Learn how to smoke a boneless turkey breast roast on a Traeger pellet grill, and why it is one of easiest, and most delicious, ways to smoke turkey!
We take you step-by-step through preparing your boneless turkey breast, setting up your Traeger for the cook, and smoking your turkey to perfection.
We love smoking turkey around here.
We’ve previously done our classic Pellet Grill Smoked Thanksgiving Turkey, a full Bone-in Smoked Turkey Breast, an Electric Smoker Turkey, as well as the juicy and fast cooking Spatchcocked Turkey on a Pellet Grill.
Yes, you read that right. A whole turkey cooked in a metal trash can in under 2 hours. You’ve got to check that one out!
But we thought, when you are just in the mood for some good turkey on a busy weeknight, what could be simpler than a smoked boneless turkey breast right on our trusty Traeger pellet grill?
So let’s get started!
How to Prepare a Boneless Turkey Breast for the Traeger Pellet Grill
Remove Packaging and Season
Open up the packaging and remove any giblet bags, gravy starter packets, or any other items that may be packed in with the boneless turkey breast roast.
Don’t remove any cooking twine or netting around the raw boneless turkey breast as this will help the turkey initially hold its shape while it smokes on the Traeger.
Because there is not that much skin on a boneless turkey breast, we are not going to mess with any dry brining like we might with a whole turkey or a whole chicken where we are trying to get crispy skin.
We are going to simply coat the outside of the boneless turkey breast with one of our favorite BBQ rubs.
If you are having a hard time getting your BBQ rub to adhere, use a little bit of cooking oil such as regular olive oil to help it stick.
The Best Rub for a Traeger Smoked Boneless Turkey Breast
We have a great BBQ Rub Recipe from scratch in the recipe card at the bottom of the article, but if you want something easy right off the shelf, check out Three Little Pigs Kansas City Championship BBQ Rub.
It’s got a great flavor of not only typical BBQ seasonings but also onion, garlic, and even a little cayenne for some heat.
We love it on turkey…and chicken too!
The Best Wood Pellets for Smoking a Boneless Turkey Breast on a Traeger Pellet Grill
You will need to take a minute to think about what type of pellets you want to use to smoke the boneless turkey breast on the Traeger.
Straight mesquite and hickory will give a very aggressive smoke flavor on turkey and should be used only in small amounts mixed in with another type of pellet.
We suggest going for a milder smoke flavor by choosing oak or fruitwood pellets.
We especially like applewood pellets on turkey.
Pecan, apple, beech, alder, and cherry will all give great results.
For fun, you can choose your woods seasonally, using beech and cherry in spring and summer and pecan and apple into the fall and winter.
Also. there is no reason you can’t mix a few different kinds together in your Traeger!
For the best results, store your unused pellets in a sealed room temperature container like this 20 lb pellet container rather than in the Traeger hopper outside.
Traeger pellets do not last forever, but will definitely last a LOT longer if stored indoors in a quality airtight container.
How a Traeger Pellet Grill Works
In order to cook ANYTHING well on a Traeger pellet grill, you need to first have a basic understanding of how a pellet grill works.
***Completely New to Using a Traeger Pellet Grill? No Worries!****
We also recently compared our two favorite Traeger models head to head if you’re in the market for a new Traeger or to upgrade your old one.
Or hop over and check out this Complete Guide to Understanding How a Pellet Grill Works first if you are interested in learning more.
Otherwise, if you already know your Traeger inside and out, skip down to the recipe below!
Add the Hardwood Pellets
First, you add hardwood pellets into the side hopper.
The Traeger pellet grill automatically feeds these small wood pellets via an auger mechanism to a fire pot where they are burned up, providing both heat and smoky flavor.
The pellet grill automatically controls the flow of pellets depending on your temperature setting so that you maintain an even temperature throughout the entire cook.
How to Start Up the Traeger
There is a specific start up process for the Traeger brand pellet grills you can read all about in depth here if you aren’t sure how to fire it up the first time.
Otherwise, here is the basic process for how to start a Traeger before throwing on your food:
- Plug in the grill.
- Flip the power switch to ON and turn the dial to “Smoke”.
