Having a smaller crowd for Thanksgiving dinner this year? Smoke a juicy turkey breast on the smoker! Made with a homemade dry rub and ready in about 2 hours.

This delicious smoked turkey breast is the perfect easy recipe if your family prefers white meat! One of the most popular recipes on my blog is my Whole Smoked Turkey for Thanksgiving – Step by Step Recipe, which thousands of you make every Thanksgiving.

a photo of sliced smoked turkey breast

But, it’s for a whole bird and definitely meant to serve a crowd! This smoked turkey breast recipe is a great option for smaller gatherings. It’s rubbed in a homemade spice rub, and smoked to perfection. I finish it on the smoked wrapped in aluminum foil and coated in an herb, garlic and butter bath. Yum !

an overhead photo of the ingredients for smoked turkey breast

For this recipe, I don’t have the step of using a dry brine or a wet brine. You absolutely can do either of these, but I don’t think it makes a noticeable difference in the juiciness of the breast meat.

This recipe calls for a pretty short smoke time and adds a butter bath and aluminum foil wrap to keep the turkey breast nice and moist! 

If you’re lucky enough to have leftover turkey, you can use it in these Turkey Cranberry Sliders or 30 Minute Leftover Turkey Bean Soup!

Check out 70+ of my favorite Thanksgiving recipes!

Recipe Substitutions: 

  • Substitute butter for olive oil and vice versa
  • In the for the butter bath, you can use fresh rosemary or fresh thyme instead of the fresh dill or parsley.
  • In your water pan, you can also use apple juice, apple cider, chicken broth or turkey broth instead of water.
  • I used a boneless breast, but I do think you could adapt this recipe for a bone-in turkey breast. You also can use a skin-on turkey breast, but if a skinless turkey breast is mostly what you’ll find at the grocery store.
  • Yes, you can do this recipe on your charcoal grill or gas grill over indirect heat. 

Does your family love dark meat? Try these roasted turkey legs!

a close-up, overhead photo of sliced smoked turkey breast

What Type of Wood Chips Should I Use? 

I think that with poultry, a lighter wood like apple wood or cherry wood is perfect! For a more robust flavor, you could use mesquite wood or pecan wood chips.

The same goes for flavored wood pellets if you’re using a pellet smoker! 

Prefer a smoked whole turkey? Try Whole Smoked Turkey for Thanksgiving – Step by Step Recipe.

a photo of a whole smoked turkey breast

Serving Suggestions:

Serve with green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, or sweet potato casserole!

Storing Leftovers:

Store leftover turkey in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

a photo of sliced smoked turkey breast

Smoked Boneless Turkey Breast for Thanksgiving

Yield: Serves 4-6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Additional Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes

Having a smaller crowd for Thanksgiving dinner this year? Smoke a juicy turkey breast on the smoker! Made with a homemade dry rub and ready in about 2 hours!


  • 1 20-ounce boneless turkey breast
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

For the spice rub:

For the butter bath:

  • 1 stick (8 tablespoons butter)
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • ⅛ cup fresh dill or fresh thyme, chopped (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced


  1. Heat the smoker to 250 degrees, adding wood chunks or pellets to give the turkey breast your preferred smoke flavor. 
  2. In a small bowl, prepare the Cajun spice rub. 
  3. Gently brush the turkey breast with olive oil.
  4. Then, rub the spices all over the turkey breast, covering the entire surface.
  5. Prepare the butter bath. Place stick of butter, herbs and garlic in a heat-safe pan (cast-iron skillet, small aluminum pan). Place pan on smoker grates so the butter can melt and get nice and smoky.
  6. Place turkey breast directly on smoker grates. Let the turkey smoke for 1.25 hours or until the turkey hits an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. At this point, transfer the turkey to a large aluminum foil boat. Pour the melted butter bath over the top of the turkey, and seal the aluminum foil.
  8. Continue to smoke for 20-25 minutes or until the internal temp reaches 160 degrees using an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the breast. Remove and rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
  9. Slice and serve!


You can place a drip pan to collect the juices and use them for turkey gravy. I do not love the intense smoke flavor in my gravy, so I just use turkey broth! 

I do recommend using a water pan to keep the turkey moist.

Did you make this recipe?

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