Brine for Smoked Turkey Breast

Yield: Brine for 2 1/2 to 3 pound fresh turkey breast

Wood-smoked turkey breast has an incomparable flavor and is ideal, thinly sliced, for sandwiches. Here are the brine ingredients for a 2 1/2 to 3 pound fresh turkey breast, on the bone.


  • 2 1/2 – 3 pound turkey breast, on the bone


  • 1 1/2 – 2 quarts (6-8 cups) artesian spring water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sea salt
  • 1 cup raw cane sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Jerez sherry vinegar


  • 2 t. yellow mustard seeds, crushed in a mortar & pestle
  • 1/2 t. ground coriander seeds
  • 1/2 t. granulated dried onion
  • 1/4 t. ground sage
  • 1/4 t. ground allspice berries
  • 1/4 t. granulated dried garlic
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 t. dried ginger, ground
  • 1/4 t. ground bay leaves
  • 1/4 t. dried parsley leaves, lightly crushed
  • 1/8 t. whole celery seed

NOTE: 2-3 tablespoons of either Merchant Spice Co.’s Pastrami Seasoning or Corned Beef Blend would work beautifully in place of the seasonings above.


  • Rinse the turkey breast under cold running water.
  • Prepare the brine by dissolving the salt and sugar in the water (gently heated); then add the vinegar.
  • Combine all of the seasonings, herbs & spices, and mix them into the brine.
  • Gently place the turkey into the brine and place in the refrigerator for 24 to 48 hours to properly brine, at the very least overnight.
  • After fully brining the turkey breast, it is ready for a gentle wood smoking over a variety of sweet woods. We like to use a combination of apple, cherry and maple.

Smoked turkey breast on sourdough makes a delicious sandwich, especially when accompanied by homemade pickled green tomatoes! Please see our recipe for Pickled Green Tomatoes.

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