Cranberry Smoked Turkey Breast

Cranberry Smoked Turkey Breast
★★★★ Rated 4 stars by 161 users






180 minutes


150 minutes



Once you try a smoked turkey, you'll never cook turkey any other way. Using cranberry and thyme this recipe will elevate any piece of poultry on your grill, smoker, or in the oven.

Graham Russell




  • 1 gallon water

  • 1 cup cranberry juice

  • 1 orange (sliced)

  • 1 onion (quartered)

  • 1/2 cup cranberries

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup kosher salt

  • 3 sprigs of rosemary

  • 1/2 tsp. pepper

  • Ice (optional)


  • 1 turkey breast (2.35 lbs)

  • 2 tbsp. of your favorite poultry rub

  • 1/4 cup cranberries

  • 6 tbsp. butter

  • 2 sprigs of thyme


  1. Light your Pit Barrel® according to instructions.

  2. Combine all the brine ingredients into a large pot. Heat and bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat.

  3. Allow the brine to cool and add your turkey breast. If the water is room temperature or higher it is necessary to add ice. You want the brine to be cold when adding in the turkey. Allow the turkey to rest in the brine for at least two hours (or up to 12 hours). If you are using this brine for a whole turkey, you can leave it in the brine for up to 24 hours.

  4. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse under cold water for a minute. Pat the bird dry. Season the turkey using your favorite rub and be sure to get a good coat under the skin.

  5. Let it rest while you prepare your Pit Barrel®. Bring your Pit Barrel® to temperature and add any smoking woods of your choice. I am a fan of apple wood for turkey, the flavor really compliments the cranberry notes. Hang your turkey (cook for about 2.5 hours or until 165° internal temperature) and get started on the cranberry butter.

  6. Place cranberries in a bowl and smash them with the back of a fork. Melt the butter in a small pan and add the cranberries and thyme. Cook for 2-3 minutes to let the flavors mingle.

  7. Baste the turkey every 30 minutes with the cranberry butter until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Allow the turkey to rest for 5-10 minutes before cutting.

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