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A turkey breast on a rotisserie on a grill

Rotisserie Turkey Breast with Honey-Bourbon Glaze

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 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.
  • Prep Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Category: Rotisserie
  • Cuisine: American