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Newbie needs advice on Turkey Brine

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by hogwildd, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. hogwildd

    hogwildd Newbie

    Hello All,
    I am new to smoking meats, but have been doing BBQ for years, I have an electric smoker that I plan on smoking a 12lb turkey in this weekend. After reading on this website, it talks about soaking the turkey in brine for 10-12 hrs. What do you guys use to soak the Turkey IN? a large bucket? seems tough to get into the fridge, but I'll try it if that's the only way.
    Any thoughts? suggestions?

  2. ranger72

    ranger72 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Hi There hogwildd,

    Reynolds, the company that makes aluminum foil have another product that you can find in the section of your grocery store where you find plastic garbage bags, sandwhich bags, freezer bags etc.

    They are Reynolds Oven Roasting Bags, they come in three sizes and contain 3 bags in each package and there is one size specifically for turkeys and will hold a 12 pounder very nicely.

    They are constructed of very heavy duty plastic and are oven safe and I use these all the time for brining, marinading and such.They are plenty big enough for your turkey and the brine.

    Simply prepare your favorite brine and if your brine requires cooking then let it cool off first...then place the well rinsed turkey in the roaster bag and pour the cooled off brine into the bag and then sort of milk the air out of the bag and put the plastic tie (provided) to seal the bag and it will fit quite nicely in your fridge.

    The other alternative to the fridge is to put your brined turkey in the bag inside a cooler and fill up with enough ice to keep it well for the amount of time you intend to brine the turkey.

    Problem Solved! 8)

    hope this helps!
  3. hogwildd

    hogwildd Newbie

    Using the oven bags sounds like a great alternative, I will go that route. The cooler idea is way cool(pun intended). That will keep the fridge clear and my wife happier with my smoking pursuits.
    wish me luck! I'll let everyone know how it turned out!

    Hogwildd :D
  4. ranger72

    ranger72 Meat Mopper OTBS Member

    Glad to help!

  5. Ranger, that's a great idea for brinning the bird. I never thought of that!

    For me, that's what the second fridge, or as my wife calls it the "Costco" fridge is great for. I use a 5 gallon paint bucket that I got at Home Depot for the brine and turkey. I have to tell you that I've deep fried and I've brined and I will always go brined from now on. Don't get me wrong, deep frying is fabulous, but the mess is just to much for me. With brinning you make the liquid cool it down, dump in the bucket with the turkey and your done. 12 hours later it's time to smoke, bake, or grill and the bird is fantastic. One thing I have wanted to do is brine then deep fry, but the mess.......

    My favorite recipe is from Bon Apetit (Nov 1994 issue - the BEST thanksgiving issue ever made, btw). Apricot glased turkey with a shallot gravey. I do this on the webber kettle and it's great. I use apple or cherry to smoke (acutally for flavor, but not traditional smoking - we are grilling with inderect heat here).

    I'm hungry, turkey time!

  6. homer

    homer Newbie

    I'm getting ready to smoke my first turkey too. Any sugguestion on smoking & pulling temps? I know it's kinda of big, but I want to do a 20 pounder.
  7. Dutch

    Dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member


    Welcome to Smoking Meat Forums, you came to the Best Smoking board on the 'net.

    Smoking temps are usually between 220-250 degrees. Your turkey should reach an internal temp of 165 degrees in the thickest part. I appaude your ambition in wanting to smoke a 20 pound bird. I'm doing turkey this weekend my self but I'm doing two birds-one 11 pounder and one 12 pounder. If you haven't already bought your bird, you might want to do the same. My thinking on this is two smaller birds will smoking in about half the time of a bigger bird. Just my two cents :D.

    Hopfully, some of expert turkey smokers will weigh in on this topic.
  8. homer

    homer Newbie

    Earl D.
    Thanks for your quick reply & I appreciiate your welcome to the site. This was the first one I found on smoking, and so far I am extremely impressed with the format and topics presented.

    I already have the bird, so I figured I would smoke it, instead of roasting. Any idea of how long it will take to cook? Should I cover it with tinfoil also to keep moist? How about putting it in a big foil pan?

    Any suggustions are welcome.

    Thanks again.

  9. Dutch

    Dutch Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead OTBS Member OTBS Admin SMF Premier Member


    I'm glad that you're impressed with this forum, tulsajeff the site owner did an amzing job putting it together.

    There is nothing wrong putting the bird in a pan, especially if you want to use the juices for gravy. I like to use an aluminum foil pan, I just toss it in the trash when I'm through [it's one less thing the Bride has to wash :D ]

    Most cooking guides for turkeys start at 325 degress. Most electric smokers are preset to 250 degrees. Using 325 degree oven and 20 lb. bird you're looking at 5 to 6 hours. At 250 degrees you're probably going to smoke that bad bird for 8 or 9 hours. Make sure that you use a good roasting thermometer or a digital thermometer with the probe inserted into the thickest part of the breast or thigh. [See the thread on thermometers] The current USDA Food Safty guidelines recommend that you to cook whole turkeys and chickens to an internal temp of 180 degrees.
  10. bob-bqn

    bob-bqn Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member

    Howdy hogwildd & Homer . :D
  11. homer

    homer Newbie

    Thanks for the Howdy. Haven't done the turkey yet, but experimented on a couple chickens this weekend. First time I brinned, came out really tastey. :P Looking forward to everyone's help on the site. Thanks guys.
    Homer :D