Easy Smoked Turkey Breast

I set out to prove to myself just how easy it can be to smoke a turkey for Thanksgiving (or any time of the year). That meant no brining, no basting, no rubs, no oils, no injecting. Nothing. Just a turkey breast. To achieve what ended up being a fantastic result, I used a turkey breast that was already in a basting solution. Turkeys that are already pre-brined (or ‘pumped’) are common and they do save you a lot of time and hassle.
I was very, very happy with this easy smoked turkey breast. It was completely fuss-free. The skin was nice and crunchy. The meat was tender and moist. All that greatness and all I did was put it on the smoker and make sure the cook temperature stayed around 325 F. I used plenty of wood to get plenty of smoky flavor, which I think made up for the spices or basting sauce I would normally add. This is a great way to make a turkey breast for a crowd while still leaving yourself free for other things.

I served the turkey with my smoked turkey gravy, made using broth from turkey wings that I smoked on a few days before smoking this easy turkey breast.

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Easy Smoked Turkey Breast
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 turkey breast
 
This recipe uses a 'pumped' turkey breast, or one that has already been brined. The package will state 'contains up to 8% of a solution of water, salt, spices to enhance tenderness and juiciness'. Normally I would use a natural turkey that does not contain such a solution, but the goal was to make as easy a turkey breast as possible.
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fire up your smoker for cooking at 325 F. If you're using a Weber Smokey Mountain smoker (or any smoker that uses a water pan), line the water pan with foil and do not add water.
  2. Use a fruit wood or lighter wood such as hickory.
  3. Place the turkey breast meat side up in the center of the smoker.
  4. Smoke until the meat reaches 165 F as measured in several locations.
  5. Remove and let rest 30 minutes before slicing. Do not cover with foil as this will cause the skin to get soggy.

Shortcut Spaghetti

Yes, sometimes I just grab a big ole jar or two of spaghetti sauce at the grocery store instead of making a big batch of homemade sauce. There’s nothing wrong with that. But I don’t just heat up the sauce and toss it over cooked pasta. Nope, I gotta make my shortcut spaghetti. It’s a dish I started making in my bachelor years, and have perfected over time.
Shortcut Spaghetti
You can use ground beef instead of Italian sausage, but I wouldn’t. The first years I made shortcut spaghetti I used beef. Sausage is better. Much better. And my homemade Italian sausage is fantastic. I make a batch and freeze it in one pound packages. Perfect for a shortcut dish.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Instead of pasta, serve the meat sauce mixture on a hoagie or sub roll as a sandwich and top with tons of shredded mozzarella. It’s the perfect messy Sloppy Italian Joe sandwich. Or substitute meatballs for the sausage.

Shortcut Spaghetti
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 10 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 (14 ounce) packages Jacksonville Italian sausage links, casings removed or ground sausage OR my homemade Italian sausage
  • 1 pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 (24 ounce) jars your favorite spaghetti sauce (I used Prego Fresh Mushroom)
  • Pasta, cooked per package instructions
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Crumble the sausage into a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. When the sausage is almost browned add the mushrooms and onion and continue sauteeing until the onion starts to soften. Remove from heat and drain.
  3. Add sauce to a large pot over low heat.
  4. Add in the meat mixture.
  5. Cover and let simmer for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Serve over cooked pasta (or mix the pasta in with the sauce first) garnished with parsley and Parmesan.

 

Cheater Chicken Parmesan Sliders

I admit, I don’t always cook up a big ole fru-fru dinner. In fact, sometimes I crave junk food. Or a take on junk food.

I was rummaging through the freezer and found a batch of homemade pizza sauce. I decided to make some cheater chicken Parmesan sliders. They’re just what you might imagine: pre-made chicken nuggets, pizza (or marinara) sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses, all served on slider buns for a quick and easy tasty bites. They’re actually very tasty and kinda fun to eat. They are also perfect game-time snacks.
Cheater Chicken Parmesan SlidersMake sure you use nuggets that are slider-friendly. Chunky nuggets won’t do well here. You want flat ones, which is why I used the nuggets from Tyson’s.

Cheater Chicken Parmesan Sliders
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
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Serves: 6 sliders
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Toast the buns if desired
  2. Warm the nuggets per the package instructions.
  3. Warm the sauce.
  4. To assemble, top each bun bottom with 1/2 slice Mozzarella cheese.
  5. Add 2 nuggets and a tablespoon or so of sauce.
  6. Add Parmesan cheese and top bun. Serve.

 

Easy Turkey Roast on the Char-Broil Big Easy

Turkey roasts from Butterball are a really great way to cook up turkey in no time at all. They’re pretty much no-fuss. Defrost, season, cook, eat. The roasts are already brined, so you don’t have to mess with that either.

In keeping with the easy theme, I decided to cook a roast on my Char-Broil Big Easy. It was my first time (I usually cook full turkeys or bone-in turkey breasts), and I have to say, wow, that was easy! I literally just put a seasoned defrosted roast in the cooker and went away for 45 minutes. I came back to dinner. Well, ok, almost dinner. I made a batch of my delicious (and also easy) Cajun gravy, some stuffing, and green beans. Then I had dinner.

Easy Turkey Roast on the Char-Broil Big EasyYou don’t have to worry about this turkey roast drying out on the Char-Broil Big Easy. Just like with all other things poultry, the Big Easy cooks the roast up evenly and without losing all those great juices.

I seasoned the roast with my Fire-Eater rub, which might not be for everyone, and is definitely not ‘Thanksgivingy’. Substitute your favorite seasoning. Salt and pepper are great by themselves, so no need to use anything fancy. I also made another turkey roast a few days later that I first injected with Texas butter (any injectable butter-based sauce will do). It was really fantastic too!

Looking for the perfect dessert to cook in the Big Easy? Try my mini pumpkin cheesecakes. They also take only minutes to cook (they do need to chill before serving), but boy, are they ever fantastic!

Love your Big Easy as much I love mine? Check out my Big Easy Add-Ons page and my free Big Easy eCookbook!

Easy Turkey Roast on the Char-Broil Big Easy
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 3 pounds
 
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Fire up your Char-Broil Big Easy.
  2. Remove the roast from the bag. Do not remove it from the twine netting.
  3. Sprinkle your rub on all sides of the roast, rubbing it in as you go.
  4. Place roast in the Big Easy basket and lower into the cooker.
  5. After 45 minutes, begin checking the meat temperature every 5 minutes or so. Once it reaches 165 F remove the roast.
  6. Let rest 15 minutes before slicing.

Spicy Sausage Skillet

This spicy sausage skillet dinner disappeared around here really fast. It was really good, and really kicked up.Spicy Sausage Skillet

Anita asked me to make this again before we were even done with the first serving.

Spicy Sausage Skillet
Author: 
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4" slices
  • 2 tablespoon dried, minced onion flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 (10 ounce) can hot Rotel tomatoes (use regular for a little less kick)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 8 ounces pasta (penne or any ridged pasta)
  • 2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
  • 1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1/3 cup green onions, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a 12" cast iron (or oven-proof) skillet. Add sausage and brown.
  2. Stir in the onion flakes, garlic powder, chicken broth, Rotel, cream, pasta, and Creole seasoning.
  3. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook until the pasta is tender.
  4. Stir in half of the cheese.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top and place under the broiler until melted.
  6. Serve garnished with the green onions.