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How Do I Barbecue Turkey Breast?

Lee Johnson
Lee Johnson

Chefs can barbecue turkey breast by seasoning or marinating the meat prior to placing it on the barbecue, cooking it over high heat until the meat is browned, and then coating it in foil to finish. Alternatively, the meat can be cooked over an indirect medium heat for a longer period of time to achieve a similar result. The most important aspect of barbecuing turkey breast is to keep the meat moist, so slow-cooking and braising are popular methods. Different seasoning mixes or marinades can be used, depending on the chef’s tastes. Most recipes either use an herb mixture or a marinade which can also serve as a sauce with barbecue turkey breast.

The first thing chefs must do when making barbecue turkey breast is to season the meat or marinate it. Seasoning mixtures can differ, depending on the individual chef, but almost always include salt and pepper. Other possible additions to the seasoning mixture include garlic, basil, and cloves. Chefs also sometimes make herby butter to apply under the skin of the turkey breast, which includes herbs such as basil and parsley. This mixture is made separately and then rubbed over the turkey breast.

A turkey.
A turkey.

Alternatively, chefs can use a marinade when making barbecue turkey breast. Marinades are basically sauces which are applied to the meat prior to cooking in order to infuse the flavors. One example of a marinade for barbecue turkey breast includes vegetable oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, and brown sugar. The meat is seasoned prior to being placed into the marinade, and then left in it for at least four hours. This gives the acids in the lemon juice time to break down some of the muscle fiber and allows the flavors to soak in.

Two main cooking methods exist for getting juicy barbecue turkey breast, cooking over a low, indirect heat for a long period of time and browning over direct heat and then coating in foil. Chefs can use a drip tray on top of the barbecue as a method of indirectly heating the meat. It should be cooked over a medium heat for one and a half to two and a quarter hours. The meat is cooked when the juices run clear if it is pierced or if the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit (76 Celsius).

Using a different cooking method may be preferable if the chef doesn’t have the time to slow-cook the meat. Barbecue turkey breast can also be cooked by first grilling it all over on a high heat, and then coating it in foil to be cooked through. The meat, already seasoned or marinated, should be added to the barbecue, and turned frequently until it is browned all over. Chefs can apply sauce to the outside of the meat during cooking, if they wish. After the meat is browned, it should be wrapped in foil and cooked until the internal temperature reaches 170 degrees Fahrenheit (76 Celsius).

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    • A turkey.
      By: Jeffrey Banke
      A turkey.