Curing turkey legs

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by skandic, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. Hi,

    Most of the recipes I see for curing turkey legs involves using a brine.

    I have two questions:

    1. Instead of using a brine solution, can I put the turkey legs in a ziplock with dry ingredients (cure 1, salt etc...) like I do with bacon?

    2. How does the bone in the leg affect how much cure you would use?

    In solidarity,

  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Skandic, morning.... Add the cure at a rate of 156 ish Ppm nitrite, like you would sausage... I would add a little water, maybe 1 to 2 TBS per leg... I do that because poultry meat has so little moisture in the meat... The ingredients need to dissolve in some carrier to allow it to penetrate and equilibrate in the meat.... weigh the salt and add 1.5 - 2% salt... you don't want to over salt the meat... FWIW, I also add a small amount of liquid/water when dry brining bacon slabs... I rotate/massage every day or so, also....

    I'm not sure if the bone has any affect on the amounts of stuff you add..... I've never seen anything related to adjusting for bone, only adjusting for cure when curing bacon and the skin is left on...

  3. Thanks Dave. I appreciate your response. I have not seen anything either on whether to account for the bone. I done the dry brine tonight , will post an update at the end of the week when fully complete with qview.

    In solidarity,

  4. dirtsailor2003

    dirtsailor2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Are you are planning on hot smoking? If so the cure really is only a flavor enhancer. If you are planning on cold smoking then cure is needed to protect ya from the bad bugs. With that said I'd use Martins (DiggingDogFarms) Cure calculator. As for taking into account the bone, I'm not sure either. I've only used brines to cure meats with bones in them.
  5. Ok, here is an update with qview.

    Here is my simple recipe:

    Let cure for 4 days then took out and let air dry overnight:

    Smoked using cherry wood and then baked in the oven:

    The verdict: the legs came out looking beautiful and had a lovely colour and look when cooked in the oven. Personally, I was not a fan and could not eat them (my father in law thought they were good though).

    The cure gave the legs the hamish appearance and flavour which I do not like with turkey. Perhaps I need to experiment more with turkey legs and smoking.

    In solidarity,

  6. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I think the same thing about cured turkey legs.... The flavor doesn't excite me.... I've done them once... probably not again..... They lose the turkey flavor I was looking for....
  7. Yeah, I thought it would be a flavour that I would enjoy. I may try smoking them next time without a cure. practicing safe smoking of course. I wonder what other experiences are with this and their recipes. Please add any of your experiences/recipes to this thread so that we can all learn.

    Another thing that I learned was that white pepper tastes completely different than black pepper.

    In solidarity,

  8. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  9. Thanks Foam, perhaps I will try your recipe as I still have another 4 Turkey legs in the deep freeze. I have not done a wet brine cure before but it is worth trying new recipes. Thanks for your input.

    In solidarity, skandic
  10. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    The reason for the cure is so you can smoke them. I always try to live with 4/140 no matter the modifiers, except when cured. I know I know, there are lots of modifiers but Its just easy for a simple southern boy like me. So by getting a little cure in there, I lasted what........ 7 hours and almost was able to pull the numb out!

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