I like to do turkey a little different at Christmas since Thanksgiving usually “does me in” on turkey in general. This cranberry pecan stuffed turkey breast cooked in the smoker is a wonderful dish that allows you to use turkey while mixing things up a little bit.

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recipe-ad-rubI used the original rub recipe on the inside of the turkey breast and the new Texas style rub recipe on the outside after it's all rolled up. It makes for a really delicious and well-seasoned combination!

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Helpful Information
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Smoker Temp: 225°F
  • Meat Finish Temp: 165°F
  • Recommended Wood: Pecan, Cherry (Any fruit wood)
What You'll Need
  • 2+ Turkey breasts, skinless and boneless
  • Jeff's original rub (purchase recipes here)
  • Cranberries, dried and sweetened
  • Pecans, chopped
  • Stuffing (homemade or boxed)
  • Cooking twine
  • Meat mallet
  • Butter, melted (for basting during cooking)
Butterfly and Pound the Turkey Breast(s)

Lay the turkey breast on the cutting board.

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Slice through the short ends and one of the long sides.

Leave one of the long sides uncut.

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This allows you to open the turkey breast like a book.

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Completely butterflied

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Lay plastic wrap on top of the turkey breast and pound the meat to flatten it evenly to about ¼ inch thickness.

Use a meat mallet to accomplish this task.

Note: start in the center of the meat and work towards the outside edges.

Before:

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After:

2014-IMG_6291

As you can see, I was able to increase the surface area quite a bit. This also evened out the thickness which will help us to roll it and it will cook more evenly.

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Season and Stuff the Turkey Breasts

Sprinkle a little of my original rub (purchase recipes here) on the inside surface area of the turkey breast.

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Make a small batch of your favorite stuffing either homemade or boxed.

Spoon some of the uncooked stuffing onto the top of the seasoned meat.

Leave about ½ inch around the edges and about 2 inches on the end away from you.

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Add some dried sweetened cranberries and chopped pecans to the top of the stuffing.

2014-IMG_6296

Roll Up and Tie It

Roll up the turkey breast as tightly as you can.

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Use 4 pieces of cooking twine to tie the stuffed and rolled turkey breast into place.

2014-IMG_6297

Season the Outside

I used the Texas style rub recipe (purchase recipes here) on the outside of the turkey breast but you can also use the original rub recipe (purchase recipes here) as well.

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Place the turkey breast(s) on a Bradley rack, Weber grill pan or cookie sheet to make it easy to transport to and from the smoker.

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Smoke the Meat

Small items such as this work really well in all types of smokers including the electric and gas models. Set up whatever smoker you have available for cooking at about 225°F using indirect heat. If your smoker came with a water pan, use it.

Once the smoker is heated and ready, place the stuffed, rolled turkey breasts directly on the smoker grate.

Use pecan wood if you have it or any fruit wood will work really well with this.

I recommend keeping the smoke going for at least 2 hours if possible. You can also keep the smoke going the entire time as long  you keep the smoke thin and light.. what we call thin blue smoke.

About once every hour, I recommend basting the turkey with a little melted butter to keep the outside of the meat moist so it does not dry out.

Finish and Serve

Use a digital probe meat thermometer to monitor the temperature of the meat while it cooks. When it hits 165°F in the center, it is perfectly done and should be removed from the smoker right away.

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Let it sit on the cabinet for 10 minutes then remove the strings.

Snip-snip

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Slice it into ½ to ¾ inch slices.

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Serve immediately with all of your other favorite fixings and sides.

2014-IMG_6365

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Read these recent testimonies:

"Love the sauce and rub recipes. So far I have used them on beef ribs, pork ribs, and different chicken parts. Can't wait to do a beef brisket. Texas rub is great as well!" ~Peter S.
"I tried the rub on a beef brisket and some beef ribs the other day and our entire family enjoyed it tremendously. I also made a batch of the barbeque sauce that we used on the brisket as well as some chicken. We all agreed it was the best sauce we have had in a while." ~Darwyn B.
"Love the original rib rub and sauce! We have an annual rib fest competition at the lake every 4th of July. I will say we have won a great percent of the time over the past 15 years so we are not novices by any means. However, we didn't win last year and had to step up our game! We used Jeff's rub and sauce (sauce on the side) and it was a landslide win for us this year! Thanks Jeff for the great recipes. I'm looking forward to trying the Texas style rub in the near future!" ~Michelle M.

