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Deli-Style Smoked Wild Turkey Sandwich

turkey sandwich

John Wallace, Wild Game Cook

Everyone loves deep fried turkey nuggets, me included! However, if you’re looking for something different that is also very easy and super delicious, give this smoked wild turkey recipe a try. It tastes great and would also be a great gateway food for those new to trying wild turkey.  

  • Total prep time: 10 minutes 
  • Brine Time: 24-36 hours     
  • Drying Time: 4-24 hours 
  • Total cook time: 2-2.5 hours 
  • Serves: 3-4 (1 breast) 


  • 1-2 turkey breasts  
  • Hi Mountain’s Game Bird and Poultry Brine or if you wanted to use a homemade brine (1qt of water, ¼ cup of kosher salt, double if using 2 breasts). I highly recommend the Hi Mountain Game Bird Brine!  
  • Seasoning/Rub of choice (I used Pully Wissle Provisions LLC Wild Game Trigger’d Rub. Make sure to use a rub that isn’t high in salt, as the brine already added a lot of sodium to the meat.  
  • Italian loaf bread (This was “Specially Selected” brand from Aldi). Good sourdough would work as well.  
  • Sliced Sharp Cheddar Cheese (your favorite cheese works too)  
  • Lettuce, Tomato, thinly sliced red onion (optional), and a good pickle spear
  • To make the garlic aioli, mix together: 
    • 1/3 cup tbsp mayo 
    • 1 clove minced “Jarlic” (garlic from a jar) 
    • 1 tsp prepared horseradish (to taste) 
  • Big pinch of fresh cracked pepper 
  • Pinch of kosher salt 

Directions for Smoked Wild Turkey Deli Meat

1. Make sure your turkey breast(s) is free from any feathers and or shot pellets. Place the breast in the Hi Mountain Brine (read package for mixing details). If you choose to bypass the Hi Mountain brine, use 1 quart of cold water to ¼ cup of Kosher salt. Set this in the fridge overnight to 36 hours. The brine helps keep it juicy and moist.  

2. Remove from the brine, pat dry and place on a wire rack, uncovered in the fridge for a few hours. Overnight would be fine as well. This allows the brine to continue to work it’s magic, and will help smoke adhere to the meat.  

3. Once the breast is done drying in the fridge, remove it and season with your rub of choice. We are ultimately going to roll this breast and tie it so it cooks more evenly, so season the “inside” lightly. Once you have the breast seasoned on the inside, roll it up starting with “tail” end and use butcher twine or grill pins to keep it tight. Rub a little extra virgin olive oil on the outside as a binder and season the outside. We went with Pullywissle Wild Game Trigger’d not only for taste, but it has a relatively small amount of salt compared to other seasonings we have on hand.  

wild turkey

deli meat


4. Set your pellet smoker to 225deg and place the turkey breast(s) on the center rack. Smoke it until an internal of 158-160deg. I highly recommend using an internal meat probe of some sort to ensure we do not overcook this lean turkey breast.  As it rests, it will continue to rise a little, getting closer to everyone’s “comfort temp” of 165.  I have been smoking store turkeys and pulling at 158deg for a few years now and its super juicy and is cooked through.  

5. Allow your turkey to rest for at least 10 mins. Once its cooled down, you can begin slicing or put it in the fridge to eat cold later. You could also vac seal it once its completely chilled and keep it for later in the year. We chose to slice it super thin with our LEM slicer (thickness setting of just over 1) and place it on toasted Italian loaf.

Finish Up Your Sandwich

6. To toast the Italian loaf (or sourdough), spread a little butter on each side of the bread and place the bread in a cast iron or regular skillet over medium heat until your desired doneness.  

7. Once your bread is toasted, smear the garlic aioli on the bottom piece of bread and then layer your lettuce, red onion, and tomato. Season the tomatoes with a little salt and pepper. Then add as much turkey as you’d like. Top with your cheese. We melted the cheese with a small torch, you could also place it in the oven, on broil (500deg) until the cheese melts, which should only take about a minute. Then spread a little more aioli on the top piece of bread and close off the sandwich. Serve with kettle chips and a crispy dill pickle!  


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