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Cranberry Brined Turkey Newsletter

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by bluethunder90, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. I just read the Nov. newsletter with the recipe for Cranberry Brined Turkey, and I'm going to give it a try for thanksgiving, but, I wondered if  I needed to heat the cranberry juice to dissolve the salt, and also,how do I apply the spices under the skin?

    I maybe over thinking this, but I thought I'd ask the folks that know.
  2. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Welcome to the SMF. Glad to have you here. Lots of good folks, great recipes and knowledge. Looking forward to your first qview.
  3. TulsaJeff

    TulsaJeff Smoke Whisperer Staff Member Administrator OTBS Member

    I don't heat the brine unless I need to melt sugars to make them dissolve or if there are ingredients in the brine such as black pepper or rosemary where the oils need to be simmered out.

    In this cranberry brine, I added the salt to the cranberry brine cold and no heat was used.

    To get the rub under the skin, I placed the turkey in a really large food safe bag then poured about 1/4 cup of vegetable or canola oil over the bird as well as about 1/4 cup of rub. This created a thin paste which I rolled the bird around in and then end over end several time.

    This caused the rub to get up under the skin as well as a thin coating all over the outside as well.

    If you don't have a bag large enough then you will just have to find areas in the skin that can be lifted up a little and you can push the rub up under the skin wherever possible.

    You can also use an injector needle or a turkey baster instead of your finger to "shoot" a mixture of vegetable oil and my rub up under the skin.

    Make sure you are careful to not tear the skin of the turkey since that protects the meat while it cooks/smokes.
  4. Mrs. BPSCG and I are having friends over for poker tonight and I decided to try the cranberry brined turkey. It'll go into the smoker around noon today and I'll be able to keep an eye on things while I rake the leaves.

    One thing I saw in the recipe that folks might want to consider. You said a 2-1/2 gallon ziplock bag might not be big enough if the turkey is over ten pounds. Mrs. BPSCG went out and got a box of two turkey baking bags. They're the kind you wrap the turkey up in before you stick it in the oven. They're big enough for a 24-pounder, and are sturdy enough to use in this recipe.

    I didn't have a bowl that would be big enough to hold my ten-pound-plus turkey, so what I did was to put the turkey into one of the bags. I then put the bag into a small plastic cooler, poured the brine into the bag, and sealed it up with a twist tie. I closed up the cooler and left it out on the back porch overnight (temps were in the mid thirties last night, so it was safe). See comment at the bottom before you do this*

    Took the turkey out this morning, drained it and rinsed it, then put it in the second bag along with the 1/4 cup of oil and 1/2 cup of Jeff's Naked Rub. Twist-tied it and rolled the whole thing around in the sink for a few minutes until everything was nicely covered - made sure to get under the wings.

    * Comment: One little mistake I made that shouldn't hurt too much. When I twist-tied the bag with the turkey and brine in it, I left a fair amount of air in it. That allowed the turkey to float in the brine inside the bag. When I emptied the brine bag, the part of the turkey that wasn't submerged was still the turkey's original yellow-white color, while the rest, which had sat in the brine all night, was deep pink. Fortunately, the un-brined part was the back - opposite side of the breast - which has little meat on it. Suggest anyone trying my solution make sure to get all the air out of the bag before sealing it.
  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    First off Welcome Blue Dude to SMF. I don't heat up the ingredient in my brine I just stir it up really good. You'll like it here for there are alot of really good folks here that would just love to help you with just about anything to do with smoking. Now there are alot of proven recipes for some amazing things here too. So if you need sign up for the E-Course it's free and it will give you the basics of smoking and some good methods to use also. So the next big thing for you to do is go out and get you something to smoke and if you happen to have any questions just post it here and we will be happy to answer them for you.

    Welcome To Your New Addiction
  6. Started smoking a little after noon; got done about 5:30.

    This is about an hour into the smoke.


    About four hours in:


    And finally, ready to get covered with aluminum foil and rest for a while:


    Facebook friend of mine commented that it looks dry. That's the rub that makes it look like that; I know it's going to be sweet juicy inside because 1) I know what bringing does, 2) it looks almost exactly like the picture in the recipe, and 3) I trust Jeff - [​IMG]

    I'll try to remember to take a picture after it's been carved up.
  7. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    You wusses.

     put on a pair of gloves and use your hand to seperate the skin from the breast by sliding your hand between the skin and breast .then take a handfullof softened butter mixed w/ whatever seasoning you want and slide it in between the breast and skin and spread it around real good. Do the same in the cavity.

     if you are real handy w/ a knife you can seperate the skin away from the leg / thigh and do the same there.
  8. meateater

    meateater Legendary Pitmaster SMF Premier Member

    Nothing like foreplay. [​IMG]

  9. Okay, my turkey turned out good - nice cranberry flavor in the skin. But the skin was rubbery and tough, though not as bad as some chicken I've done. I had the smoker going at 250 the whole time.

    I know the advice is to put it in the oven for a while to crisp up the skin. Questions:

    1) Bake or broil?

    2) If bake, what temp?

    3) How long?

  10. Thanks for all the great advice folks! My turkey turned out awesome and was the hit of the party. That cranberry brine idea was a stroke of genius. Jeff is the man!! Next time I'll try to get the qview.