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smoked turkey pastrami

Smoked Turkey Pastrami

  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 100 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Chicken & Poultry
  • Method: Smoking
  • Cuisine: Pastrami


This smoked turkey pastrami is packed with unique spices, incredibly moist, and the best part: simple.


  • 2 individual turkey breasts, or 1 whole unseparated breast on the bone (4-7lb)
  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 2 tbsp black peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp white sugar


    1. Prepare the spice mix. Grind up the first 4 spices together, then mix the remaining ingredients.
    2. Butterfly the turkey breasts. Slice these along the length, so it’s about 1/4″ thick. If the tenderloin is attached, leave it on. You want a flat, long piece of turkey for seasoning with the skin-side down. If you purchased a bone-in turkey breast, separate the breasts from the bone first, then butterfly. 

      Turkey breast, butterflied and flat for spices.

    3. Season the turkey on the exposed side first, then roll it up so the skin is on the outside. Tie with 3-4 small strings to keep it rolled tightly. Season the outside as well.
    4. Place the rolls in the fridge on a wire rack, allowing them to rest uncovered for at least 4 hours, up to overnight.
    5. Remove the turkey from the fridge 30 minutes before ready to cook.
    6. Prepare the smoker, heating it up to 300°F. Smoke the turkey rolls until they reach an internal temperature of 140-145°F. Turn up the heat to 350-375°F and continue to cook the turkey. This higher temperature will help crisp up the skin, and you’ll cook until it registers 165°F internally.
    7. Allow the turkey to rest for a few minutes before slicing.



Times will vary depending on the size of the turkey breasts. Estimated 50-70 minutes before the temperature will be ready to increase the heat for the finish. Do not put cold turkey on the smoker, make sure it has a chance to warm up slightly with room temperature air.

Keywords: pastrami, smoking, turkey, healthy

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