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How to mop a bone-in turkey breast on the grill

When you grill a bone-in turkey breast, does it end up dry? If so, we have a solution – mopping your bone-in turkey breast on the grill.

Mopping Your Bone-In Turkey Breast

Mopping your turkey involves using a barbecue mop or brush to sauce your bone-in turkey breast while grilling.

Since mop sauces are not as thick as regular barbecue sauces, the sauce can penetrate deeper into the turkey breast to guarantee flavorful meat on the outside and inside. Even better, turkey mopping prevents bone-in turkey breasts from drying out on the grill. For more information on how to mop a bone-in turkey breast on the grill, keep reading!

Why Mop Your Bone-In Turkey Breast?

Bone-in turkey breasts contain tasty, low-fat turkey meat. While lean turkey meat is healthy, it can be difficult to keep the meat juicy during grilling. However, you can stop your bone-in turkey breast from drying out on the grill by applying a mop sauce.

The mop sauce will seep into the turkey breast to flavor and moisten the meat throughout the grilling process. The mop sauce will also create a seal around the turkey breast that minimizes the loss of the tasty juices already inside the turkey. When your grilled bone-in turkey breast is ready to eat, you can look forward to every bite being moist and delicious.

Preparing Bone-In Turkey Breast for the Grill

Preparing a bone-in turkey breast before grilling it is straightforward once you know how to do it correctly. If you bought a frozen turkey breast, it must be thawed before grilling. Failing to thaw the frozen turkey breast could lengthen your cooking time, negatively affect flavor, and cause it to cook unevenly.

You can thaw your turkey breast by putting it in a pan and placing it in a 40°F fridge. This method should thaw the turkey within 24 to 36 hours.

You can then wet or dry brine your thawed or fresh turkey breast. Dry brining will deliver the tastiest turkey, while wet brining will give you moist grilled meat.

While your turkey brines, you can make a turkey mop sauce and store it in the fridge until you are ready to make your grilled bone-in turkey breast. For more details on prepping your turkey, visit our how-to cook a bone-in turkey breast page.

What You’ll Need

Below are some of the items you will need to make a mopped, grilled bone-in turkey breast:

  • Prepared Honeysuckle White bone-in turkey breast (see above for instructions)
  • Grill (gas, electric, or charcoal)
  • Barbecue mop or brush
  • Mop sauce (recipe below)
  • Disposable foil pan

If you have an old barbecue mop or brush, you should wash it before use, or it could contaminate your turkey. Wash your old mop or brush with dish soap before soaking it in boiling water to kill any leftover bacteria. If you don’t intend on using the mop immediately, air dry it before storage.

Instructions for Mopping Your Bone-In Turkey Breast on the Grill

Now that you have everything you need to make your bone-in turkey breast on the grill, here’s how to bring it all together to make it tasty and succulent.

Step 1

The first step is your turkey mop sauce. You can customize a mop sauce to achieve your preferred flavor, but most mop sauces have a vinegar base. Besides flavoring the turkey, the vinegar helps soften the meat. Create a basic turkey mop sauce by combining:

  • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. black pepper
  • 2 cups olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper

Whisk the ingredients in a bowl until you have a smooth consistency.

Step 2

Dip your clean brush or mop into the sauce and use the loaded mop to coat your turkey breast with sauce. The sauce should be thick enough to stick to the brush or mop, or it won’t stick to your turkey breast. However, the sauce should not be as thick as barbecue sauce.

If your sauce is too thick, you can thin it out with water or another liquid. To avoid diluting the flavor, thin out the sauce with some beer or turkey, chicken, or beef stock. Your mop sauce should cover every portion of your bone-in turkey breast.

Step 3

Place your mopped turkey breast on your heated grill, breast side up. A foil pan should be below the grill grates, under the turkey breast, to collect any drippings. Every hour, use your mop to apply more sauce to your grilling turkey. You can rotate the turkey breast to ensure that you coat every part of it when reapplying the mop sauce.

Mopping the turkey breast every hour will help keep the meat moist as it grills. Keep applying the mop sauce every hour until you run out of sauce or your grilled turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 4

Once your grilled bone-in turkey breast reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, take it off the grill to rest for at least ten minutes. Resting your turkey breast before cutting and eating it will allow the meat’s juices to redistribute and settle. If you cut the turkey without resting it, the juices will leak out, draining the meat of most its flavor and moisture.

That’s everything to know about mopping a bone-in turkey breast on the grill. Are you ready to use the mopping technique to make succulent and mouthwatering grilled turkey breasts? If so, discover where to buy your quality turkey breasts from Honeysuckle White today.

Explore Our Grilled Bone-In Turkey Breast Recipes

Experiment with these amazing grilled bone-in turkey breast recipes:

  • Maple Bourbon Glazed Bone-In Turkey Breast: This recipe delivers sweet, savory, and moist turkey breasts paired with sweet and red potatoes. The meal takes only 20 minutes to prep, and you will have enough food for 8 to 12 servings.
  • Salt & Pepper Smoked Bone-In Turkey Breast with Cranberry Balsamic BBQ Relish: Follow this recipe, and you will get thick slices of smoked turkey paired with a sweet cranberry sauce. The sage leaves under the turkey skin will give the meat a hard to resist aroma, and you will have enough turkey for 6 servings.
  • Nashville Hot Turkey Sandwich with Pickle Slaw: The recipe requires dry brining, mopping, and glazing your turkey to create moist and highly flavorful turkey slices. Slap your turkey slices and some pickle slaw in between two warm buttered buns, and you can expect a five-star sandwich that keeps everyone coming back for more.

Mopped Bone-In Turkey Breast FAQs

Below are answers to some common questions about preparing mopped bone-in turkey breasts.

You can mop your turkey breast with a watery sauce, such as barbecue sauce thinned with water, beer, or vinegar. If you mop your turkey with regular barbecue sauce or another thick sauce, it might burn, or the flavor may be too overpowering. You can also make your own mop sauce by combining vinegar, brown sugar, black pepper, oil, and other seasonings to achieve your preferred flavor.

We do not recommend mopping your bone-in turkey breast on the grill if you want crispy skin. The moisture from the mop sauce will stop the turkey’s exterior from drying and becoming crispy. If you want crispy skin, you should baste your turkey on the grill with oil or butter.

How long it will take to grill a mopped bone-in turkey breast will depend on the size of the turkey and your grill’s temperature. For instance, a five-pound turkey breast may need two hours to cook on a 350°F grill. Your turkey breast is ready to eat when the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

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