To Brine or not to brine

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by chilicook, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. I'm going to be smoking a Thanksgiving turkey this year again. It's always been a favorite in my family! But I have never brined one before ! Should I ? Is there any advantage/disadvantage ??

  2. fatback joe

    fatback joe Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Advantage would be a more juicy end product and the change to introduce more flavors to the bird via the brine. Downside......I can't think of any unless you mess it up........maybe just the extra time/effort involved.
  3. With a brine making the bird jucicer would the occasional mop be need then ??

  4. pineywoods

    pineywoods Smoking Guru Staff Member Administrator Group Lead SMF Premier Member

    I brine and it imparts lots of flavor and adds to the juiciness. I have switched to a butter based mop for better skin and use it less than I used a spritz
  5. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    You know me, NO. [​IMG]
    Salt issues. [​IMG]
  6. waysideranch

    waysideranch Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    You'll knock dead if you brine that turkey. I'd brine for 48 hours or more. Brining makes all diff. in the world. Good luck. Do one for a trial run.
  7. erain

    erain Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    sorry flash... no salt issues here, brine baby brine!!!!! only downside, no leftovers!!!
  8. bbqgoddess

    bbqgoddess Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ditto all of the above...
    Mr E, talked me into my first brine, then Richtee added more info so I actually understood the method..(I can't find the link)
    I will never do another bird even in the oven without a brine first...
  9. ronp

    ronp Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ditto to all the above.
  10. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Are you adding nitrite to the brine to make it a cure?
  11. bbq bubba

    bbq bubba Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brining is key when smoking a turkey!

    Another undertaker? [​IMG]
  12. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Chili, In my opinion, brinin is another opportunity ta add more flavor ta yer bird an hep keep it juicey. The salt content of many of the old brines can be cut back cause were not preservin the birds no more, were gonna eat em shortly after the smoke.

    Yall can inject yer birds to, hep get that flavour deeper inta the meat. I use a spritz ta hep with the skin an give the bird a nice sheen.

    Here be what I use:

    Slaughterhouse Poultry Brine

    1 1/2 Gal Water
    1/2 C Salt
    1/2 C Dark Brown Sugar
    2 tsp Garlic Powder
    2 tsp Onion Powder
    2 tsp Cajun Spice
    2 tsp Celery Salt

    Slaughterhouse Poultry Injection

    1/2 Pkg Good Seasons Italian Dressing
    2 tsp Garlic Powder
    2 tsp Celery Seed
    2 TBS melted Butter
    2 C Apple Cider

    Slaughterhouse Spritz

    8 oz Apple Cider
    6 oz Water
    4 oz Whiskey
    2 oz Cider Vinegar

    Feel free ta use as is er modify em ta yer likin!
  13. solar

    solar Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    I've grilled 5 turkey's for Thanksgiving over the years on my Weber, every one of them were brined, all of them were juicier than deep frying, and the salt taste was never an issue.

    travcoman45 has some good brine recipes there, and I have a few at home I'll try to post later. I like to brine mine in a clean cooler for 48 hours placed in my garage fridge. A good tip is to place a ziplock bag full of water on top to keep the turkey sumerged in the brine.

    Brine Chicken? No
    Brine Salmon? Maybe
    Brine Turkey? OH YES YES YES!!!!
  14. rodinbangkok

    rodinbangkok Newbie

    For me adding anything other than simply salt and sugar is a waste of spices, brining is a process that effects the basic structure of the meat and its ability to retain moisture via the brines salt and to some lesser extent its sugar content. Many folks think that by adding a quarter cup salt to a brine means you are adding that quantity to the finished product, not true, a proper brine should not effect the salt taste content of the cooked product. Want to add flavors then its a marinade, not a basic brine.

  15. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Rod, I'll have to say I disagree about the spice thing. Flavor in my experience WILL be imparted to the meat being brined. Yes, you need to use a high level of spice, and some work better than others. Seems the more water soluble a spice's essence is, the better it transfers via a brine. For poultry I find a white wine is a worthwhile additive, and of course can replace some of the sugars used.

    On edit: here's some research I did on it...some good info here.
  16. richtee

    richtee Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Another thing...Hmm the USDA is recommending using TABLE salt? you agree with that?
  17. solar

    solar Smoking Fanatic SMF Premier Member

    Rod, I also have to disagree, all the turkey's I've brined have had orange and lemon zest, maple syrup, bay leaf, pepper corns, ete etc. and it leaves a nice slight taste.

    As far as salt goes, I've always used Kosher, my uncle (who was a chef) told me something about the iodine in table salt, but I can't remember what the issue was.
  18. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    That's OK, but someday you will [​IMG]

    At any rate, I don't find I need to brine. Moist enough for me without da brine. [​IMG]
  19. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Table salt without the iodine would be ok, the iodine gives meat a funny taste is what I been taught. Grandpa used rock salt that he ground down ta his likin. Ain't sure I'd do that, but is what he had at the time. I use either kosher salt er picklin salt. Salts do weigh out different, or in other words, some salt be more salty per cup then others. There was a post on here once bought that I thin. Have ta see ifin I can find it.

    Here be a link ta one I found, but thin there was another to:
  20. shakatak

    shakatak Newbie

    Hi All

    Cooking and smoking for a long time now, and I must say once you brine a turkey for the smoker or the oven, you will never not brine the bird again.

    All you need is salt (kosher or rock) and water, however just about any spice or spices will impart some flavor.

    I always stuff a few oranges and/or an onion in my turkeys,adds flavor and keeps the bird moist.

    Brining also will cut your baking or roasting time by a 1/3.

    Man o man starting to taste that bird now.


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