Why brine?

Discussion in 'Poultry' started by howlnmad, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. howlnmad

    howlnmad Newbie

    As a newbie to this, I have a couple questions. For starters, why brine a turkey breast? My other question is: won't using a salt and cure agent more or less pickle the turkey? I'm planning on smoking a 7# breast this weekend and we are planning on doing it with an apple jelly glaze. I was thinking of soaking it in some apple juice and thyme but not sure about adding the salts and sugar or even how much. I've done some searching but couldn't find a complete answer. Can anyone help out a newbie?

  2. eman

    eman Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member

    Brining helps retain the moisture in the bird while cooking wether it be in the smoker or in the oven.

     also it adds a tremendous ammount of flavor.
  3. flash

    flash Smoking Guru OTBS Member

     Personally I do not, but many on here do. I have only brined a turkey and some bluefish and found nothing or very little different in the finished product. Neither did my wife. Atleast not enough to warrant taking up fridge or cooler space doing it. I know I am in the minority but injecting or marinating the meats will keep it moist without brinning. Besides, I have issues with salt anyway. If you don't yet, you will someday.
  4. 5lakes

    5lakes Meat Mopper SMF Premier Member

    The salt in a brine is the one thing that really keeps me from trying it. Salt is a big no-no for me. Actually, one of the biggest reasons I started smoking meat was to get the flavor without the added salt that processed/commercially smoked meats have. Now, I'm just addicted to the flavor...[​IMG]
  5. mythmaster

    mythmaster Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    I haven't done a turkey yet (whole or parts), but when I do I definitely plan to brine it and also inject it with a marinade.  I'll probably use Tip's Slaughterhouse recipes (they're in the WIKI).

    I have done chicken breasts both ways (with and without brining with the recipe in the Competition Chicken WIKI entry), and they were SOOOOOO much better brined!  I am totally sold on brining.

    I suggest that you try it both ways (if you don't have a problem with the salt), and see if you can tell a difference and which you prefer.
  6. travcoman45

    travcoman45 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brinin adds flavour (my brine is bout as low in salt as ya can get an still work) an helps the meat retain fluids thus a juicer smoked poultry.  A brine does not contain a cure, that be a different feather altagether.  The sugar be present ta help balance out the salt.

    Best thin I can tell ya is ta try it both ways.  I sell a fair amount a chicken an wouldn't even think a not brinin it.  But it's a personal thing, try one with a brine an one with out, see which one ya prefer.  Then ya can try one with a cure to, cause it's a different bird altagether!

    The reason fer the salt is ta transfer the seasonins inta the meat.
  7. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

  8. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

    The main reason i haven't tried brineing id because the recipes i have seen for brine are ridiculous as far as the amount of money just to make it, then to throw it away? no deal now if it was just water and salt ok but you guys put all kinds of stuff in it.
  9. pandemonium

    pandemonium Master of the Pit

  10. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    I'm with Tip (travcoman) on this one and I use his Slaughter House brine on all my poutlry too. It doesn't have alot of salt in it either.
  11. rbranstner

    rbranstner Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Try travcoman's brine its really good. You won't be sorry!
  12. meateater

    meateater Smoking Guru SMF Premier Member

    Water and salt will work also. Just rinse really good and apply your magic. [​IMG]
  13. caveman

    caveman Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    The answers given by the other members are dead on.  Some use different methods, others don't brine and / or inject at all.  I have yet to inject anything but that is on my "To Do" list.  To answer your query about a salt & cure agent pickling your turkey, try this info. >>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pickling.

    Hopefully that can help you determine the difference between the brining process vs. pickling.  After the brine process, you can very well spritz the breast with apple juice as you can use the Thyme during the brining process.  As long as you boil the water & add your seasonings to the water to impart or expand the flavor into the water & let it cool before you add your bird, then your Thyme flavor should incorporate into your meat.  I hope you have a great smoke & as always, don't forget the qview of your process.  My drool bib is a little dry. [​IMG]  

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