Master the Art of Franklin BBQ Turkey Breast: A Smoky, Juicy Sensation

Are you ready to elevate your turkey game and embark on a flavor journey like no other? Look no further than the legendary Franklin BBQ turkey breast recipe, a masterpiece crafted by the grill masters at Franklin Barbecue. This recipe promises to transform your ordinary turkey breast into a smoky, succulent delight that will have your taste buds dancing with joy.

The Franklin Barbecue Legacy

Before we dive into the recipe, let’s take a moment to appreciate the legacy of Franklin Barbecue. Founded by Aaron Franklin, this iconic barbecue joint in Austin, Texas, has garnered a cult-like following for its mouthwatering smoked meats and unwavering commitment to quality. Franklin’s obsession with perfecting the art of smoking meats has earned him numerous accolades, including being recognized as one of the most influential pitmasters in the world.

The Secret to Smoky Perfection

At the heart of this recipe lies the art of smoking, a technique that Franklin has mastered with precision and passion. By using seasoned firewood, preferably oak, you’ll be able to infuse your turkey breast with a rich, smoky flavor that will tantalize your senses from the very first bite.


  • 1 (3- to 4-pound) skin-on, non-solution turkey breast
  • 1 cup butter
  • Heavy-duty aluminum foil
  • Seasoned firewood (preferably oak)
  • Generous 1/4 cup Pork Ribs and Turkey Rub (2 parts black pepper to 1 part salt)


  1. Start the Fire: Begin by getting a fire going and heating your smoker to approximately 265°F at grate level. This precise temperature control is essential for achieving the perfect smoke and ensuring your turkey breast cooks evenly.

  2. Trim and Apply the Rub: If your turkey breast has skin, remove it by tearing it off and discarding it. Franklin recommends using the same rub for turkey as for pork spare ribs, a blend of 2 parts black pepper to 1 part salt. Don’t be shy with the seasoning – a generous 1/4 cup of rub per turkey breast is a good guideline.

  3. Smoke and Brown: Place the seasoned turkey breast skin-side up (where the skin used to be) in the smoker and cook until it develops a beautiful golden-brown color, typically taking 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

  4. Wrap and Braise: Once the turkey breast is golden, remove it from the smoker and place the butter directly on top of it. Tightly wrap the turkey breast in two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil, with the dull side facing out. This step is crucial, as it allows the turkey to braise in its own juices and melted butter, ensuring maximum moisture and flavor. Return the wrapped turkey to the smoker, flipping it so it’s now skin-side down.

  5. Finish Cooking: Continue cooking the turkey breast until the internal temperature reaches 160°F, which should take approximately 1 additional hour.

  6. Rest and Serve: Once the desired temperature is reached, remove the turkey breast from the smoker and let it rest until the internal temperature drops to 140°F. This resting period allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring every slice is bursting with flavor. Finally, slice the turkey breast thinly against the grain and prepare to be amazed by the smoky, juicy perfection you’ve created.

Tips and Tricks for Smoky Success

  • Use a Reliable Thermometer: Invest in a high-quality meat thermometer to ensure accurate temperature monitoring throughout the cooking process. This is crucial for achieving the perfect doneness and maximizing flavor.

  • Brine for Extra Moisture: While Franklin’s recipe doesn’t call for brining, you can consider brining your turkey breast for added moisture and flavor. A simple salt and water brine, or even a more complex blend with herbs and spices, can take your turkey to new heights.

  • Experiment with Wood Chips: While oak is the recommended wood for this recipe, feel free to experiment with different types of wood chips to impart unique smoky flavors. Hickory, mesquite, or even a blend of woods can add an extra dimension to your franklin bbq turkey breast.

  • Baste for Extra Flavor: During the smoking process, consider basting the turkey breast with a flavorful liquid, such as melted butter, turkey or chicken broth, or even a splash of apple cider vinegar. This will help keep the meat moist and infuse it with additional layers of flavor.

  • Serve with Complementary Sides: To truly appreciate the smoky goodness of your franklin bbq turkey breast, pair it with sides that will enhance the flavors. Consider serving it with classic barbecue accompaniments like coleslaw, baked beans, or mac and cheese for a complete backyard feast.


By mastering the art of franklin bbq turkey breast, you’ll be able to bring the rich, smoky flavors of Texas barbecue right to your backyard. With its juicy texture, perfectly seasoned crust, and irresistible aroma, this recipe is sure to become a staple in your culinary repertoire. So, fire up your smoker, gather your ingredients, and get ready to embark on a flavor journey that will leave your guests in awe and your taste buds utterly satisfied.

Texas Style Turkey | Franklin Barbecue Style Smoked Turkey Breast

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