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Brine or Inject?

Boardtowndawg

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I was volun-told that I would be smoking the turkey for thanksgiving this year. I’ve never smoked a turkey before and I was trying to decide if I should brine or inject. What are some pros and cons to both? Which do y’all prefer?
 

tx smoker

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I’ve never smoked a turkey before and I was trying to decide if I should brine or inject.
Both. Best turkey I've ever had was brined for 3 days, injected with Cajun Injector Turkey Gold, butter pats under the skin, seasoned, and cooked on the rotisserie of the Santa Maria grill. Nothing short of amazing!!

Robert
 

chef jimmyj

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Done both. Brining requires refer or cooler space overnight or longer. Brining allows mostly Salt to penetrate unless you have a couple of days to let it soak. Injection can be done an hour out and gets more flavor deep in the meat. I inject big birds and reserve Brining for parts...JJ
 

Boardtowndawg

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Done both. Brining requires refer or cooler space overnight or longer. Brining allows mostly Salt to penetrate unless you have a couple of days to let it soak. Injection can be done an hour out and gets more flavor deep in the meat. I inject big birds and reserve Brining for parts...JJ

thanks I’ve never thought about it like that before. I bought a 21 pound bird so that might be the route I take.
 

Boardtowndawg

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Both. Best turkey I've ever had was brined for 3 days, injected with Cajun Injector Turkey Gold, butter pats under the skin, seasoned, and cooked on the rotisserie of the Santa Maria grill. Nothing short of amazing!!

Robert
That sounds heavenly!!
 

agaffer

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Definitely both. The brining is for retaining moisture during the cook, injection is for flavor, and in tougher meats it can be used as a tenderizer. For turkey you are just concerned with adding flavor.
When I smoke turkey I keep it covered with cheesecloth up until about the last hour. Stops the skin from getting too dark. Also, basting every 30 minutes helps.
 

Boardtowndawg

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Are there any recipes for brines and injections that y’all have liked so I don’t have different flavors clashing?
 

agaffer

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Like Harry Soo has often said, any aspect of BBQ can raise a 3 hour argument of what is best. So, be prepared for a lot of opposing views. I have not found that adding seasonings to a brine is worth the money and effort. Just a plain salt and sugar brine does the trick for poultry.
From there you can inject whatever flavor you want. Butter Cajon is certainly a big favorite.
If you want to do something delicious, special, and extremely different give Alien BBQs Hurricane Turkey recipe a try. I have used it over and over and it is always a big hit. Finish it in the oven and the whole house will smell like Christmas. Google Hurricane Turkey and take a look at the recipe.
 

tx smoker

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Are there any recipes for brines and injections that y’all have liked so I don’t have different flavors clashing?
1 gallon water
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
Rind of 1 navel orange
3 sprigs rosemary
1 cup kosher salt
3 yellow onions, quartered
1 garlic head
2 lemons, quartered
1 turkey, appx. 12 lbs
10 sprigs thyme
10 sprigs sage
3 cups chopped potatoes
¼ cup olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
Garlic powder

Instructions

BRINE: Pour the water into a large bowl. Add the brown sugar, orange rind, rosemary, salt, two- thirds of the quartered lemons and onions and 1 halved garlic head. Mix until the sugar and salt dissolve.

Remove the giblets from inside the turkey and reserve for another use. Rinse the turkey well. Place the turkey in a 2 1⁄2 gallon resealable plastic bag or any container that is large enough to hold the turkey and the liquid. Pour the brine over the turkey, making sure it’s completely covered. Refrigerate for 12 hours, turning occasionally.

Hope this helps. Adjust according to taste and size uf turkey

Robert
 

zwiller

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Mr. Buzzkillington here... TG is not time to try anything new. Typical scenario is that the bird takes WAAAAAY longer than you anticipate and no turkey. That said, you will probably will do it anyway :emoji_laughing: so here's what I recommend: halve the bird and roast one half in oven and smoke the other. This helps you in a few ways.

