Can you brine too long??

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by bhawkins, Nov 29, 2013.

  1. I was going to smoke my turkey today using Jeff's basic brine from the recent news letter about turkey with bacon butter. I was going to put it into the brine last night before bed. We went to my wife's aunt and uncle's house for Thanksgiving, got to playing dominoes and didn't get home until midnight or so. Needless to say I was in no mood for mixing and brining anything!!! If I go ahead and get the turkey to brining now (about 9-10 o'clock in the AM) and wait until early in the morning to smoke it, will that be too long in the brine?? I know Jeff's news letter says 10 -12 hours, I was kinda hoping that was maybe a minimum for best flavor absorption.  
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I'm not familiar with Jeff's brine... My brine is an equilibrium brine ... 2% salt and 1% sugar + any spices.... You can leave the meat in the brine and refer for 3-4 days.... Won't get too salty... It comes out moist and delicious..... Dave
  3. austinsmoke

    austinsmoke Fire Starter

    Dave - I have a fresh butterball, that says it was enhanced up to 4%...I was planning on brinig it, or is it a waste of time? If it is already enhanced does that mean it will not absorb anymore??

    Appreciate your thoughts

    Tom Schaffer
  4. yotzee

    yotzee Smoking Fanatic

    The way brining works on a physiological level is the brine surrounding the muscle fiber cell has a higher concentration of salt than the fluid within the muscle cells. This leads salt ions in the brine to enter the muscles cell via a process called diffusion. The high salt concentration immediately begins to do its work on the muscle fiber.  The end result is the muscle fibers draws in and retain a substantial amount of water by both osmosis and capillary action.  A 4% enhanced bird will most like receive some benefit from additional brining.  Run a test using some very distinct flavoring in your brine.  If you notice the taste in your finished bird, you will know the brining was successful..
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013
  5. Thank You. I don't know about percentages of salt and sugar, however I do trust Jeff's judgement of such things. I went ahead and put the turkey into the brine, and will get up early in the morning(hopefully) and smoke it. This will be the first time for me to brine a turkey, and only my second attempt at smoking one. BTW I just ordered Jeff's rub and sauce recipes, and while I have yet to taste the end result, the rub does seem like a great one so far. After the brine I will rub it as well and see what I get!!
  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Tom, morning.... Any brine you make will replace and mix with what is in the bird now... Bride just told me that the 2% salt brine wasn't enough salt... she had to add salt to the meat she was eating... :dunno... I guess it could have used more because I like salty food.... I was trying to make it "middle of the road" for salt.... The bird brined for 48 hours....
    4% added to a 20# bird is only 0.8 #'s of liquid... My 20 # bird brined in a 5 gal bucket.... bird and water weighed 40 #'s... 20 #'s of brine so the 0.8 # of added stuff to your bird is nothing compared to what will be added in your brine....
    Add some seasonings to the brine for added flavor... add the seasonings to the pan when you heat the water, salt, sugar etc. to dissolve, so it will infuse well... Bride added fresh rosemary, garlic, onion to the compound butter and spread it on the skin before cooking...

  7. austinsmoke

    austinsmoke Fire Starter

    Thanks my friend! It seems like most brines are 1 cup salt and 1.5 cups sugar per gallon. I did that last year and it wasn't too salty either...I don't care if people need to add salt, it's worse if the whole thing is too I am with you on the middle of the road! and I love Blood pressure doesn't though :)

    Having a house full tomorrow, cooking 2 12.5 lb birds on my Chargrill SFB, with some smoked garlic for garlic potatoes..going to put in brine about 6 pm tonight, on the smoke about 10am to be done at 5, serve at 6. Might have to squeeze some stuffed jalepanos ABTs

    Do you put turkey breast side down for first few hours then flip?

  8. austinsmoke

    austinsmoke Fire Starter

    Thanks Man!
  9. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Sorry to hear it turned out so bad.... Did ya need me to come haul it off somewhere for you? Its my understanding there is no perfect smokes, only the best one you had today. LOL... I bet you smoked a bad bird...LOL

  10. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    [quote name="Foamheart" url="/t/153297/can-you-brine-too-long#post_1098498


    Sorry to hear it turned out so bad.... Did ya need me to come haul it off somewhere for you? Its my understanding there is no perfect smokes, only the best one you had today. LOL... I bet you smoked a bad bird...LOL



    Me too.... It was so moist and juicy, I almost wore a bib....
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2013

  11. Turkey ready to come out of brine. This was taken around 4:30 AM.

    More to come as I can get them here......... And here they are...

    Ready for smoker......................

    Ready to eat!! Tried a little sample already. VERY GOOD!! I already know what my daughter will say  "Looks Burnt!!" just Jeff's rub cooked to a crispy goodness if you as me!! All I did was rubbed it down with butter to help make the rub stick a bit, and then sprinkled the rub all over(in case you couldn't tell). I was trying to smoke it at 350*, with apple wood, but I think I went a little hotter than that. I want me another probe therm so I can monitor my cooker temp at the same time as my meat temp. Do you guys think that if I made 'rub butter' to smear on that it would actually stay on good during the cook or do you think it would run off as the butter melts??
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013

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