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injecting or brining a frozen Turkey? too much sodium????

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by smokinq13, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. So in mid-November we are having a Friends'-Giving and I am in charge of the meat which will be a turkey. So I'm going to use my Big easy oil-less fryer to do the turkey, and I was thinking of instead of injecting brining the turkey in a recipe I found online.. which looks close to what I have seen on DeerMeatForDinner and I wanted to that out. Here's the: website https://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/my-favorite-turkey-brine/

    So in the recipe/post it says to only use fresh turkeys and not frozen becuase most frozen turkeys are pre-brined/ in some sort of solution that has sodium in it. And brining it would be point-less and could actually could make the turkey too salty. My question is... is this true???? I mean my family has fried turkeys for probably over a decade now and we only have gotten frozen turkeys to use and thawed it out in icy salt water and then injected it with creole butter and every turkey has turned out perfect and delicious! We would even rub it down with Cajun rub which the number 1 ingredient in it is salt!

    Has anyone heard of this or have experience "sodium-overload" with frozen turkeys as a result of brining it???? All information would be greatly appreciated.
  2. *AND* now I'm researching about storing brine and I found a couple sources saying that brine once boiled can almost be stored indefinitely, boiling=killing all living things in the solution, salt in solution= not allowing any more growth to occur. How many of you have stored Brine before or saved for later usage??
  3. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Once you have dipped a syringe needle in a batch of brine, discard it... Don't reuse brines....
    You can take a portion of a brine and place it in a separate cup to suck out of, then the original brine is fine to save..

    I have injected pumped birds and hams.... I use little to no salt or sodium in my injection solution... I usually inject NO salt vegetable broth and STPP... a moisture holding additive, to keep stuff moist during cooking...

    https://www.chefsteps.com/ingredients/sodium-tripolyphosphate ...

  4. tallbm

    tallbm Master of the Pit OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I would lean on the experience you have from frying tons of frozen turkeys.
    I say this because I come from a large extended family where NONE of them can make a Thanksgiving turkey to save their life hahaha! They don't brine, they don't inject, and the end result is dry tasteless oven roasted turkeys!!!

    I have fried my share of frozen turkeys and I inject them with Tony Cacheries Creole Butter injectable marinade.
    That stuff can come out salty but that has only happened one time where I used the whole bottle on a barely 8 pound turkey in my early frying days. Using a whole bottle on a 12-14 pound frozen turkey or more and it should NOT be too salty. I even add creole seasoning on the outside of the bird, some undere the skin, and some in the body cavity to ensure there is flavor not just on the inside. They come out amazing!
    I've even done the same with fresh turkeys as well due to having no time to defrost frozen turkeys and you couldn't tell the difference, the results were still amazing!

    So again, I feel you should lean on your experience first and then incorporate any of the wisdom imparted by the masters here :)

    BTW, I wouldn't claim to be a master, just someone who can cough up a logical 2cents every now and again :D
  5. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    First, I buy the VERY CHEAPEST turkeys I can find. Sometimes they have 'solution-added', sometimes not. I cure the turkeys for about 2-3 weeks. Then I smoke them. Never found one I didn't love! Brining should be in the same vein - only difference is I add Sodium Nitrite to cure vs. brining ingredients to add flavor, plus brining is less time. Go for it!
  6. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Epic Pitmaster Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The instruction are accurate. The average grocery store frozen turkey is Enhanced with up to 13% salted broth. All Natural, nothing added, turkeys are usually available as well.
    If you inject, you are putting the salty brine on top of the salt in the enhanced bird. If you brine the end result will be somewhere inbetween. Therefore you should reduce the salt content of your brine. In this case, the enhanced brine in the bird, will have already have done the job of tenderizing and helping the meat retain moisture. Make a 1/4 recipe of the brine, about 1/2 gallon. And inject all it will take. Add salt to taste or slightly higher. In 1/2 gallon, 1-4 Tablespoons of kosher salt should do it. You can bag and soak in any remaining brine for a couple days if you wish. If you want to soak in brine only, make a full batch salted to taste. Either way, don't forget to air dry, in the refer, 24 hours out for crispier skin...JJ
  7. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    Just my Opinion, but If I get one already enhanced, I don't inject it or Brine it.---I just Rub it.
    If it hasn't been enhanced, I will Brine it with a Brine without Salt, that has Phosphates instead.
    If you can't find any, Ask Dave how to make your own with "STPP".
    No Not "STP"---That's the stuff I used to put in my 1962 Lancer!!!

    chopsaw likes this.
  8. mike243

    mike243 Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Yea if injected i will put rub on and cook brine the natural ones to get your flavor profile and not the stores
  9. Thanks guys for the feedback! I think I'll just stick to what i know, monday or Tuesday im doing a test run just so i know it'll be good.
  10. zwiller

    zwiller Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It's hard to generalize since not all processors are doing it the same way AND there is likely variance in each bird. Doubtful they weigh each one when they enhance it... They could also just be covering their butt in case someone gets angry when all the water comes out when defrosting. I am in the OK to inject/brine but do so in moderation camp. I went down this rabbit hole and at the bottom is a comparison of the sodium levels of the bird in question and of turkey lunchmeat. The lunchmeat is like 2-3X the sodium level of the enhanced turkey. All this being said, TC inject RAWKS on fried turkey. That's what I'd do. Take care of the injector and it lasts a LONG time. @chopsaw told me there is phosphate in TC so that might explain a few things. Night before inject and rest uncovered in fridge for best skin and to let marinade.