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Chicken Breast ~ Pop's Brine ~ Warm Smoke ~ Sous Vide Finish

thirdeye

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Joined Dec 1, 2019
Boy, the title is a mouthful....., but a good mouthful. At least once a month I cure and smoke boneless/skinless chicken (or turkey) breasts for sandwiches during the week, or to be used in a cobb salad or added to pasta etc. Boneless makes for perfect cross-grain slices, and skinless eliminates rubbery skin. Here are some photos from a couple of days ago. Pop's brine is my go-to and I use a slightly less salt and sugar than the standard recipe and I add pepper to the curing brine, and again after the rinse, which makes them similar to smoked turkey breasts in Texas BBQ joints. My brine time is 24 to 30 hours. My drying time is 2 to 4 hours. I use a Big Chief box smoker, with pellets and keep the smoker temp between 140° and 160° for 2.5 hours turning once. This puts my internal temp in the 100° range. My finish is one of 3 styles: 1) Raised direct on my Big Green Egg until the internal temp is 157° - 158° (and held for 40 seconds, which is no problem), or 2) Same set-up as above (or in the oven), but a wrapped finish with some butter broth, also to 157° - 158° for a finish, or 3) A sous vide finish at 147° for 90 minutes. This time I used the sous vide finish.

Here we are after the Big Chief warm smoke.
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And into the sous vide bath
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I had to have a sample while still hot, quality control and all
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Next, the chicken gets an icy bath
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And here is a shot of the chilled meat the next day
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Last edited:

Brian Trommater

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Joined Aug 1, 2018
You nailed it! Pop's brine makes almost everything taste better. Next turkey breast I am going to brine with pop's than use SmokinAl SmokinAl smoking method!

God bless you Pop
 

thirdeye

Master of the Pit
SMF Premier Member
1,362
1,386
Joined Dec 1, 2019
You nailed it! Pop's brine makes almost everything taste better. Next turkey breast I am going to brine with pop's than use SmokinAl SmokinAl smoking method!

God bless you Pop
You are correct, and I tend to treat poultry differently if it's going to be a main meat for dinner, or in this case chicken I want to slice for sandwiches. When I do the whole breasts I do inject some and use the remainder to cover.
 

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