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Turkey brine question/opnion

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hi all
You all are much more experenced then i am on brining. This will be my second time brining a bird, so I'd like your opnion on this brine. Likes dislikes changes needed excetera excetera. This was given to me by a guy i work with and he swares its great cooked in the oven, and not overly sweet. Weather permitting im gona use the grill.

Apple Honey brine

1 1/2 gal filtered water
4 cups ice
4 - 12 oz cans frozen apple juice thawed
1 1/4 cup Morton kosher salt
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 oranges zested, juiced, and pulp added
4 oz of fresh ginger chopped
15 whole cloves
6 bay leaves crushed
6 large garlic cloves chopped
2 TBL spoons pickeling spice
1 bottle liquid smoke (optional)

At least 1 day before brining
1. In a large stock pot, bring 6 cups water to a boil, add salt, and sugar. Stirring
frequently to be sure salt is dissolved.
2. Reduce heat and add zest, ginger, cloves, bay leaves, garlic, and pickeling spice,
simmer for 15-20 min partly covered.
3. Remove from heat and add 4 cups ice,
4. After liquid has cooled below 150 deg add honey.
5. Cover and refrigerate
Day of brining
1. Wash turkey inside and out, making sure you have removed the innards, and tail.
2. Loosen skin on turkey
3. In clean 5 gal bucket add remaining water, apple juice, seasoned water, and liquid smoke, stir
to combine.
4. Place bucket in large ice water filled cooler
5. Place turkey in brine must be completely submerged. Add water if necessary
6. Soak turkey for 24 - 48 hours
After brining
1. Remove turkey from brine
2. Rinse turkey in cold water twice, making sure you get under loosened skin
3. Cook as desired
post #2 of 7
My initial reaction is that there is a lot going on. Im not saying it wont taste good, but i tend to think less is more. Id take a few things out and make it look like:

1 1/2 gal filtered water
4 cups ice
2 - 12 oz cans frozen apple juice thawed (Frozen cans are usually concentrate)
1 1/4 cup Morton kosher salt
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 oranges zested, juiced, and pulp added
6 bay leaves crushed
4 large garlic cloves chopped

I may actually try some cloves in with this, but if i did, no more then 5 or 6. Cloves can be very strong.

Just my opinion though, let us know how it turns out!
post #3 of 7
I keep mine simple.

1 gallon water 1 cup of sea salt and some brown sugar. 12 hours is good.
post #4 of 7
Sounds like a good recipe.
I have done probably a few hundred different brines and changes I would personally make would be to only brine for 24-30 hours.
With all that sugar and honey I would decrease the white sugar to 1/4 cup, decrease the amount of bay leaves (6 is an awful lot) I would go with 4 at the most but 3-4 depending on the size should be perfect.
Pickling spice also has bay leaf in it. I would drop that to 1-1 1/2Tbsp but trying it with 2 couldn't hurt, just an awful lot of mustard seed in 2 TBSP.

Only other thing I can add is that if you aren't rubbing the turkey under the skin there is no need to loosen the skin, the brine will penetrate through the skin as well as from the inside out, as it brines turn it once or twice (breast up, breast down) and when rinsing all you need to do is one good rinse under cold running water. Pat dry and allow to sit for about an hour in the fridge (close to the fan if possible) to allow the moisture to absorb back into themeat and dry the skin on the outsde.

Hope that wasn't too much, just my personal choices that I have found work great.
Good luck and be sure to post the results.

And of course skip that "liquid smoke" stuff and do it some justice PDT_Armataz_01_34.gif

*Almost forgot, give the skin a coating of veggie oil or peanut oil before cooking, it will help to crisp the skin and give it a great color.
Olive oil can be used but has a much lower smoking temp.
post #5 of 7
I'd kill the liquid smoke if you are going to grill or smoke the turkey outside. Also the brine time seems too much. A 14 lb bird should be brined for about 8-16 hours maximum. Anything longer then that and the cells in the meat are going to tear down plus the meat will be too salty for most peoples taste buds. There is no way to salvage an over brined piece of meat.
post #6 of 7
I'm with you. A lil salt, sugar n water is about all I do. Sometimes I substitute rub for salt, but that's not all too frequently.

I'm sure the original recipe would be fine, I just never saw the need to bother.
post #7 of 7
Your brine sounds good but alittle heavy on somethings like the time for brining I would cut it back to about 12-16 hours. The sugar is alittle heavy too but I like the most of it. I really havent brined alot of turkeys not like the guys here but I have brined a few and they all have come out just fine so I'm gonna try Tips (travcoman) brine this year and see howit works.
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