Turkey Brining

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Gonna Smoke

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Sep 19, 2018
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I've got a 17 lb. Butterball turkey which contains "up to an 8% solution of water, salt, spices and natural flavors for tenderness." My question is would brining it help any? I would omit all salt from my brine recipe.

Thoughts?
 
This thread is ongoing, and it asks basically the same question.

Here was my reply:
Well you are about middle of the road as far as frozen turkeys go, I've seen as high as 15% solution. You can successfully brine an enhanced turkey as long as you take care to not brine it too long or use too strong a brine solution so the meat doesn’t become too salty. A good starting place would be a base brine of 2 gallons of water and 1 cup of Morton kosher salt (Diamond Crystal has larger grains so you need more) plus any aromatics you like. This is roughly half strength of a typical brine. For your brine time I would not go longer than 8 or 10 hours.
 
This thread is ongoing, and it asks basically the same question.

Here was my reply:
Well you are about middle of the road as far as frozen turkeys go, I've seen as high as 15% solution. You can successfully brine an enhanced turkey as long as you take care to not brine it too long or use too strong a brine solution so the meat doesn’t become too salty. A good starting place would be a base brine of 2 gallons of water and 1 cup of Morton kosher salt (Diamond Crystal has larger grains so you need more) plus any aromatics you like. This is roughly half strength of a typical brine. For your brine time I would not go longer than 8 or 10 hours.
Thank you, I did not see that thread...

Charles
 
I've got a 17 lb. Butterball turkey which contains "up to an 8% solution of water, salt, spices and natural flavors for tenderness." My question is would brining it help any? I would omit all salt from my brine recipe.

Thoughts?

You can get some flavor from a no salt brine BUT understand that if you add fresh water with no salt all you'll do is suck the salt out of the bird into the water thereby defeating the purpose of the solution they inject. Going backwards is probably not a good idea. I wouldn't do it.

I brined two 23 pound Butterball turkeys at 1.75% salt, proper amount of cure #1, and splenda (trying to use it up). Smoked em this past weekend, been eating on them during the week.
They came out good. Some smaller parts like the flapper parts of the wings and some little bits here and there were a tad salty but the rest of the meat was fine. I used table salt as well which will lead to being saltier as well I believe.
With that said had I gone to 1.65% salt + the cure #1 I think it would have been right on.

I would suggest you do a real brine with spices or just season and cook.
I ALWAYS brine and always have a good turkey no matter if it has solution or not.
 
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