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HELP with Brine and Basic Ingredients

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hey all, I'm new here but I have a serious question...
I will be using a Masterbuilt Didgital Smokehouse to smoke a turkey this Thanksgiving, for the first time. I have been online searching for recipes, tips, and hints, and that is how I wound up here.
In Jeff's recipes (smoked turkey and brine) I noticed that the use of sugar, fruit, and/or other “sweet’ ingredients is common. Does this give the turkey any sort of sweet flavor, or is it primarily the acids in these ingredients that work well in smoking? I HATE mixing sweet flavors with non-sweet items. (i.e.-I can’t stand a honey baked ham). I want to make sure I don’t have some sort or apple flavored sweet turkey this Thanksgiving…. Please Help! PDT_Armataz_01_27.gif
post #2 of 13
Hey Amber Welcome to SMF! First bit of advice, don't make your big day your first smoke!

Stop into the Roll Call forum and intro yourself, it's sorta a tradition here...rite of passage if ya will.

And I hate Honey baked too! And goopy sauced ribs, sticky sweet ugh! :{)

I'll dig up my brine recipe a little later, but many here can help too!
post #3 of 13
I for one do not like sweet either. However I still tried some recipies here and didn't have the sweet taste I thought I would. You reduce the amounts if you fell it need be.

You'll be suprised. I hate honey baked ham too. I do use brown suger in my brine and I don't taste it in the finished product .
post #4 of 13
just go with a simple brine..salt and water..you add from there what you want your turkey to taste like..remember cooking basic rule dont complicate things do what you like
post #5 of 13
Welcome to SMF ... slide over to 'Roll Call' as soon as you can to introduce yourself so the folks here can welcome you proper.

Check out Deb's site on brining http://www.deejayssmokepit.net/Brining.htm

Brines for the most part is a salt to water ratio, additives such as sugar or spices are not needed but can be desireable.
There are many here that will be along shortly with information and advice, in the meantime try the search feature here and see what you come up with.
again welcome! icon_smile.gif
post #6 of 13
I agree with all that Squeeze said. Just use salt. Also what Rich said about not Debuting on thanksgiving.
post #7 of 13

My basic, all-purpose brine for birds or swine is the following:

0.5 liter boiling water
6 T. table salt
3/4 c. sugar
0.5 liter cold water

Fully dissolve salt and sugar into the just-boiled water. Top with cold water.

As a basic brine, I use this all the time with good results. I definitely wouldn't consider it Honey-baked (although I actually like Honey-baked hams quite a lot...so sue me). :-O

Obviously, you'd need to multiply this recipe to get a sufficient quantity for a turkey.

Good luck. Once you've brined, you'll never go back.

post #8 of 13
Here is my favorite brine. No it is not sweet but with all the salt the food does NOT come out too salty. I will always use this brine!

My brine:
2g Water
1 1/2lb Salt
1c Sugar
2t Bayleaf
2t Dry Thyme
2t Peppercorns
2t Juniper Berried
2t Basil (Dry)
2t Ginger (Dry)
2t Marjoram (Dry)
2t Sage
Boil ingredients for 3 min and cool. Brine turkey for 24 hours.
post #9 of 13
do you have to boil your brine before you put your turkey in the brine?
post #10 of 13
HAVE to? No. But I do it to dissolve all the salt/cure/sugar whatever, and mix in the other flavors completely.
post #11 of 13
ok i will try it thanks
post #12 of 13
No you don't but if you do, remember to let the brine cool down to room temperature before adding the bird.

To add to the original question; the brine serves to purposes:

1) to add misture to the meat which it does quite well.

2) to add flavor to the meat which is does to a lesser extent.

I add brown sugar and maple syrup to my brine but I feel the salt and orange juice I use counterbalance the sweet tastes.

As was already mentioned, experiment prior to turkey day, perhaps with chicken or turkey breast if you donlt feel like doing a full bird.
post #13 of 13
I like a few basic spices in my brines - garlic, onion and cajun spice and injecting gets that in the bird as well!
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