Opinions wanted, Brine, Inject, or both?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by farmall400, Dec 23, 2011.

  1. Greetings folks.  I'm another new guy at smoking turkeys.  I planned on doing a cajun inspired smoked turkey.  I've never brined or injected a turkey before, what typically works best? Stronger flavor with injection?  More consistent flavor with brine?

    Just wondering what input others have.  Thanks!
  2. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    I like to brine them & then inject them too I use chicken broth & melted butter for the injection and a salt sugar brine with Montreal chicken seasoning.
  3. tyotrain

    tyotrain Master of the Pit

    I have done birds just about every way you can think of.. Bringing works best for me..

    How To Make Poultry Brine:

    What is a brine:   One of the great things about brining is that there are so few rules. Most brines start with water and salt — traditionally, 3/4 pound of salt per gallon of water, but since we’re not concerned with the brine as a preservative, you can cut back on the salt. The amount of brining time is likewise not set in stone. Even a little brining is better than none.

    What type of salt to use in brine: Kosher salt and table salt (without iodine) are the most common salts used in brining. Sea salt can be used, but it tends to be quite expensive. I usually use coarse kosher salt.

    A cup of table salt and a cup of kosher salt are NOT equal. Table salt weighs approximately 10 ounces per cup and kosher salt weighs approximately 5 to 8 ounces per cup (depending on the brand). If using kosher salt in a brine, you must use more than 1 cup to achieve the same "saltiness" you would get from 1 cup of table salt.

    Here is the one i use
    • 2 cups vegetable stock
    • 2 cups orange juice
    • 4 cups water
    • 1/4 cup kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 2 teaspoon black peppercorns
    • 3 bay leaves
    In a medium stockpot bring the vegetable stock, 2 cups of water, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and bay leaves to a boil.  Maintain a boil till all the salt and brown sugar has been dissolved.Once the brown sugar and salt have been dissolved shut off the heat and add in the remaining ingredients. Put in fridge to cool down Than add your bird..

                 Have fun and Happy smoking
  4. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I like to do both,

    I brine my turkeys for 5 days, then inject before smoking.

  5. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Ok think about it Brining takes out the old brine that the factory uses and replace it with some good brine. Now you want to inject the bird with something else other then what you just spent all night putting into the bird and replace it with.....................What.........why brine in the first place???????
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  6. Well, I went with a cajun brine and it turned out great.  The bird had a cajun/smoky flavor.

    Here's the recipe I used for brine:
    • 1/2 cup paprika
    • 1/4 cup chile powder
    • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
    • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
    • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
    • 4 whole cloves garlic
    • 2 fresh bay leaves
    • 1 large onion, quartered
    Also smoked a West Dakota Kobe beef brisket  which was pull apart juicy awesome, it was a good weekend.  

    Thanks for your comments, tyotrain I'll certainly try that poultry brine some time.  
  7. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

      I inject with the brine [​IMG]
  8. sprky

    sprky Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Wow I don't know how I missed this earlier but I did. I normally brine and inject. 

    Here's how I do mine;

    Poultry Brine

    1 1/2 Gallon Apple Juice

    5/8 Cup Kosher Salt (5 oz)
    3/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar (6 oz)

    1/2 Cup Morton’s Tender Quick (4.5 oz) or 2 Tbsp DQ cure #1 (1.5 oz)
    1 Tbsp Garlic Powder ( .3 oz)
    1 Tbsp Onion Powder ( .3 oz)
    1 Tbsp Cajun Spice ( .5 oz) (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)
    1 Tbsp Celery Seed ( .3 oz)
    1 Tbsp Pickling Spice ( .4 oz)

    1 1/2 tsp Ground Cloves ( .2 oz)


    1. Place all spices in spice grinder and grind fine.

    2. Place 4 cups of apple juice in a 4 quart sauce pan, add Salt, Sugar, cure, and spices heat and stir until completely dissolved.  

    3. Turn off heat, cover, and cool to room temp.  

    TIP do steps 1-3 ahead of time to allow chilling in refrigerator or freezer. 

    4. In a large stock pot, combine remaining apple juice with the concentrated brine.

    5. Wash turkey inside and out, making sure you have removed the innards, and tail.

    6. Inject turkey 5% by weight with brine injection

     Brine injection

    1/2 Gallon Apple Juice
    3 Tbsp + 1 tsp Kosher Salt (1.67 oz)
    1/4 Cup Dark Brown Sugar (2oz)

    2 Tbsp + 2 tsp  Morton’s Tender Quick (1.5 oz) or  2 tsp DQ cure #1 ( .5 oz)
    1 tsp Garlic Powder ( .1 oz)
    1 tsp Onion Powder ( .1 oz)
    1 tsp Cajun Spice ( .17 oz) (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)
    1 tsp Celery Seed ( .1 oz)
    1 tsp Pickling Spice ( .13 oz)

    1/2 tsp Ground Cloves ( .06 oz)


    1. Place all spices in spice grinder and grind fine.

    2. Place 2  cups apple juice in sauce pan, add salt, sugar, cure, and ground spices.

    3. Heat to low simmer and stir till all salt and sugar is dissolved.

    4. Remove from heat and cool

    5. Mix in remaining apple juice

    6. Inject turkey with 5% by weight

    7. Place turkey in turkey roasting bag neck down.

    8. Place turkey in cooler large enough to hold turkey and pack ice around turkey roasting bag.

    9. Pore brine into turkey roasting bag.  Remove as much air as possible from turkey roasting bag and tie off.

    10. Let turkey soak for 1 to 5 days. 

    11. Remove turkey from brine and rinse well inside and out

    12. Dry turkey with paper towels inside and out. 

    13. Inject turkey with poultry injection.   

    Poultry Injection

    1 Package Zesty Italian Dressing mix

    1/4 tsp Ground Cloves

    1 tsp Cajun Spice (Louisiana Cajun Seasoning)

    1 1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
    1 1/2 tsp Celery Seed

    1 1/2 tsp Pickling spice

    1 Tbsp Dark Brown Sugar
    4 Tbsp melted non salted Butter
    2 C Apple Cider         


    1. Place all spices, and dressing mix in spice grinder and grind fine.

    2. Heat Apple cider till butter is melted

    3. Mix in ground spices, and sugar.

    4. Heat in microwave for 1 1/2 min on high.

    5. Allow to cool while preparing turkey

    6. Inject turkey all over.
  9. i brine and inject with the brine, friends and family love the results
  10. I'll have to try the brine injection next time. The brine smelled great.

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