Kentucky Hot Brown

Kentucky Hot Brown
★★★★★ Rated 5 stars by 29 users






20 minutes


120 minutes



The Kentucky Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich originating from the Brown Hotel in Louisville, KY. It’s a hot cheesy mess that will leave you completely satisfied!

Pit Barrel Cooker Co.



  • Whole turkey breast, or chicken breast

  • Poultry Rub

  • 1 ½ cups whole milk

  • 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

  • Nutmeg

  • Salt and pepper

  • Garlic powder

  • Onion powder

  • 2 ounces Fontina cheese, grated

  • 2 ounces Gruyère, grated

  • 2 ounces sharp white cheddar

  • Bacon

  • Sourdough, or your favorite hearty bread.

  • Optional: tomatoes, mushrooms



  1. Season turkey with you favorite poultry rub.

  2. Smoke in Pit Barrel® to an internal temp of 165°.

  3. Allow to rest and slice.


  1. Melt 2 tbsp of butter in a small pot over medium heat. Sprinkle 2 tbsp of AP flour over top and stir vigorously with a whisk. Cook until it turns a light brown. This is the roux, the thickening agent for the sauce.

  2. Warm 1 ½ cups of whole milk and slowly stream into the roux mixture, while whisking continuously. Once all milk is combined, raise heat to medium high and bring to boil. Drop heat to a low simmer and cook for about 10 min stirring frequently. The sauce is done once thickened and is no longer grainy when rubbed between your fingers. This is the béchamel.

  3. Keeping the béchamel over low heat, stir in a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg, a pinch of salt and pepper, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder, and 1/2 tsp of onion powder. Slowly add in the assorted grated cheeses. Add a small hand full at a time and stir, add more once the cheese has melted in. If the cheese is added too fast or the sauce gets to hot, the sauce will break and become grainy. At this point, you are standing over a pot of Mornay.

  4. The sauce will hold over very low heat for up to an hour, stirring occasionally. Once cooled the sauce will thicken.


  1. Setup your Pit Barrel® in grilling mode. Vent fully open, no rods, lid off. The dish is gonna come together fast.

  2. Prepare bacon in your go to method (for me, in the oven on a foil lined baking sheet 400° for 30min).

  3. Start heating cast iron pan on the Pit Barrel®. Add in a layer of buttered sourdough and toast on both sides.

  4. Layer sliced turkey on top of toasted sourdough. (If turkey was made the day before, give it a quick grill to warm it up).

  5. Liberally cover turkey with Mornay sauce and cover Pit Barrel®. Allow to bake for 5-10 min, until sauce is bubbly.

  6. Add in bacon, lots of bacon.

  7. Optional toppings include tomatoes and mushrooms.

  8. Using a spatula, slide Hot Brown onto a plate a serve hot.

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