Does Turkey Breast Stall When Smoking (Causes and How to Fix It)

Smoking takes the stress out of cooking a turkey breast.

However, many find it hard to estimate the cooking time of the meat as it oftentimes has a ‘stall’ period

Read on to find out whether turkey breast stalls while smoking and how to time the cooking process accurately to achieve a tender and flavor-packed turkey breast.

Does Turkey Breast Stall While Smoking?

Turkey breast does stall while smoking and may even drop a few degrees while cooking. It is easy to panic as this may feel like it will last forever.

However, staying calm, cranking up the smoker temperature, or throwing it in the oven is your best bet at speeding up the process.

Why Does It Stall?

The process of stalling is known as ‘evaporative cooling’. This means that the breast meat sweats during the smoking process and the moisture evaporates and cools the meat.

Eventually, the cooling effect and the heating equalize which causes the temperature of the meat to stall.

What Temperature Does The Turkey Breast Stall At?

Turkey Breast usually stalls at the 160°F mark where the meat temperature usually drags for about 60-90 minutes. This is the point when the tough collagen starts to break down into gelatin.

Should You Wrap It In Foil?

When cooking an entire turkey, it is recommended to cover the bird in heavy-duty aluminum foil if the wings seem to be getting too dark.

After wrapping, finish cooking the turkey in the smoker until its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Allow it to rest for five to ten minutes before carving, once the bird is completely cooked through.

How To Smoke Turkey Breast?

Start by preparing your rub with your desired ingredients and spices.

Next, season the turkey breast with your spice rub while preheating the smoker to 225° to 250°. Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat dry.

Place in the turkey breast in the smoker breast side down and smoke from 225°F to 250°F for 10 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F.

What Is The Best Temperature To Smoke Turkey Breast?

Most pitmasters agree that the best temperature to smoke turkey breast is 225°F.

However, you should also monitor the internal temp of your turkey, especially after the 3.5-hour mark. This is because the bird must pass through a critical range of 40°F to 140°F in 4 hours or less.

Ice Brining Necessary?

If you want to have a flavourful and succulent finished product, it is highly recommended to use brine before smoking your turkey breast.

Besides adding flavor, this step will also help keep the meat moist.

For best results, the brine should be made a day ahead of the recipe. This will ensure that all the flavor additions infuse into the brine well.

Ensure you leave time for the turkey breast to thaw before brining it. Let the turkey brine too at least 8 hours before smoking so the flavors have time to infuse into the meat.

How Long Do You Let It Rest?

You should let the turkey breast rest after smoking, for 15 minutes to half an hour.

Positioning the turkey breast side down while it rests may yield juicier and more tender breast meat.

In Conclusion

Although turkey breast does have a ‘stall’ period during the smoking process, it can be worked around by using the right technique and cranking your smoker temperature up.

By following the guidelines mentioned above, you will be able to work through the ‘stall’ period with no problem the next time you find yourself whipping up turkey breast for your family feast!

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with the boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

Hungry For More?

Leave a Comment