On Monday I decided to smoke a turkey breast for dinner for the family. It’s one of my favorite meats to smoke because it is easy to prep and I get to use different seasoning on it besides the rub I use for chicken or pork.
I was also excited for this cook because it was the first time I used pecan wood to fuel my fire. Pecan is a mild flavor wood and I have heard a lot of great things about cooking with it, so when I was able to get my hands on some I couldn’t wait to use it.
I set up my smoker in the usual manner by getting the charcoal burning in the chimney for a good 15 to 20 minutes. During that time I prepped the turkey breast by brushing it down with extra virgin olive oil and seasoning it with a mix of sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, rosemary and thyme. I let the meat rest and come to temperature while I headed outside to start my fire in the side fire box of my smoker.
Once the internal temperature reached 250 degrees I placed the turkey breast in the smoker. Since I had good size wood chunks, I found myself fueling the fire with fresh wood every 45 minutes to an hour during the entire cook cycle to maintain the temperature between 225 and 250.
The meat hit the “stall” when it reached an internal temperature of 155 degrees. It took an hour and a half for it to move to 156 degrees, but once it happened the meat reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees within the hour. I could have wrapped the turkey breast during the stall to speed up the cooking process, but I chose not to because I just wanted the meat to do it’s thing naturally.
Once the temperature reached 165 degrees I pulled the breast from the smoker and allowed it to rest for 10 minutes to allow the juices to evenly distribute throughout the entire breast. I served up mashed potatoes and green beans as side dishes.
The turkey breast was tender and juicy and had a light smoke ring around the edges which I was very happy to see. I will definitely be using pecan wood again. It gave the turkey a nice smoke flavor without being overpowering. It was a nice compliment to the meat and allowed the flavor of the meat to shine.