Brining question

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Gabe4321

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Jul 7, 2021
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Hello all, Got a question. First time brining. I plan on smoking a boneless turkey breast tomorrow. I want to brine it with water and kosher salt. Question is. Can i brine it for 4 hours today and take it out and let it sit over night and smoke it in morning? Or do you have to smoke it right after or shortly after you pull it out of brine?? Thanks for any info.
 
Can i brine it for 4 hours today and take it out and let it sit over night and smoke it in morning?
Overnight in the fridge uncovered , after the soak dries the skin and a preferred method by most .

First thing tough , I would check the package and see if it is already enhanced with a solution . A lot of those single breast are .
 
A regular immersion brine is working from the outside face and from the cavity face, this is why many brine times are as long as 48 hours for a turkey. If you inject some of your brine, then immerse it in brine you can shorten your brine time considerably.... maybe using 4 hours as your brine time.

I still like an overnight uncovered rest as it benefits the skin and lets my rub stick better.
 
Thanks for the replies. So the rest time is the time the turkey sits out of the brine uncovered in fridge?
 
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IS there any skin on it? If so, it is your call whether you want at least slightly better skin or more brine time. If not, I would probably brine it til the smoker is warming up.
 
. So the rest time is the time the turkey sits out of the brine uncovered in fridge?
Yes . out of the brine , give it a rinse and pat dry . Then hold in the fridge overnight . Your plan as you asked the question is simple and solid for a first time .
 
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Hello all, Got a question. First time brining. I plan on smoking a boneless turkey breast tomorrow. I want to brine it with water and kosher salt. Question is. Can i brine it for 4 hours today and take it out and let it sit over night and smoke it in morning? Or do you have to smoke it right after or shortly after you pull it out of brine?? Thanks for any info.

Hi there and welcome!

I'll answer your questions first but know that your process as explained may have some issues.
Yes, and yes. You could do either approach to brine and rest then smoke or brine and immediately smoke.

Now, their are some key things to understand when you brine.
  • Simplest liquid brine you can make is water + salt (my preferred brine)
  • Salt will penetrate meat about about 1/4 inch every 24hrs from every direction when immersed in a brine, so a turkey breast only immersed will take way more then 4 hours for salt to penetrate all the way through to do the brine's job
  • Equilibrium brine is the key!!!! This type of brine means you can never over salt your brined meat no matter how long you leave it in the brine. This happens because you weigh the food and the water and with that total weight you calculate like 1.75-2% salt. When you use that amount of salt you can never oversalt as it will EQUALLY disbribute between the water and the food at whatever % you chose. Super easy and amazing!
  • Combo equilibrium brine and inject the brine into the meat drastically speeds up salt absorption and the brining process. So instead of things penetrating only form the outside you inject so you get outside to inside AND inside to outside penetration at 1/4 inch every 24hrs. Magical!
One major thing to understand about poultry skin... it will be like rubber if you don't cook at a high enough temp like 325F and higher. You can do some other things like drying, baking soda, etc. but your results may vary. The one true thing that works for me is simply using the right level of heat.

Now back to your questions. You can do what you want 4hr brine and right into the smoker or dry it over night BUT your brine process will not be complete. Also drying may not solve the rubber skin issue when you smoke with skin on.

Take all of this info and absorb it and feel free to adjust your plans so you can better guaranteea great smoked turkey breast the 1st time around :)

I hope this info helps!
 
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Ok. Thanks for all the info. Trying to grasp it all. LOL. So this breast basically doesnt have full skin as shown in picture. I will probably just cut it off before smoking also its not boneless. So I put 1 gallon of water to 1 cup of kosher salt. Got the recipe here. I went with the simpler brine. https://www.smoking-meat.com/november-17-2016-smoked-boneless-turkey-breast-for-thanksgiving.
Ill let it stay in the brine till morning and smoke it then. But I will for sure use the Equallibrium brine method next time. 20210721_160005.jpg
 
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you got a lot of good info above to get you started. I usually brine overnight, rinse and pat dry at crack of dawn then put in refer uncovered to dry till I rub and smoke. these will not be long cooks so that why I do this. I live the slaughterhouse brine. see below - I see you have your brine picked which is fine. options for another cook.

I also use EVOO on the skin and or meat for the rub glue. For poultry with full skin, rub butter is great under the skin too. its just your rub for the cook and butter scooped under the skin and mashed around.

thank you pineywoods pineywoods
Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine By Tip Piper of Hillbilly Vittles
1 ½ Gal Water
½ C Salt - Kosher
½ C Dark Brown Sugar
2 tsp Garlic Powder
2 tsp Onion Powder
2 tsp Cajun Spice (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)
2 tsp Celery Seed
 
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Thanks guys for all the info. I for sure will try a different brine next time. I plan on doing a turkey breast or chicken every week to have meals ready for work. Easy to get together. I work mids and try to make it simple for meals. This site is great. Everyone reaponds so quickly with so much info. I will post pics tomorrow of the cook and finished product.
 
Thanks guys for all the info. I for sure will try a different brine next time. I plan on doing a turkey breast or chicken every week to have meals ready for work. Easy to get together. I work mids and try to make it simple for meals. This site is great. Everyone reaponds so quickly with so much info. I will post pics tomorrow of the cook and finished product.

Now that you mention lunches.... check out "Pops Brine" here on the site. It's a curing brine so chicken or turkey will resemble deli meat, but far superior, and much cheaper! It's outstanding for sandwiches, wraps or cubed in a Chef's Salad. On skinless boneless chicken breasts I do a 30 hour (or so) brine, rest overnight with some seasoning and black pepper, then hot smoke (or cool smoke and sous vide finish). Family packs of breasts are very reasonable and if you opt for the lower end of the recommended amount of salt, these are very heart smart. I will smoke some every two weeks or so, but I really like chicken.

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This cut photo was when the chicken was still warm, but you can see how juicy they are and can imagine how they are chilled on a sandwich.
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Got the turkey breast on around 10:15 with some apple chucks which smell amazing. Getting back up to temp. Will show some pics of the finished product. Thanks again for all the info.
 

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Turned out pretty decent. A little salty could be from brine or the rub. Honestly next time I think salt and pepper would be fine for me.
 

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It looks perfect . Real nice color .

A little salty could be from brine or the rub.
If you went more than 4 hours , I suspected it might be salty without any sugar in the brine . Could be the reason Jeff only soaked for 4 hours .

Also , did you check the package to see if it already had a solution added ?

When I brine poultry , I use Pop's brine . I don't add any salt on the surface , alone or in a rub .

1 cup salt to a gallon is heavy for me . I use 1/2 cup salt , 1/2 cup brown sugar and a 1/2 cup white sugar to the gallon of water . I also use cure 1 at the rate of 1 Tbls per gallon .
 
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Turned out pretty decent. A little salty could be from brine or the rub. Honestly next time I think salt and pepper would be fine for me.

It looks good.

Yeah if you brine you then do not usually use a rub/seasoning containing any salt. It will be too salty every time.

I go salt + water brine and then pull out of the brine and season with Pepper, Onion, Garlic and sometimes Paprika. No Salt, never any rubs or seasonings that have salt either.

It's inexpensive to practice on whole chickens so feel free to give them a shot anytime and you can dial in your brine + seasoning and eat well while practicing :)
 
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