Looking for some input. I just finished my second run at smoked boneless skinless turkey breast this past Friday night (and into about 4:30am Sat morning), and for the second time, it was too salty, and drier than I would expect for a brined piece of bird.
I followed the brine recipe and instructions for smoked turkey found in Charcuterie, which was:
1.5 cups salt - took out about 3TB-1/4 Cup this time
0.5 cups sugar
1 Bay leaf
I forget exactly how many cloves fresh garlic
2 bunches fresh tarragon (awesome aroma from that)
Brined for 48 hours, thoroughly rinsed, smoked at 200F until an internal of 160. Smoked in my MEC (Centro), used apple chips. I also spritzed the breasts with apple juice every hour or so.
The words used in the book to describe this treatment run along the lines of 'moist, succulent, delicious'. Mine was more like 'not bad, but saltier than homemade bacon, and a little on the dry side', and not so much as a hint of tarragon in the finished product.
I brought one breast to a pot luck on Saturday, but not until after I simmered it in 0.5 gal of water and a cup of sugar for 20min. Took a lot of the harsh saltiness out of it, but still not particularly moist. Served it cubed on toothpicks with a cranberry orange sauce, made by my wife, which was super.
If I want it to be moister and less salty, do I take more salt out of the brine? Do I brine boneless skinless breasts for less time? Should I use my electric smoke house just to impart the smoke flavor and finish in a conventional oven (which would speed things up I'm sure)?
I'm thinking when I do this the next time, I'd use 1 cup of salt rather than 1.5cups, but the chef who wrote the book, well, he's a chef, and I'm barely a cook. I figure the problem really has to be me and not the recipe.
Thanks for taking the time to read and reply if ya do!