- You will hear the fan kick on and the auger start to move and begin to kick pellets into the fire pot. Your fire rod will begin to heat up as well.
- Leave the lid open for about 5-7 minutes until you start to see white billowing smoke come out of the grill. This happens when the pellets are first igniting.
- Once a smoke is being produced, close the lid and change the temperature dial to your desired temperature setting.
- Allow about 10-15 minutes to preheat the grill.
- While you are waiting, make sure you’ve got the drip pan in place and the grease bucket hanging to catch any grease that comes out during the cook. Use a grease bucket liner to minimize cleanup later.
- Put your grates on if they aren’t already in place.
- Using a good bristle free grill brush, clean off the grill grates if there is any leftover stuck on food from the last cook.
- When the pellet grill comes up to temperature go ahead and put on your food!
Why Bristle Free Grill Brushes?
Check out our Ultimate Guide to How to Keep your Family Safe by using ONLY Bristle Free Grill Brushes, along with a selection of some of our favorites!
How to Smoke a Boneless Turkey Breast on a Traeger Pellet Grill
What Temperature do you Smoke a Boneless Turkey Breast on a Traeger Pellet Grill?
Set the Traeger temperature to 250°F, and let the grill come up to temperature.
If you used a rub or seasoning combination with NO sugar, feel free to bump the temperature to 300°F or even 325°F if you are crunched for time.
Because we want to impart as much smoky flavor as possible and also keep our Three Little Pigs Rub from burning, we are opting for a lower and slower cooking temperature.
How Long Does it Take to Smoke a Boneless Turkey Breast Roast on a Traeger?
Put your boneless turkey breast roast in the cooking chamber and let the Traeger do its thing!
Place a temperature probe, if you have one, in the center of the boneless turkey breast.
Otherwise, you can spot check later with an instant read thermometer.
Always use good insulated grilling gloves when rotating or moving the turkey around.
Pro Tip: We like combining insulated cloth liner gloves with black BBQ disposable gloves over them much like the BBQ competition cooks use to protect their hands and limit constant hand washing or fumbling with BBQ tongs and spatulas when handling big roasts or briskets in their smokers.
You can rotate and flip the boneless turkey breast over during the cook so that it smokes and cooks evenly in the Traeger.
Even though the Traeger provides INDIRECT heat like an oven, we find there is still increased heat coming from the bottom, even at lower smoking temperatures, which tends to cook that side of the meat faster than the top.
So it’s always good practice to occasionally rotate and flip whatever you are smoking in your Traeger when you can.
A 3 lb boneless turkey breast roast will take about 3 hours to smoke on a Traeger pellet grill at 250°F.
Again, you can raise the temperature up to 300°F if you don’t want as much smoke flavor or want to be finished faster.
Keep the lid closed as much as possible when you aren’t rotating or flipping, and use the temperature probes to tell you when the turkey is close to done.
Remove the Netting
Pro Tip: Take a minute to remove the cooking twine or netting on the turkey breast when it is about halfway finished cooking.
We found it much easier to remove it at this point vs. waiting until the turkey breast was fully cooked and the twine became more stuck to the meat.
If some seasoning comes off with it, simply sprinkle some more on and then place the turkey back on the Traeger.
At this point halfway through the cook, the boneless turkey breast should be cooked enough to hold its shape without the need for the netting any longer.
How Do You Know When a Boneless Turkey Breast is Done Smoking on a Traeger?
You’ll want to monitor the internal temperature of the turkey breast roast as it cooks on the Traeger for doneness.
Your Traeger smoked boneless turkey breast is ready to eat when it hits an internal temperature of 165°F on your instant read thermometer.
If you don’t yet own an instant read thermometer, it’s going to be hard to really know exactly when that turkey is done cooking on the pellet grill.
One of our go-to and very affordable favorites is this affordable one from ThermoPro.
If you prefer a leave-in thermometer you can just monitor from your phone while visiting with guests or doing other stuff, then check out our newest favorite, the MEATER leave in thermometer.
It is extremely accurate and has an incredible 165 foot bluetooth range and works right with your smartphone so you don’t need to carry a separate controller around with you like many other remote thermometers require.
It’s got a great free app that is constantly being updated and even has an algorithm to predict how much longer your type of meat will take to cook based on cooking temperature, target temperature, and current internal temperature.