I am with chef jimmyj chef jimmyj and inject large items and brine small so I;d be injecting here. Heads up, you want a day or 2 rest for the injecting to equalize. For turkey, I suggest Pops Brine low salt version.
 

chef jimmyj

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Mr Buzzkillington...LOL!
Above I commented on Injecting an hour out. That would be for simple flavors. Some Herbs simmered in Broth and cooled before injection. However, as Mr Buzzkillington😂 zwiller zwiller suggests, if using a Curing Brine, like Pops, you need more time to equalize and do its job...JJ
 

Boardtowndawg

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Mr. Buzzkillington here... TG is not time to try anything new. Typical scenario is that the bird takes WAAAAAY longer than you anticipate and no turkey. That said, you will probably will do it anyway :emoji_laughing: so here's what I recommend: halve the bird and roast one half in oven and smoke the other. This helps you in a few ways.

I am with chef jimmyj chef jimmyj and inject large items and brine small so I;d be injecting here. Heads up, you want a day or 2 rest for the injecting to equalize. For turkey, I suggest Pops Brine low salt version.

I totally agree with not trying new things if I’m cooking for a crowd. I really don’t like to do anything for a crowd ive never done before for the exact reason of something is usually going to happen and take longer than I thought. My wife’s family is meeting this upcoming Saturday and I found out yesterday they wanted me to do it lol. Guess we can have Cracker Barrel on standby haha.
 

agaffer

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No need to experiment. Just follow the directions and if it does not come out just as expected, then you decided to experiment with what is already perfection. Just click on where it says Smoke Ring. Years ago it was a pretty good forum. Now this one has sorta taken over when it died.
 

mike243

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If the turkey comes pre injected a brine wont do much more than make the skin salty imo, a bird that wasn't injected will work a lot better , you can inject flavors into a bird that was injected at the processing plant. just watch the salt
 

agaffer

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If the turkey comes pre injected a brine wont do much more than make the skin salty imo, a bird that wasn't injected will work a lot better , you can inject flavors into a bird that was injected at the processing plant. just watch the salt
You are so right. Avoid poultry that was brined or injected at the factory. And definitely ignore those pop up things. Make sure you are sober when preparing your turkey, otherwise you may forget to take out the bag of gizzards and the neck. Just saying what happened to a friend.
 

TuckersBarbeque

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If you've never smoked a turkey before I'd be careful with trying to do too much. Sometimes simple is best.
I'd recommend just dry brining for 24 hours and using herbs for your flavors for your first time.
If that doesn't seem like much of a challenge to ya, then equilibrium brining a store turkey is really the best way to brine.
Just be careful, I hear people say they can brine for days but I feel you risk changing the consistency of the meat too much. Salt does begin to break down the proteins, making it McD's nugget mush. I wouldn't wet brine for more than 24 hours.
My personal opinion of course...
 

TuckersBarbeque

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You are so right. Avoid poultry that was brined or injected at the factory. And definitely ignore those pop up things. Make sure you are sober when preparing your turkey, otherwise you may forget to take out the bag of gizzards and the neck. Just saying what happened to a friend.
Hahahaha!!! "a friend"
 

Boardtowndawg

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Joined Dec 6, 2018
Done both. Brining requires refer or cooler space overnight or longer. Brining allows mostly Salt to penetrate unless you have a couple of days to let it soak. Injection can be done an hour out and gets more flavor deep in the meat. I inject big birds and reserve Brining for parts...JJ
I meant to ask this earlier but how long of a cook should I be expecting? I know I’m cooking to temp but just getting an idea of when I need to get started. I plan on cooking around 275-300°. We eat at 1 and I have a 21 pound bird. I figured 4-5 hours but I wasn’t sure. Also I have actually remembered to take pics of everything so far so when this is all over I can report back and document how it turned out.
 

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