Can I reuse my turkey brine?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by teebob2000, Nov 17, 2012.

  1. teebob2000

    teebob2000 Meat Mopper

    Hi all - I'm using the same turkey brine recipe I did last year, which included keeping my giant stock pot filled with ice to keep it cold.  I monitored the water temp constantly and it never got above 37F.  This year I'm doing two smaller turkeys, smoking one on Weds and doing the other in the oven on Thursday.  In order to not have to make 2 batches of brine, I'd planned to remove the first turkey to smoke, and put the second one in the same brine.

    So two questions.  First, since some recipes on here call for a turkey to be brined for a couple days, I assume if I keep the water cold enough I'd be safe putting the second one in?  And second, will the brine still be briny enough for the second turkey or should I add some more salt/seasonings because they'd be absorbed by the first one?


  2. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Not sure about the concentration of the brine and the effect it will have. But it will get watered down a bit. I worked in a place where we reused the marinade for our pork roast....

    So the length of time I can answer that one. As long as you keep it below 40 degrees you can keep it for up to 7 days. That is the standard the State of Florida Health inspector hold us to....
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Tom, morning..... You should not reuse any brining solution... Bacteria in there.... The salts have been used up..... 

    All you are talking about is some water and salt and maybe a few spices....   Make a new brine to be safe....   Dave
  4. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I am not sure about the science of a brine and the absorption of the salts and sugars. If you keep it below 40 degrees the rate of bacteria growth will be minimal and if your Ph level is either to high or too low the enviroment is not sutible for bacteria growth.

    As Dave said you are only talking some salt, sugar, water and a few spices. Best to be safe and start a new one so you can have a consistent product.

    The marinade I was referring to for what we used was 90% beer. So it was not cost effective to use only once. We did everything by the book and never had an issue. We only kept the marinade for 4 days and used it for 2 turns of the pork. The pork was also cooked in an oven at 325 degrees, not low and slow in a smoker at 225 degrees.

    I apologize if I have caused any confussion.
  5. teebob2000

    teebob2000 Meat Mopper

    Ahhh, I figured that was the case.  Trying to save some time over a very busy couple of days.  Guess making my in-laws sick wouldn't go over too well...  [​IMG]
  6. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, you have arrived at the correct solution!  Never use the same brine again.  However, you can make up a double amount of brine and use half in a separate container one day, then brine the second in the remaining fresh brine.  We did this all the time; made up a 55 gal of brine and poured it a bucket at a time into several 55 gal barrels full of product.  If we had only one or two, we'd roll the remaining brine into the cooler and keep it for several days until we'd process more product into another barrel then pour it in until used up and then make more brine.  Shelf life was 7 days,  but we rarely had to dump fresh brine, we used it too fast.
  7. jarjarchef

    jarjarchef Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    When you make the first brine. Premeasure the dry ingredients and place in a ziplock bag and save it for when you make your brine. Not sure what brine you use I know some call to be cooked. Heat up 1/3 the water and put the ingredients in and process as normal. Then have a bage of ice and add enough ice to bring the liquid level the where you should be at. So the ice will melt and cool your brine and end up where you need to be. Saves some time for you.....

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