Is it necessary to brine a turkey?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by melrod59, Nov 20, 2007.

  1. Hi everyone,

    I plan on smoking a fresh turkey on Thanksgiving day, then we're going out to visit family. I'm soking the turkey so that when we come home, we'll have food. I need to know if it's absolutely necessary to brine a turkey before it's smoked. Or is it possible to get a great smoked turkey by basting with a butter/rub solution and rubbing the breast of the the turkey under the skin.



  2. vlap

    vlap Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You do not HAVE to brine. I like it and will do so every time I cook a turkey. You can get great results with basting like you said. Its all up to you and your tastes.
  3. walking dude

    walking dude Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    brining "cures" the in smoking, this way, you don't have to worry bout the turkey being in the danger zone of 40-140 degrees for a longer period of also helps add moisture and flavor.........moist folks here, from the last few days of posts, are brining.....


  4. geek with fire

    geek with fire Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Having never brined a turkey myself, I think the safe answer is yes. Now, I'll also add that I've never smoked a turkey either. However I've cooked many in the oven and I smoke chicken all the time; both without brining. Just keep it lubed up, and you should be fine. I also found out in my recent "Turducken" clone experiment that bacon adds a tremendous amount of juice to the inside of a bird (does great on the flavor too). If you want more info on that front, take a look here:
  5. gooose53

    gooose53 Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Adding to what Geek with Fire said....watching Food Channel and they did a turkey using thick cut bacon on the outside surrounding the breast. That looked interesting as well. I might try that this year.
  6. deejaydebi

    deejaydebi Smoking Guru

    Nope - you don't HAVE to, but ti sure tastes gooder that way!

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