoning, pepper, rosemary, sage, and lemon zest in a bowl and whisk to mix.

3: Brush the turkey breast with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season the turkey on all sides with the herb rub. Let marinate in a baking dish in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours.

4: Set up your grill for indirect grilling and preheat to medium (350 degrees). Brush or scrape the grate clean and oil well.

5: Place the breast in the center of the grill, skin side up (if it has a skin side). Brush once with melted butter. Add the wood chunks or chips to the coals (or place in the smoker box of your gas grill). Close the grill lid.

6: Smoke-roast the turkey until the skin is golden brown and the turkey is cooked through, 1 to 1 1/2 hours, replenishing the coals as needed if using charcoal—see page 000. You’re looking for an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Baste the breast with melted butter every 20 minutes, and baste one final time after the breast comes off the grill. Note: If the skin starts to brown too much, loosely tent the breast with foil. Do not wrap it tightly or you’ll make the skin soggy.

7: Transfer the turkey breast to a cutting board or platter. Cut off the net with scissors. Let rest for 5 minutes before carving. It’s delectable hot or cold.