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Questions on brining a turkey.....help needed. Login/Join 
Truth Seeker
Picture of StorminNormin
posted
With the holidays on the way, I will be making the turkey as usual. I have cooked with various methods over the years, but one thing I have never done is brine the turkey and from what I have read that is the key to an excellent turkey.

Last year I bought a Char-broil oilless fryer and it worked amazing making a great turkey. So this year I want to build on this by brining the turkey.

Any suggestions on good methods and recipes to brine a turkey. I know it needs to brine overnight and I am not sure I can make room in my fridge to hold a 5 gallon bucket to brine the turkey overnight. Any suggestions on the best way to do this? One recipe I read said to put the turkey in an oven bag with the brine, put it in a bucket, and put it in the fridge. I know we have plenty of experts on here on this matter so I am looking forward to the responses.




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Posts: 5798 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
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I have gone to dry brining because of the hassles involved with the amount of salt and water needed, and fitting a bucket in fridge.

I generally give it 36 hours and I will apply the dry brine and then spritz with apple cider vinegar just to moisten and help get the salt started on it's journey to the center of the bird.

Don't worry about a bunch of other flavorings in your brine, save them for the rub that you apply just before you cook. Salt can penetrate meat but 'flavor' can't unless you inject it.
 
Posts: 12779 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
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The whole goal of brining is to get salt into the meat because it helps hold moisture in the bird and salt is a powerful flavor enhancer. Just don't overdo it.

You need to get it under the skin. I like to place the skin back where it was and cook with the skin on as I believe the bird turns out better that way.
 
Posts: 12779 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Truth Seeker
Picture of StorminNormin
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quote:
Originally posted by IndianaBoy:
I have gone to dry brining because of the hassles involved with the amount of salt and water needed, and fitting a bucket in fridge.

I generally give it 36 hours and I will apply the dry brine and then spritz with apple cider vinegar just to moisten and help get the salt started on it's journey to the center of the bird.

Don't worry about a bunch of other flavorings in your brine, save them for the rub that you apply just before you cook. Salt can penetrate meat but 'flavor' can't unless you inject it.


Do you have a specific recipe/method you can point me to so I can follow it exactly?




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Posts: 5798 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Use this brine mix. You just add it to the appropriate amount of water and you are good to go. I use to mix my own brines all the time but since I started buying from Oak Ridge BBQ I mix my own no more.

Substitute apple cider for some or all of the water. Or add a bottle of beer or wine or whatever suits your tastes.

I freeze half gallon jugs of water in the freezer and put them in the bucket with the brine and turkey to keep the it cold.

Also make sure you are using a food safe container. Don't use a bucket that had driveway sealer in it. Razz


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Posts: 5421 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: June 17, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Search out Alton Brown's video on deep fried turkey. He does a brine in a construction water cooler, thus solving the refrigerator issue.




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Posts: 9666 | Location: Jawjah | Registered: December 30, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
Indiana
Picture of IndianaBoy
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quote:
Originally posted by StorminNormin:


Do you have a specific recipe/method you can point me to so I can follow it exactly?



I wish I did but I just eyeball it with kosher salt. Eek

I think it works out to roughly a tablespoon per every 5lbs of turkey.
 
Posts: 12779 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
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Posts: 12779 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Sigless in
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I generally sprinkle on a rub called "The Squeal" that is intended for ribs but I find it exceptional on poultry. I try to use it sparingly because the brine adds plenty of salt.

If you make your own aromatic rub you can leave out the salt and not worry about over salting your bird with a brine + a rub containing salt.



I smoke mine with a little bit of apple wood on a Big Green Egg. I find moisture retention and that hint of smoke flavor to be far superior to an oven cooked turkey but that is subjective.
 
Posts: 12779 | Location: The Edge of the Ozarks | Registered: December 04, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Back when I used to cook for Thanksgiving, I brined for a couple of years. I liked the way it turned out, although I don't have a specific "recipe" any more. One thing I found, though, was whatever you cook in the cavity gets really salty. The last year I cooked, I put cut potatoes, carrots and onions in instead of my traditional bread filling. The veggies didn't absorb the salt like the bread filling did and turned out quite nice.

The cooler idea is a good one. I live in Colorado at the time, and just put mine in the garage overnight in a large trash can lined with a trash bag. It stayed cool enough I wasn't worried about spoilage.




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I did this Cranberry-Pomegranat brined turkey for Thanksgiving a few years ago when I lived in Alaska. After a day or two of brining the bone-in breast, I shoveled the snow to my BGE, lit it, and smoked it until the breast was 165F (ignore the really old cookbooks that say 180F as USDA has revised safe temp and 165F is jucier). It had a nice flavor, and a thin cranberry stain to the meat.