It’s like a GPS for your meat!
Anyways, back to our smoked boneless turkey roast…
Carving and Serving a Traeger Smoked Boneless Turkey Breast
Let the smoked boneless turkey breast rest for about 15 minutes before carving and serving so that the juice stays in the meat where you want it.
Carefully remove the cooking twine or netting from the turkey if you didn’t already before slicing and serving.
Slice the smoked turkey using a good meat slicing knife like our favorite from Mairico.
Make sure to cut in nice thick slices and only slice as much as you are serving at once to keep the rest of the meat from drying out.
Always store any unserved boneless turkey breast in its whole form to reheat later.
If you want something a little richer, check out our Sticky Smoked Sweet Potatoes or maybe some Smoked Mac and Cheese or Traeger Smoked Baked Beans done in a cast iron skillet to cook and serve alongside your Traeger smoked boneless turkey breast.
And of course for dessert…smoked peach cobbler, smoked chocolate chip cookies, or smoked apple pie!
What Else Can I Smoke on my Traeger?
So glad you asked!
Check out some of our other favorite recipes below that can all be easily modified for a Traeger if not done so already.
- Traeger Baby Back Ribs
- Traeger Smoked Pulled Pork
- Traeger 3-2-1 Pork Ribs
- Traeger Smoked Pork Loin
- Traeger Smoked Pork Spare Ribs
- Pellet Grill Smoked Pork Chops
- Pellet Grilled Bratwurst
- Gas Grilled Bratwurst
- Smoked Fresh Holiday Ham
- Spiral Sliced Smoked Hot Dogs
- Smoked Bratwurst with Beer Braised Onions
- Roasted Pig in Your Backyard
- Traeger Smoked Prime Rib
- Traeger Beef Tenderloin with Horseradish Cream
- Traeger Smoked Beef Brisket
- Traeger Smoked Chuck Roast
- Traeger Smoked Pot Roast
- Traeger Smoked Beef Short Ribs
- Perfect Smoked London Broil
- Smoked Ribeye Roast
- Smoked Corned Beef
- Smoked Ribeye Steaks
- Smoked Filet Mignon
- Hot and Fast Pellet Grill Beef Brisket
- Pellet Grilled Steak
- Perfect Grilled Hamburgers
- Smoked Eye of Round Roast Beef
- Easy Smoked Flank Steak
- Smoked Tomahawk Steaks
- Smoked Bottom Round Roast
- Smoked Sirloin Tip Roast
- Smoked Rump Roast
- Traeger Smoked Salmon
- Honey Smoked Salmon
- Smoked Oysters in a Garlic White Wine Sauce
- Smoked Scallops with Lemon Butter Sauce
- Smoked Lobster Tails
- Easy Smoked Tilapia
- Perfect Smoked Halibut
- Smoked Mahi Mahi Fillets
- Smoked Swordfish Steaks
- Smoked Crab Legs with Cajun Clarified Butter
- Smoked Mackerel with Maple Balsamic Glaze
- Smoked Catfish with Cajun BBQ Rub
- Smoked Red Snapper with Blackening Rub
- Smoked Trout
- Smoked Tuna Steaks
- Traeger Smoked Whole Chicken
- Traeger Smoked Chicken Thighs
- Traeger Smoked Chicken Breasts
- Traeger Smoked Chicken Legs
- Traeger Smoked Chicken Wings
- Smoked Whole Chicken in Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
- Smoked Turkey in a Masterbuilt Electric Smoker
- Smoked Turkey Burgers
- Smoked Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
- Smoked Chicken Tenders
- Smoked Chicken Leg Quarters
- Beer Can Chicken on a Pellet Grill
- Spatchcocked Chicken on a Pellet Grill
- Pellet Grill Smoked Turkey Breast
- Pellet Grill Turkey
- Easy Smoked Turkey Legs
- Spatchcocked Smoked Turkey on a Pellet Grill
- Smoked Chicken Salad
- Trash Can Turkey – OK, technically not made on a grill or smoker but one of the most fun ways there is to cook a Turkey…at over 700 degrees in only 2 hours!