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Printable Recipe

Cranberry Pecan Stuffed Turkey Breast
Recipe Type: Entree
Cuisine: Hot Smoking
Author: Jeff Phillips
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
I like to do turkey a little different at Christmas since Thanksgiving usually “does me in” on turkey in general. This cranberry pecan stuffed turkey breast cooked in the smoker is a wonderful dish that allows you to use turkey while mixing things up a little bit.
Ingredients
  • 2+ Turkey breasts, skinless and boneless
  • Jeff’s rub (purchase recipes here)
  • Cranberries, dried and sweetened
  • Pecans, chopped
  • Stuffing (homemade or boxed)
  • Cooking twine
  • Meat mallet
  • Butter, melted (for basting during cooking)
Instructions
Butterfly and Pound the Turkey Breast(s)
  1. Lay the turkey breast on the cutting board.
  2. Slice through the short ends and one of the long sides.
  3. Leave one of the long sides uncut. This allows you to open the turkey breast like a book.
  4. Lay plastic wrap on top of the turkey breast and pound the meat to flatten it evenly to about ¼ inch thick.
  5. Use a meat mallet to accomplish this task. Start in the center of the meat and work towards the outside edges.
Season and Stuff the Turkey Breasts
  1. Sprinkle a little of my rub on the inside surface area of the turkey breast.
  2. Spoon some of the uncooked stuffing onto the top of the seasoned meat. Leave about ½ inch around the edges and about 2 inches on the end away from you.
  3. Add some dried sweetened cranberries and chopped pecans to the top of the stuffing.
Roll It Up and Tie It
  1. Roll up the turkey breast as tightly as you can.
  2. Use 4 pieces of cooking twine to tie the stuffed and rolled turkey breast into place.
Season the Outside
  1. Sprinkle the Texas style rub recipe on the outside of the turkey breast.
  2. Place the turkey breast(s) on a Bradley rack or cookie sheet to make it easy to transport to and from the smoker.
Smoke the Meat
  1. Set up whatever smoker you have available for cooking at about 225°F using indirect heat. If your smoker came with a water pan, use it.
  2. Once the smoker is heated and ready, place the stuffed, rolled turkey breasts directly on the smoker grate.
  3. Use pecan wood if you have it or any fruit wood will work really well with this.
  4. I recommend keeping the smoke going for at least 2 hours if possible. You can also keep the smoke going the entire time as long you keep the smoke thin and light.. what we call thin blue smoke.
  5. About once every hour, baste the turkey with a little melted butter to keep the outside of the meat moist so it does not dry out.
Finish and Serve
  1. Use a digital probe meat thermometer to monitor the temperature of the meat while it cooks.
  2. When it hits 165°F in the center, it is perfectly done and should be removed from the smoker right away.
  3. Let it sit on the cabinet for 10 minutes then remove the strings.
  4. Slice it into ½ to ¾ inch slices.
  5. Serve immediately with all of your other favorite fixings and sides.

 

About the Author

Long time Industrial Engineer turned self-proclaimed fire poker, pitmaster and smoke whisperer and loving every minute of it!

3 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Zelda Nichols December 23, 2014 at 2:21 am - Reply

    Hi Jeff – I am deathly allergic to bell peppers and hot peppers (anaphylactic shock time) which includes chili powder and cayenne powder. Does your rub and sauce have any of these items in them? Black and white pepper is ok but that is all.

    Thank you.

    Zelda Nichols

    • Jeff Phillips December 29, 2014 at 2:15 pm - Reply

      The rub does contain both cayenne and chile powder.. this may mean that my rub is not something that you can use, unfortunately. The sauce should be ok if you omit the smidgen of red pepper that it contains.

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