Subsequent years, I made these changes:
  • I followed lastmanstanding's advice and bumped the smoking temperature up to 325 which improved the skin texture.
  • I have a butcher spatchcock the turkey as it cooks faster and more evenly (i.e. no cavity) which results in juicer meat.



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    Posts: 14644 | Location: N. Houston, TX | Registered: November 14, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    quote:
    Originally posted by StorminNormin:
    With the holidays on the way, I will be making the turkey as usual. I have cooked with various methods over the years, but one thing I have never done is brine the turkey and from what I have read that is the key to an excellent turkey.

    Last year I bought a Char-broil oilless fryer and it worked amazing making a great turkey. So this year I want to build on this by brining the turkey.

    Any suggestions on good methods and recipes to brine a turkey. I know it needs to brine overnight and I am not sure I can make room in my fridge to hold a 5 gallon bucket to brine the turkey overnight. Any suggestions on the best way to do this? One recipe I read said to put the turkey in an oven bag with the brine, put it in a bucket, and put it in the fridge. I know we have plenty of experts on here on this matter so I am looking forward to the responses.


    I have the same fryer and on Easter. I simply rubbed a thick coat of peanut oil on mine and put a healthy dose of garlic salt and through it in the fryer till it was done....I think 170F was what I cooked it to. It was super juicy and came out great.........I didn't bother brining it, as with all of the other Easter crap, there is NEVER enough room in the fridge.
     
    Posts: 14769 | Registered: June 12, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Truth Seeker
    Picture of StorminNormin
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    The Charbroil cooker is amazing. Of course a fried turkey is also amazing, but it is SO MUCH easier with the Charbroil. I am just trying to take it to the next level if there is one.

    I appreciate all feedback.




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    Posts: 5798 | Location: The Lone Star State | Registered: July 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Delusions of Adequacy
    Picture of zoom6zoom
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    quote:
    I have gone to dry brining because of the hassles involved with the amount of salt and water needed, and fitting a bucket in fridge.

    I've done the same. No worry about large sloppy containers being kept cool, and the results are just as good.

    Oh, and you'll get better results if you loosen the skin where possible and rub right on the meat.

    This message has been edited. Last edited by: zoom6zoom,




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    Posts: 16201 | Location: Virginia | Registered: June 02, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    quarter MOA visionary
    Picture of smschulz
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    I brine in a 5 gallon bucket every year.
    Just use a bunch of ice or start with a frozen turkey and use a lid.
    I've always used frozen turkeys.
    I have no space to put in the fridge.
    Works every time.
     
    Posts: 14199 | Location: Houston, TX | Registered: June 11, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    Picture of 1967Goat
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    I also use a 5 gallon bucket, with a new trash bag and an Alton Brown recipe.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/rec...urkey-recipe-2010390
     
    Posts: 3888 | Location: 7400 feet in Conifer CO | Registered: November 14, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Ammoholic
    Picture of Skins2881
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    quote:
    Originally posted by smschulz:
    I brine in a 5 gallon bucket every year.
    Just use a bunch of ice or start with a frozen turkey and use a lid.
    I've always used frozen turkeys.
    I have no space to put in the fridge.
    Works every time.


    Same way I do it.

    Last time I used about a cup of salt, 1/2 of brown sugar. Peppercorns, orange rinds, bay leaves, and garlic. No real recipe, just tossed it all in there. Three years later and I'm still being asked to make it again. Very simple. I also cooked it on the grill which added a nice smokey flavor.



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    Posts: 10003 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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    when i do my cured smoked turkeys, I go the 5 gallon bucket and start with alton browns basic brine. I then adjust sugar/salt combo to include instacure 2. then I brine the birds for around 30 days at 38 degrees. Add a 2days for every 2 degrees below, and 1 day for every 2 degrees above per 24 hour period.
     
    Posts: 3339 | Location: Virginia | Registered: December 23, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Delusions of Adequacy
    Picture of zoom6zoom
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    When I still did the wet brine, I used a good percentage of apple juice added to the water. More flavor.




    I have my own style of humor. I call it Snarkasm.
     
    Posts: 16201 | Location: Virginia | Registered: June 02, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
    Live Slow,
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    Picture of medic451
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    I tried brining a few times, recently ive been just doing a dry rub and cajun butter injection on the smoker. Results were better than just the brine so I skip that step now.



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    Posts: 2558 | Location: California | Registered: May 31, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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