• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

How long is too long to brine a turkey

Fellure5

Newbie
8
1
Joined Nov 14, 2021
I am smoking three turkeys one at a time on a MES. I may have already made a mistake but I am brining two birds for about 10 hours before I start smoking the first bird. The second one will be in the brine for about 16-18 hours before I am able to get it started. Is that too long to leave it in the brine, and if so, what should I do with it until I am ready to cook it?
 

Fellure5

Newbie
8
1
Joined Nov 14, 2021
Also, it is 37 where I'm at and I'm afraid it may take a bit longer to get the turkey to 167 in the smoker. Is there a benchmark for getting the temp in the bird up before I would take it out and finish it in the oven?
 

SecondHandSmoker

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,730
1,532
Joined Jun 30, 2018
How much does the second turkey weigh and what is the salt ratio of your brine?

Alternatively, you could take the second turkey out of the brine and keep it the fridge until you're ready to smoke it.
 

Winterrider

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
4,274
2,476
Joined Sep 29, 2018
Optimum is to brine for however long, and then sit uncovered in fridge overnight if possible.
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,750
2,749
Joined Dec 30, 2016
I am smoking three turkeys one at a time on a MES. I may have already made a mistake but I am brining two birds for about 10 hours before I start smoking the first bird. The second one will be in the brine for about 16-18 hours before I am able to get it started. Is that too long to leave it in the brine, and if so, what should I do with it until I am ready to cook it?
Hi there and welcome!

SecondHandSmoker SecondHandSmoker is asking the right question.
If you do a proper amount of salt for the amount of water and the size of the turkey (water weight + turkey weight) then you won't ever over salt.
I do about a 1.6-1.8% amount of salt. So Water weight+ Turkey weight (convert to oz or grams) then multiply by like 0.017 and you will get the amount of salt needed for 1.7% salt.

You won't ever overalt no mater how long you brine.
Some people say turkey meat texture suffers with longer brines but I never noticed it and I also cure mine with cure#1 as well so that definitely doesn't cause an issue with texture is my thought.

In general I think you will be ok as long as you don't have too much salt. 10 -24hrs will be no issue in general :)
 

noboundaries

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
8,817
3,205
Joined Sep 7, 2013
I've brined birds for up to three days due to unexpected delays, but there was no acid in the brine and only about a half of a cup of salt in the ice water, along with spices.

If you are brining in a fruit juice, like orange juice, which is fantastic BTW, no more than 4 hours or the meat will get tough. Vinegar in the water will have the same impact.

I've seen brines that call for up to 2 cups of salt per gallon. Nope. Not for me. For one, the meat can get too salty. Second, it can get mushy due to excessive protein breakdown if left too long. Some folks like it though.
 

zwiller

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
2,968
1,504
Joined Nov 16, 2016
Guys have you covered on the brine but on when to pull from smoker, many guys are of the opinion that meat no longer takes on smoke beyond 150F IT so that is when many with pull and use the oven. Best of luck!
 
Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.