To Brine or Not To Brine

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by acemakr, Feb 9, 2010.

  1. acemakr

    acemakr Smoking Fanatic

    I’m not a huge fan of the gobbler but several years ago at a Super Bowl party, the host rolled out a real smorgasbord of smoked goodies, one of which was a turkey.

    Since then, I’ve had only the non-smoked version some of which were brined and some weren’t. The white meat on those that weren’t brined was a bit on the dry side while those that were brined turned out quite a bit juicer. Unfortunately, the trade-off for juiciness was saltiness!

    So, when the weather breaks (only a few weeks here in North Texas) I’m going to look for a 10 to 12 pound gobbler candidate for my smoking sauna. My question for the forum’s masses is to brine or not?

    Bossdogg posted this link a bit earlier and the brine is appealing because it uses less that half the salt of other methods but if that’s a step I can forgo and not give up on flavor/juiciness I’d rather spend the time doing something else, maybe like rolling a fattie?

    So, some advice would help – brine or no brine?
  2. chisoxjim

    chisoxjim Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Gary Wiviotts buttermilk brine is what I use for chicken. Ive posted the recipe somewhere on here.
  3. mr mac

    mr mac Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Grab yourself a 'minimally processed' bird and that saltinees won't be an issue. If it's your standard Butterball, then cut back on the salt in your brine. Either way, a brined bird (IMHO) is better.

  4. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I brine all poultry. Here's a brine I came up with a there be some folks on here what really like it. It is lower in salt but is bout perfect. Ya can change it ifin ya like.

    Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine By Tip Piper of Hillbilly Vittles
    1 ½ Gal Water
    ½ C Salt - Kosher
    ½ C Dark Brown Sugar
    2 tsp Garlic Powder
    2 tsp Onion Powder
    2 tsp Cajun Spice (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)
    2 tsp Celery Seed

    Slaughterhouse Poultry Injection
    ½ Pkg Good Seasons Italian Dressing
    2 tsp Garlic Powder
    2 tsp Celery Seed
    2 TBS melted Butter (non salted)
    2 C Apple Cider

    Slaughterhouse Spritz (Good fer everthin!)
    8 oz Apple Cider
    6 oz Water
    4 oz Whiskey
    2 oz Cider Vinegar
  5. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    First of all, I salute you for your Bronze Star. Thank you for your service, fellow Soldier.

    Brining is what it is- I don't believe in it, but I will share with you my unbiased brining versus no-brining experiment I ran last summer.

    You decide.

    Good smokes to you, Bud!
  6. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I like Travcoman's brine and I like to brine all the poultry I do. In my opinion it adds another layer of flavor depending on what you add to the brine
  7. john3198

    john3198 Smoking Fanatic

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