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Turkey Breast Brine Time

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I'm going to smoke a couple of turkey breast halves (an entire breast split into two pieces). Each weighs between 3.5 and 4 pounds.  I'm going to use the Slaughterhouse Brine.


How long should I brine each half-breast?


Thanks for your advice, everyone!

post #2 of 10

When I brine chicken I seldom go over 4 hours and those bird on average weigh around 4 pounds. When I brine whole turkeys (12 pounders) I go about 12 hours. In looking at my numbers you can see that for each pound I go with 1 hour brine time.  You may want to go with less time in the brine if this is your first attempt and then adjust your brine time up or down from there the next time you brine poultry.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Dutch: Helpful advice. Thanks!


Next question. Since the brine time is going to be short (~4 hours), can I brine them on one day, then remove them from the brine, and then smoke them the next day? (Or do they have to be smoked shortly after being removed from the brine?)


Thanks for your help!

post #4 of 10

You could pull them from the brine one day and smoke them the next, but you'll find that some of the brine leaked out. (Been there, had that happen). When I find that I'm not going to be able to smoke them the same day I brine them I'll put the bird into a vacuum seal bag and extract enough air from the bag so the bag forms around the bird but try not to draw too much brine out of the bird and then seal it shut. This will help keep the meat from drying out also.

post #5 of 10

If the Turkey Breast has skin on it and you plan to eat it, an over night rest out of the brine is necessary to let the skin dry. I let all my whole Birds and parts brine over night, about 16-20 hours, then a rest overnight to dry, followed by Smoke or other Cooking method. The difference is my brine mix is 1/2C Kosher Salt to 1 gal of water. The more salt you use the shorter the brine time has to be to avoid salty mushy meat...JJ

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

Chef Jimmy: I've smoked turkey 3 or 4 times, and have NEVER been able to get the skin crispy. In fact, for this upcoming smoke, I was thinking about removing the skin and smoking them skinless. 


Do you have any tried-and-true techniques for crispy turkey skin? 



post #7 of 10

Just crank up the heat the last 1/2 hr to 45 mins  300 deg or so..or just flip it on the BBQ for a few min off to the side of the heat..works for me...

post #8 of 10

I hope I am not getting back to you too late...BaBa Bones grill suggestion is a great way. If your smoker will get to 300*F+ you will have no problem getting crisp skin. Another option, what I do since my MES is happiest at 225-250*F, is Smoke to an IT of 155*F then finish to 165*F in a 425*F Oven. No matter what technique you choose, always pull at an IT 10*F lower than the desired finished temp. I would suggest leaving the skin on either way. It will not inhibit smoke penetration but it will protect the meat. Another helpful technique is to mix your Rub with Butter or Bacon Grease and rub both on and under the skin...JJ

post #9 of 10

Hi  All Can I brine a 7.2 5bone in breast for 48 hrs. Brine recipe 1/2 cup kosher salt-1/2 cup of both Montreal Chicken and Steak Seasoning + 1 cup of sugar.

Happy T- Day to all Dan

post #10 of 10

Good advise , and from well seasoned Smokers...


Have a great Thanksgiving , and send Q-view ...


Enjoy your Thanksgiving and . . .

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