Shakes Honey brine

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Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Jul 4, 2005
has anyone tried this? i am thinking about using it on a butt as well as an late for thanksgiving but just in time for Christmas !!!

Shake's Honey Brine Injection

½ gallon water
½ cup pickling salt
½ oz. tender quick (1 tbsp)
½ cup honey
2 bay leaves
1/8 tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp pickle spice

Shake's Honey Brine

1 gallon water
1 cup pickling salt
1 oz tender quick (2 tbsp)
1 cup honey
4 bay leaves
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp pickle spice

) For fried or smoked turkeys, brining provides for:
a) adding moisture to bird;
b) a cushion in cooking; if turkey is cooked a little too long, it will still be moist;
c) flavor from seasonings in brine;
d) prevention against growth of bacteria; due to sodium nitrates in Tender Quick.
2) Use turkeys in the range of 12 – 14 lbs.
3) Fry turkey for 3.5 – 4 minutes per pound at 325-350ºF.
4) If you are not concerned about price of oil, use peanut oil. Peanut oil has a smoke point of 441 – 450ºF. Otherwise, canola oil works very well. It cost less, but has a lower smoke point, generally around 400ºF.
5) If using Shake's Honey Brine, heat all ingredients, except honey, to 160ºF. Pour honey into the mixture and stir. Note: temps above 160ºF will break down the honey content. Force cool to room temp. If soaking whole bird, make enough brine to completely submerge bird. You must keep bird refrigerated for whole duration of soak!
6) Inject brine at least night before, 24 hours if possible, 48 hours for soaking bird.
7) Pat the bird dry of all water and let bird set at room temp for 1 hour before frying.
8) Optional: Apply any dry rub or seasoning at this time. Can be added to outside and/or inside of bird. To help seasoning stick to bird, spray bird with cooking spray or oil before adding dry rub or seasoning.
9) Polder type thermometers work well for monitoring oil temp. You will not hurt the probe providing the temp stays within recommended probe range.
Hi, Gang-Chef Dutch here. I'm going to help some of you folks out by providing a definition of the term "force cool to room temp".

Force cooling is accomplished by rapidly reducing the temperature of hot liquids by the use of an immersion paddle or an ice water bath.

Immersion paddles are more commonly found in larger commercial kitchens, this paddle is made of plastic, is hollow and filled with a food grade gel that is frozen. The paddle is placed in the container of hot liquid and is used to stir the hot liquid, thermal conductivity causes the liquid to cool while the gel defrosts.

The second method is the use of an ice water bath. This method is more readily used for home cooks and small commercial units. The hot liquid is placed in several smaller metal or glass container (DO NOT use plastic as plastic is not as conductive as glass or metal). These containers are then place into another container in which an equal amount of water and ice have been placed. The containers in which the hot liquid has been transferred to should not be more than half full. The ice water bath should come up to within one inch of the top of the smaller containers. Frequently stir the containers and change out the ice water bath as the ice melts and the water warms. Monitor the liquid's temperature with a food thermometer and remove the container when the liquid reaches room temperature (68-75 degrees on average).

This is Chef Dutch signing off- "Happy Cooking everyone!!" :mrgreen:
The same process could be accomplished with a wort (pronounced wert) chiller. This is a device that beer brewers use to cool the wort. or boiled seasoned, flavored liquid that will become a beer after the fermentation process. The device is usually copper, but stainless units are made (and are solely recommended) for this purpose. The unit is immersed in the liquid to be cooled and then hooked up to a tap and cold water runs through a coil rapidly reducing the temperature of the host liquid. While most wort chillers are designed for five gallon and larger containers there are smaller units available for the kitchen and non commercial user.
And that's my $0.02 on the matter. (Non taxable, of course!) ;)
I have smoked two turkeys using this brine and it has turned out excellent. Every body in the family was begging me to smoke another. I am going to fire up my old char-broil and smoke another for a new years eve party/skeet shoot.

Thank you for posting the brine recipe
I've got a turkey in the freezer, and have had the itch to try smoking it.... Wasn't too sure about brining something yet, and thought there may be more that I wanted to do than just soaking in salt water..... The honey sounds like just the ticket. This may well be what sends me over the edge and gets me motivated to try it..... What the heck it was a free turkey anyway is reader supported and as an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases.

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