Tag Archives: smoking

Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast

Brined and Smoked Turkey Breast from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Apple Ginger Marinade for Smoked Beer Can Chicken

Apple Ginger Marinade for Smoked Beer Can Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

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Finalizing the Thanksgiving 2011 menu: Smoked Agave-Dijon Brined Turkey Breast

turkey postcard

I love planning for Thanksgiving. Every year I buy all the cooking magazines I can find to come up with new recipes for turkey, stuffing, side dishes and dessert. Sometimes I bring new cookbooks into the mix, too. This year I’m doing things a bit differently as I’ve chosen to find recipes that will use up food I may already have in my pantry, freezer and refrigerator,

Why turkey breast and not a whole turkey?

This year’s turkey recipe was chosen to use up some of the Dijon mustard that’s crowing my refrigerator door. It’s based on a Betty Crocker recipe that I found in Recipe.com magazine. With a few tweaks, I’ve changed the turkey recipe to work with my food sensitivities – agave nectar instead of honey, for example. I’ll also be smoking instead of grilling my turkey for optimum yummy goodness.

I decided to make a turkey breast this year instead of a whole turkey on the off chance that it would just be me and the kids at the Thanksgiving table. It wasn’t until a week ago that I learned my husband is flying in from his new job in Massachusetts! Also, my mother in law is coming up from Colorado Springs instead of going to see her other son in California. It’s a small group, but perfect for the amount of cooking I want to do.

What else is on the Thanksgiving menu?

Along with the turkey breast I’ll be slow cooking a spiral cut ham. I’ll be making a gluten free version of my Crockery Ham with Beer Glaze recipe using hard cider instead of beer.

I’m also serving:

What are you cooking up for Thanksgiving?


  • 11 cups cold water
  • 1 cup agave nectar
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 bone-in whole turkey breast (5 to 6 pounds), thawed if frozen
  • 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground mustard
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic power
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


  1. In 6-quart container or stockpot, stir water, agave nectar, Dijon mustard and salt until honey and salt are dissolved. Add turkey breast to brine mixture. Cover.
  2. Refrigerate at least 12 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
  3. Heat smoker to 225 -240 degrees F and be sure to have enough smoking wood to keep the smoke going for about 4 hours or so. (Smoking-Meat.com recommends 3 hours of cherry and 1 hour of pecan wood for optimum flavor.)
  4. Remove turkey from brine mixture. Rinse thoroughly under cool running water and pat dry. Discard brine.
  5. In small bowl, mix olive oil, dried marjoram, ground mustard, and pepper. Brush over turkey.
  6. Place the turkey directly on the grate breast side up. At around the 3 hour mark, insert a digital probe meat thermometer into the breast of the turkey to begin monitoring the internal temperature. Make sure the thermometer doesn’t touch bone or it will get a false reading.
  7. Once the breast reaches about 161-163 degrees, remove it from the smoker and immediately wrap it in a thick layer of heavy duty foil. Place the turkey in a couple of thick towels and lay it on the counter for about 30-45 minutes so the juices that were forced to the surface during the cooking process, redistribute throughout the meat. If you’re worried about the turkey getting cold, place it on a heating pad – seriously.
  8. Slice, serve and enjoy!
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 16 Hours
Total Time: 16 Hours 15 Minutes
Servings: 8 servings
  • Calories: 400
  • Calories from Fat: 160
  • Total Fat: 18g
  • Saturated fat: 4.5g
  • Unsaturated fat: 0g
  • Sodium: 460mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 5g
  • Sugar: 4g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Protein: 54g
  • Cholesterol: 145mg

Fall grilling: Smoked Marinated Chicken

Fall grilling: Smoked Marinated Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com I just got an email reminder for my kids to place their online football picks for week 8. Week 8? Boy has football season gone quickly! Even so, it’s never too late (or too cold) to do some weekend grilling and barbecuing for the big game or a tailgate party.

Recently, I took advantage of our unseasonably-warm-for-Colorado weekend weather to cook up some chicken in our Masterbuilt electric smoker. It’s so easy to smoke a chicken that I don’t know why I don’t do it more often. (It probably has something to do with all that fish and venison in our freezer! Chicken’s a rare treat at my house.)

World Harbors marinades make smoking chicken easy

Using a premade marinade like those from World Harbors® makes the process even easier. This time around I used World Harbors Maui Mountain Teriyaki and World Harbors Maui Mountain Sweet 'N Sour to marinate a couple of chickens. (You can use any variety you like!) Combined with the smoke from the sugar maple wood I used, both birds turned out moist and delicious. If you have a smoker or know how to smoke chicken using a grill, the process is easy.

This Mama’s tips

  • Since most smokers are large enough do two or more birds at once, take advantage of the situation and smoke extra chicken(s). Eat one immediately while you’re watching football. The extra chicken is great the next day in salads, sandwiches, stir fry or soups or reheated in the oven or microwave.
  • I like smoking fish (lake trout is wonderful) while I’m smoking the chicken. I place the fish under the chicken so the chicken fat drips on to the fish. Decadent!
  • If you want your chicken to cook even faster, try spatchcocking it!
Fall grilling: Smoked Marinated Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Smoked Marinated Chicken


  • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pound fryer)
  • 1 bottle of World Harbors marinade of your choice
  • 1 sealable plastic baggie


  1. Remove giblets, liver and neck from chicken. (Set aside to make stock.)
  2. Place whole chicken in plastic bag.
  3. Pour in entire bottle of World Harbors marinade.
  4. Add some water if necessary so marinade completely covers the chicken.
  5. Seal bag and set in refrigerator overnight or for 24 hours. Turn bag once to evenly marinate chicken about half way through the process.
  6. Heat your smoker to 235 degrees F and add your favorite bird-friendly wood (apple, sugar maple, etc.)
  7. Remove the chicken from the marinade. Place the chicken in the smoker, breast side down to start. After 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turn it over to finish.
  8. Cook the chicken until it reaches 160 degrees F. Make sure to check the temperature of chicken at the meatiest part of the breast between the bones.
  9. Remove the chicken from the smoker and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before serving.
Prep Time: 24 Hours
Cook Time: 2 Minutes
Total Time: 26 Hours
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1/2 pounds of meat per person

Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of World Harbors, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.