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Brining Question

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Hey all. It's been a while. Glad to be back. I'm smoking an 18 lb. turkey and using a 5 gallon bucket for my brine. Most of the recipes I see for brines call for only a gallon or galllon and a half of water. This turkey is so big that I need about two or two and half gallons of water to fully submerge it. Should I add more salt and sugar and double the recipe? Or does it matter? Thanks for the help.
post #2 of 11
Thats a big bird to smoke I sure hope your raising the smoker temp to get it thru the danger zone. That being said personally I would double the recipe if thats what it takes to submerge the bird in the brine
post #3 of 11
Yep, that is a big bird for sure to brine and smoke. I usually try to keep them down to around 10# or so. You will want to keep your brine in an even proportion, so if for example you double your water, then double all the rest of your ingredients. I would think you should probably inject it as well as soak it, and I think I would barbecue it with smoke at higher temps than typical smoking temps. As Piney said, you don't want to linger in the danger zone, and that much mass makes it all the more likely.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help- when you say a higher temp, like 275/300*? or would you go higher?
post #5 of 11
I would try to keep it at least 300. You want to cook til the internal temp reaches 165 to 170. Another thought is to halve or quarter the bird, again less mass will get you up past 140 deg. more quickly.
post #6 of 11
Heres what the authority has to say:

post #7 of 11
Personally I do poultry at about 325* nice skin that way too
post #8 of 11
What he said about the temp, use higher temp in the beginning.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Great. Thanks for all your help. I couldn't find anywhere about how to halve or quarter it. Is it just like it sounds- cut the thing in half; or is there a special technique. Thanks again.
post #10 of 11
Halving is just what it sounds like. Big heavy knife, cutting board, split lengthwise. To quarter, seperate back with legs from breast and wings, then split those pieces. Spatchcocking is another option, sort of boning the breast out, and leaving the other bones.
post #11 of 11
Thread Starter 
That's what I thought, but wasn't sure- I basically cut the spine out and laid it breast up on the grate. I started it at 300 and an hour in, I'm at 114*. I dropped the temp to 250*. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for all the help.
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