- Smoked Leg of Lamb with Guinness Marinade
- Smoked Lamb Chops with a Balsamic Butter Sauce
- Smoked Rack of Lamb with Garlic and Rosemary or Smoker
- Smoked and Pulled Lamb Shoulder with a Turkish Spice Rub
- Smoked Lamb Shanks
Sides and Desserts
- Traeger Smoked Baked Beans
- Traeger Smoked Corn on the Cob
- Traeger Smoked Mac and Cheese
- Smoked Potato Salad
- Smoked Baked Potatoes
- Smoked Twice Baked Potatoes
- Smoked Asparagus
- Easy Smoked Broccoli
- Smoked Cauliflower
- Smoked Green Beans
- Sticky Smoked Sweet Potatoes
- Smoked Pineapple in a Maple Bourbon Sauce
- Smoked Carrots with a Honey Balsamic Glaze
- Smoked Hard Boiled Eggs
- Smoked Deviled Eggs
- Smoked Egg Salad
- Smoked Cream Cheese
- Smoked Cream Cheese Dip with Bacon and Cheddar
- Smoked Pig Shots
- Smoked Jalapeno Poppers
- Smoked Garlic
- Frozen Pizza on a Pellet Grill
- How to Steam Tamales
- Masterbuilt Smoked Cheese
- Smoked Gouda Cheese
- Smoked Peaches
- Smoked Peach Cobbler
Traeger Smoked Boneless Turkey Breast
- Traeger Pellet Grill
- Wood Pellets preferably apple or another fruitwood
- Large Cutting Board
- Internal Meat Thermometers
- Kitchen Shears to remove netting
- Carving Knife
- Insulated BBQ Gloves
- 1 3 lb Boneless Turkey Breast Roast thawed
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Your Favorite BBQ rub or our "In a Pinch BBQ Rub" below
In a Pinch BBQ Rub
- 2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbsp Paprika
- 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt
- ½ Tbsp Chili Powder
- ½ Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 1 Tsp Course Ground Black Pepper
- 1 Tsp Onion Powder
- ¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper optional
Prepare the Boneless Turkey Breast
- Remove the boneless turkey breast from its packaging and set aside any gravy packets or giblet bags included.1 3 lb Boneless Turkey Breast Roast
- Clean, rinse, and pat dry the boneless turkey breast roast well with paper towels.
- Do not remove any twine or netting that is in place around the turkey.
- Brush a thin layer of olive oil all around the turkey breast to help the seasoning stick.1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- Mix together the In a Pinch BBQ Rub ingredients together and apply some to all sides of the turkey. Or use your favorite BBQ rub for turkey.Your Favorite BBQ rub or our "In a Pinch BBQ Rub" below, 2 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar, 1 Tbsp Paprika, 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt, 1 Tsp Course Ground Black Pepper, ½ Tbsp Chili Powder, ½ Tbsp Garlic Powder, 1 Tsp Onion Powder, ¼ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
Start the Traeger Pellet Grill
- Remove the fire pot from the bottom of the Traeger and clean out any ashes left over from the last cook. Replace it and make sure it is secured in place with the clips on either side.
- Load the hopper of the Traeger with your chosen wood pellets.
- Turn on the Traeger and move the dial to the "Smoke" setting.
- Leave the lid open for 5-7 minutes until you start seeing white billowing smoke stop coming out of the grill. This means the initial pellets are now ignited.
- Place a disposable bucket liner in the grease bucket as well if you want to limit cleanup later.
- Set the temperature on the control panel to 250° and close the lid.
Smoking the Boneless Turkey Breast on the Traeger Pellet Grill
- Position your seasoned boneless turkey breast on the oiled grates of the Traeger.
- Place an internal temperature probe if you have one into the center of the roast.
- Close the lid. Rotate and flip occasionally for even cooking. This will take about 3 hours total.
- After about 1.5 hours of smoking on the Traeger, use a pair of kitchen shears to remove the netting on the boneless turkey breast roast. Apply more oil and rub if needed.
- When the internal temperature at the center of the boneless turkey breast has reached 165°F, carefully remove the turkey from the Traeger.
Rest and Carve
- Let the turkey rest for 15-20 minutes before carving to allow the juices to distribute.
- Carve, plate, and serve immediately.