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To brine or not to brine?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
So I guess I'll jump in with the other rookie turkey smokers with a question myself. Doing an 8lb boneless breast myself for Thanksgiving. The bird was frozen with the solution crap they use. As such do I still need to brine it before smoking it?

Thanks all.
post #2 of 7

The question should be do you brine so that it is moist or not and take your chances!

post #3 of 7

I would brine it 

The brine will also allow you to add other flavours( if you want) or just keep it basic and it will be juicy.  What are you using for smoke? 



post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. I will be using oak wood for the smoke.
post #5 of 7
I reduced the salt in the brine when there already enhanced. My last birds I used 1/4 cup sea salt/gal water.
post #6 of 7

I've done it both ways.  Honestly, brine is a pita.  Just inject with cajun butter or your favorite homemade garlic butter or whatever, let it rest for a few hours so the mixture soaks into the meat, rub with olive oil, and smoke it.


I don't think a brine does anything that an injector and some good flavorful mixture can't do.  Your turkey shouldn't get dry by just smoking it.  The skin holds in much of the moisture and the injector puts more in.


Serious eats thinks a dry brine is the way to go.. in other words, no moisture other than what is present in the bird already.  In the end, try it with or without brine and see what you think.

post #7 of 7

Brine, Injection, Nothing but smoke, all good choices. Brines and injections put your flavors into what the factory added. Dry Brines are really only for un-enhanced birds. Dry brine on enhanced birds adds more salt and can be too much. I tried the dry brine on an enhanced Chicken with a horrible result. I have brined enhanced birds many years with good success. I will inject this year, if the injector get's here in time. Ordered today...JJ

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