Rotisserie, Sunday dinner
comments 15

Rotisserie Turkey Breast with Honey-Bourbon Glaze

Turkey breast on the rotisserie
Rotisserie Turkey Breast with Honey Bourbon Glaze

Rotisserie turkey breast with honey-bourbon glaze. I have my head down working on my next cookbook, Rotisserie Turkey. This recipe is a sneak peek – please stay tuned for more about the new cookbook, coming soon to an e-reader near you.

There’s nothing like perking up a turkey breast with a sweet glaze. (Of course, I had to add a little bourbon to the mix.)

I’m a combination of bourbon snob and cheapskate—if I’m drinking bourbon, I don’t want any “stuff” in it other than a single ice cube, so I buy expensive small-batch bourbon for sipping. I don’t want to waste use the good stuff when I’m cooking. I go to the “travel size” section of my local grocery store and buy 50 ml mini bottles of cheap bourbon.2

Recipe: Rotisserie Turkey Breast with Honey Bourbon Glaze


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Rotisserie Turkey Breast with Honey-Bourbon Glaze

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 68 1x


Rotisserie turkey breast, glazed with a honey-bourbon mix.


  • 6-to–8-pound turkey breast
  • 4 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt or 1 tablespoon Morton’s kosher salt (1/2 ounce)
  • 2 fist-sized chunks of smoking wood or 2 cups wood chips (oak, pecan, or hickory match best with bourbon)

Honey-Bourbon Glaze

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 100 ml or 1/2 cup bourbon (use honey bourbon, if you have it)
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Dry-brine the turkey: Eight hours to 1 day before it is time to cook, pat the turkey breast with paper towels. Cut the extra skin away from the neck. Check inside the neck cavity and discard any big pieces of fat. Gently work the skin loose from the turkey breast, starting from the back of the bird, and rub 1 teaspoon of the salt directly on the breast meat. Pull the skin back into place, then sprinkle the rest of the salt all over the turkey breast, inside and out. Put the turkey breast in a baking dish and let it rest in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight or up to 24 hours.
  2. Spit the turkey breast: One hour before cooking, remove the turkey breast from the refrigerator. Skewer the breast on the rotisserie spit, securing it with the spit forks. Let it rest at room temperature until it is time to cook.
  3. Set up the grill: Set up the grill for indirect medium heat (325° to 350°F), with the drip pan in the middle of the grill and the heat on the sides. (Split the charcoal into two piles on the sides, or turn on the burners on the edges the grill; see the Charcoal Grill Setup and Gas Grill Setup chapters for more details). Add the smoking wood to the fire right before adding the turkey breast.
  4. Make the glaze: While the grill is heating, stir together the honey, bourbon, and cayenne in a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  5. Cook the turkey breast: Put the spit on the grill, start the rotisserie spinning, and make sure the drip pan is centered under the turkey. Close the lid. If you are using a charcoal grill, add 16 unlit briquettes after an hour to keep the heat going. After 1 1/2 hours of cooking, brush the turkey breast with a layer of glaze, then brush every 5 minutes for the next 15 minutes. Cook until the turkey breast reaches 150°F in its thickest part (about 1 3/4 hours), then add 5 minutes more cooking time.
  6. Carve and serve: Remove the turkey from the grill and remove the spit from the turkey. Brush with one last coat of glaze, then let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before carving. Cut the breast halves from the keel bone and ribcage, then carve the breast into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Arrange the turkey slices on a platter and serve.
  • Category: Rotisserie
  • Cuisine: American



What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

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Filed under: Rotisserie, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Bob V says

    My god this was delicious! I wet brined the turkey breast and injected it with creole butter. The honey bourbon glaze set it apart from any turkey I’ve ever had.

  2. Sue White says

    Hi! You’re my go to for all things smoking and grilling. And many of your recipes are tacked to my favorites bar!! Going to do this on this Thanksgiving. Question. In your Wet Brine Rotisserie video you recommend wet brining for all Turkey Breasts on the grill but this recipe calls for dry brining. Why is that? And you also mention a Smoker box. Which I have, but for this recipe should the charcoal go on either side of the water pans so it browns or in the smoker
    Box or both? Thanks!!!

    • Wet vs Dry brine: I have a preference for wet-brined turkey breasts, but I’m not an absolutist about it – I’ll dry brine sometimes, when the mood takes me.

      Smoker box is for smoking wood in a gas grill. If you’re cooking with charcoal, put the smoking wood directly on the coals.

      • Sue White says

        Thanks for your fast response. I said a smoker box but I was talking about an offset smoking box on a Char-Griller charcoal grill. I smoke a lot of brisket and pork shoulder/butt and use the offset smoker but seems like the turkey breast should be direct heat but not sure? Also was curious about why this specific recipe called for the dry brine instead of wet. Thanks!!

        • It’s up to you about a smoker vs a grill – but I’d find a recipe oriented towards smoking if you’re using an offset smoker.

          This specific recipe uses a dry brine because I felt like using a dry brine the day I started it – you can use a wet brine if you prefer, and it will still work great.

  3. Have you cooked two turkey breasts at once on Summit rotisserie? Would like to do Christmas Day. If so does it matter how they are placed on the spit? Front to back, front to front, back to back? Thank you!

    • I have not, but it should work fine. I would put them on front to front, so the thicker part of the breast is in the middle of the IR burner.

  4. Marcella says

    I also wanted to use the ronco rotisserie for the honey bourbon glazed turkey breast, minus the smoking with the wood chips, what do you think? I’ve used it before for turkey breast come out nicely browned…please advise as I value your opinion..

    • I’ve never used a tabletop rotisserie myself, but I have readers who say they work great with my recipes. Go for it!

  5. Hey Mike, do you think your recipes could work with a rotisserie oven like the Ronco Showtime platinum edition. I found one of them in my mom’s garage going unused and wanted to put it to use this Thanksgiving. I’d like to do it on the grill, but right now I don’t have the money to put towards as good of a grill as I would like to get. Eventually I’ll get one, but it might be sometime next year… hopefully in time for summer.

    • I’ve never used a rotisserie oven myself, but I’ve heard good reports from people who have them. In particular, I have a friend who gave her dad a copy of my cookbook, and he swears by it with his rotisserie oven.

  6. Terry says

    That looks great. Would it be the same if I did it on a WSM / with no rotisserie?

    • Not exactly- it will take longer, and the lower heat is the smoker won’t crisp up the skin – but it will still be good.

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