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Turkey Brine

dwolfpak

Smoke Blower
108
19
Joined Mar 26, 2013
Hi all,

I have 2 birds I'm smoking on Thanksgiving, 1 is going to be traditional brine and seasoning.  Number 2 will be BBQ style.  I'm wondering if anyone has ever used the Buttermilk Brine (turkey legs) for a whole bird?  If so, how did it turn out?

Thanks, 

Dan
 

noboundaries

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,699
1,924
Joined Sep 7, 2013
I've used a buttermilk brine before on chicken.  It is basically an acidic brine.  I liked it okay but was looking for something with a little more flavor.  I now use a brine with orange juice concentrate instead of buttermilk.  The OJ adds the acid for chicken and turkey.  The additional flavor is very subtle but adds to the flavor of the meat.  Frozen OJ is cheaper too.   
 

dwolfpak

Smoke Blower
108
19
Joined Mar 26, 2013
Thanks, I'm gonna have to try that this summer.  Do you add anything else to the OJ to spice it up, or just OJ then rub the legs to smoke?
 

noboundaries

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Here is my brine recipe. 

The curing salt is optional.  It isn't meant to cure the meat, but it adds a VERY slight hammy flavor that people go nuts over.  I use this to brine two chickens or one 12 lb turkey.  If the turkey is bigger, say 18 lbs, I'll 1.5x the recipe.

Orange Juice Poultry Brine - PERFECTION!

The brine is a takeoff of Alton Brown's OJ brine.  The results were AMAZING!  More than once I've heard people say "this is the best chicken (turkey) I've eaten in my life." 

Note:  I initially warmed the ingredients to dissolve the solids.  What I found that works better is blending the brine a large capacity blender.  Blending worked MUCH better than putting it on the stove.

Brine
1/2 tsp Prague #1 Pink Salt
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 Tbs onion powder
1  Tbs garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup dark brown sugar or inexpensive maple syrup
1 quart orange juice (use concentrate, it's cheaper)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 quart water
1 quarts ice 
1 quart water

Directions

1. In a large capacity blender mix all the brine ingredients except the ice and the last quart of water.  Blend until well blended and the solids have dissolved.  Pour into a large Dutch Oven then add the ice and last quart of water.  The brine should be cold before adding meat.  If you don't want to use a blender, just mix the ingredients in the Dutch Oven, stir over low heat until well blended, then add the ice.

2. Place fresh or thawed poultry in your brine container.  Pour the brine and last quart of water over the poultry, seal and store for 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator or a cooler packed with ice jugs.  Brining for more than 24 hours is not recommended but I've done it up to 48 hours with no adverse effects. This process will produce a tender, juicy final product because the salt in the brine changes the protein structure of the meat.

3. After brining, drain the pan or brining bag really well and discard the brine. Rinse the poultry again then prep for smoking.
 

driedstick

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
5,955
610
Joined Nov 3, 2011
Here is my brine recipe.

The curing salt is optional. It isn't meant to cure the meat, but it adds a VERY slight hammy flavor that people go nuts over. I use this to brine two chickens or one 12 lb turkey. If the turkey is bigger, say 18 lbs, I'll 1.5x the recipe.

Orange Juice Poultry Brine - PERFECTION!

The brine is a takeoff of Alton Brown's OJ brine. The results were AMAZING! More than once I've heard people say "this is the best chicken (turkey) I've eaten in my life."

Note: I initially warmed the ingredients to dissolve the solids. What I found that works better is blending the brine a large capacity blender. Blending worked MUCH better than putting it on the stove.

Brine
1/2 tsp Prague #1 Pink Salt
1/2 cup kosher salt
1 Tbs onion powder
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 tsp black pepper
1 cup dark brown sugar or inexpensive maple syrup
1 quart orange juice (use concentrate, it's cheaper)
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup lime juice
1 quart water
1 quarts ice
1 quart water

Directions

1. In a large capacity blender mix all the brine ingredients except the ice and the last quart of water. Blend until well blended and the solids have dissolved. Pour into a large Dutch Oven then add the ice and last quart of water. The brine should be cold before adding meat. If you don't want to use a blender, just mix the ingredients in the Dutch Oven, stir over low heat until well blended, then add the ice.

2. Place fresh or thawed poultry in your brine container. Pour the brine and last quart of water over the poultry, seal and store for 12 to 24 hours in the refrigerator or a cooler packed with ice jugs. Brining for more than 24 hours is not recommended but I've done it up to 48 hours with no adverse effects. This process will produce a tender, juicy final product because the salt in the brine changes the protein structure of the meat.

3. After brining, drain the pan or brining bag really well and discard the brine. Rinse the poultry again then prep for smoking.
Thanks, Ray I am going to give this a try,,, I am going to add the cure, and I am going to heat on stove,,, Do I add thru cure before heating or after or does it matter??
 

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