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Tender and juicy grilled turkey breast

Tender and juicy grilled turkey breast

With so many reasons to cook up a turkey on any day, there’s no need to wait all year long for that one special day — nor do you have to prepare a whole turkey. With this recipe, inspired by Cooking Outdoors, you can enjoy a tender, juicy grilled turkey breast anytime (Thanksgiving included!) with minimal effort.

Turkey breast is incredibly versatile — and easier to carve compared to a whole turkey. Slice it up with mashers and gravy for a traditional meal. Dice it and make turkey salad with cranberries, walnuts, celery and mayo. Or slice it for sandwiches stacked high with fresh tomatoes, lettuce and pickles.

Choosing a breast versus the whole bird means much less cooking time, making this recipe doable any day you get the craving. Just take care not to overcook your turkey breast — white meat tends to dry out more quickly during cooking.

ALSO TRY: Grilled baby back ribs

So why grill the turkey breast? Grilling turkey outside is a great alternative, especially in the warmer months, because it means you don’t have to heat your whole house just to make dinner. It’s easy, and it keeps the mess out of the kitchen.

Another benefit to grilling your turkey breast is the gloriously smoky flavor the fire imparts. Be adventurous and add some flavored wood chips to your grill for a little something extra.

So what are you waiting for? Fire up the grill and give the recipe a try any time you feel especially thankful for delicious turkey!

>> Click here to jump straight to the recipe


Whisk together dry ingredients

Combine all of the dry spices and seasonings to make the rub — oregano, onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Simple ingredients, but they deliver a lot of flavor.

Whisk the dry ingredients


Add lemon juice, melted butter and olive oil to the dry mix

After you mix in the wet ingredients, your rub will be ready to season the turkey — both on top of the skin and underneath. Whisk it all together, and you’re ready to start!

Add olive oil to mixture


Rub the butter mixture onto the turkey

The lemon juice gives the seasonings a little acidic kick, while the melted butter and olive oil will help accent the meat’s savory flavor while helping it stay moist and juicy.

brushing olive oil, melted butter, lemon juice, whisked pepper, sea salt, tarragon, basil, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder over raw turkey


Add the butter mixture to inside of the turkey

Slip the seasoning mix under the skin, too, to help infuse the meat with all the delicious flavors that will enhance the taste and aroma of the grilled turkey breast.

Brushing olive oil, melted butter, lemon juice, whisked pepper, sea salt, tarragon, basil, oregano, onion powder, garlic powder over raw turkey


Place turkey on grill and stuff with lemon

Fill the inside of the turkey with halved or quartered lemons. (You can also use apples and/or onions.) They will help keep the meat moist, and impart a little extra flavor.


Baste with extra butter mixture

As the turkey cooks, you can slather on a little extra buttery rub to help the skin get perfectly crisp, and to replace any seasoning that’s dripped off.

Tender and juicy grilled turkey breast- brushing grilled turkey with sauce on grill


The crispy skin is the perfect contrast for the juicy turkey meat

After it reaches the correct internal temperature, take the turkey off the grill and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. (Some people like to loosely cover it with foil while it rests, but be aware that this might make the skin less crispy.)

Tender and juicy grilled turkey breast - grilled turkey with rub


This grilled turkey breast comes out tender, juicy and delicious

For the first hour or so after cooking, slice only as much turkey as you need to serve immediately. Leave the rest whole until people want seconds, so the meat can hold on to those

Tender and juicy grilled turkey breast- cutting a plated grilled turkey with sauce on on a bed of grass and lemons on a white table using a knife and fork


Take a slice

If your family and friends love white meat, cooking the turkey minus the legs and wings will give everyone all the tender slices they crave.

Tender and juicy grilled turkey breast - cutting a plated grilled turkey with sauce on on a bed of grass and lemons on a white table using a knife and fork


Tender, moist grilled turkey breast

Yield 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon pepper
  • Juice of 2 small lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 turkey breast

Instructions

  1. Place drip pan under center of grill.  
  2. Light only indirect burners (leaving middle burner off). Preheat grill to 325F for at least 15 minutes.  
  3. In small bowl, mix garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, basil, tarragon, salt and pepper.  Add lemon juice, melted butter and olive oil; mix well.
  4. Generously rub half of butter mixture inside skin and on outside of turkey.
  5. Place turkey on center burner for indirect cooking.
  6. Close lid and cook for approximately 2 to 2-1/2 hours.  
  7. Check turkey every 30 minutes and baste with additional butter mixture.
  8. When thermometer inserted into thickest part of bird registers 165F, remove from heat immediately to prevent dryness.
  9. Allow turkey to rest for 15 minutes.
  10. Carve and serve.

Notes

Tip: Cut against the grain of the turkey meat for a more tender slice.

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Tender and juicy grilled turkey breast

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