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Brining vs Marinade


Joined Dec 26, 2013
Hi....I am new to smoking and I have been reading and searching the internet for tips and instruction.  I have a question that likely has been asked many times in the past....do you need to submerge a turkey in brine for 18 - 24 hours prior to smoking if you intend to inject it with marinade??  Not sure if you are required to do both.  Thanks very much.



Smoking Fanatic
Joined Oct 31, 2009
Hey Bob..bunch of different theories and practices on this no doubt. I don't personally see much use in doing both. Most of the turkeys we get in this area (Fort Worth) are mostly already pumped..brined..enhanced or whatever a person might like to call it..from the factory. Doing another brine on it seems to mostly push it over the edge into being too salty. Now could see the wisdom if we are starting with an unpumped bird. With pumped models I think a marinade helps. Injecting should also work but would make sure the formula is not overly salty. Best of fortunes. Sure you will get other opinions.


Epic Pitmaster
Joined Oct 7, 2012
I do both. I often do both at the same time. I also rub it and slather it.

Happy smoken.



Fire Starter
Joined Jan 13, 2012
Hey Bob 


A Kawartha man I see, I have done both with great success as well, A simple brine for 8 to 24 hours works good if you are just starting out it would all depend on what flavours you are going for. you will find a tone of great info on this site 

Jeff (Kitt) 


Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Joined Sep 7, 2013
Welcome Bob from Canada!  Congrats on the hockey sweep! 

I've been cooking turkeys for 46 years and I've rarely brined, cooked, seasoned, slathered, BBQ'd, or smoked any two the same.  It's not that they're not tasty, I just like to play with my food. 

I've brined many, many, many times.  I've never injected though but you've inspired me!   I think I'll skip the brining and go with injecting a mixture of melted butter, white wine, and creole seasoning.  Then I'll slather with melted butter and Litethouse Poultry Seasoning both on and under the skin.        

Now that I have a WSM my 19" turkey roasting pan will fit in it.  I think I'll break out the turkey cannon (fancy way to do beer can turkey).  I like the turkey cannon half filled with cheap white wine the best.  I smoke, cook, roast, BBQ at 325F using the internal temp as a guide to when it is finished (165F dark meat, 160F white meat).  I also don't tuck the legs and wings, preferring to have them loose and open to encourage through and through cooking of the dark meat.    

Just might have to run by Costco and pick up a frozen bird soon.


Smoking Fanatic
Joined May 23, 2013
Hey Bob, I have read that you should not brine a Turkey for anymore than 24 hours if submerged in brine and on injecting, I know from Deep Frying a Turkey, well actually about a dozen of them, that it is inject and do your cook, no time needed to sit.


Joined Dec 26, 2013
Thanks very much everyone for the quick responses and expert advice.  I have been putting together a recipe from the various posts from this website.  Incredible knowledge being shared.  I have done chicken and ribs, salmon and now a turkey very soon.  Thanks again.



Meat Mopper
Joined May 24, 2013
good to see another fellow ontario native!!  Welcome and good luck with your bird!

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