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Old 10-03-2011, 08:20 PM   #1
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Brining and smoking a turkey

Ok, I know that brining has probably been covered before and I even found a recipe a few posts back. I'm hoping to get some feedback from tried-and-true recipes for this kind of thing. What I can bring to the table:

I'll probably be working with an injected turkey from the supermarket (Kroger). It will be about 15ish pounds. It will probably be injected, but I have no idea of what with, or how much. If I brine I'll keep it to about an hour or 2.

1 C kosher salt/gal of brine
1/2-1C sugar/gal of brine

I am still trying to get a cook time on this. The link below looks like people are really happy with it:

Barbecue Turkey: The Ultimate Smoked Turkey Recipe

I'll probably leave the cavity of the bird hollow to cook it faster.

4ish hours @ 325F for a turkey sounds like it would barely brown, yet alone cook to 160-175. Any ideas on this?

Other advice would be amazing! Thanks!

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Old 10-03-2011, 08:33 PM   #2
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Poultry does not benefit from the traditional smoking mantra of low and slow. 4 hours in a 325 / 350 degree smoker is probably about right

Beef and pork are generally smoked at much lower temperature for much longer periods of time. Doing this to a turkey would just dry it out.

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Old 10-03-2011, 08:36 PM   #3
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Yeah, the info I've been reading on it says that the connective tissue in the meat is different, and not as fatty as that of a pork shoulder. I'm just thinking back when Grandma made turkeys. They took all friggin' day! Could that have been the stuffing?
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:41 PM   #4
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The stuffing and an oven @ 250 degrees.
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Old 10-04-2011, 12:10 AM   #5
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i have smoked turkeys low and slow in a brinkman style smoker and had great results with a nice pink ring. Turkey is probably my favorite thing to do on this type of smoker. Don't forget to throw some potatoes,carrots,onions,celry or what ever in the cooking liquid.
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Old 10-04-2011, 10:23 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by inchrisin View Post
Ok, I know that brining has probably been covered before and I even found a recipe a few posts back. I'm hoping to get some feedback from tried-and-true recipes for this kind of thing. What I can bring to the table:

I'll probably be working with an injected turkey from the supermarket (Kroger). It will be about 15ish pounds. It will probably be injected, but I have no idea of what with, or how much. If I brine I'll keep it to about an hour or 2.

1 C kosher salt/gal of brine
1/2-1C sugar/gal of brine

I am still trying to get a cook time on this. The link below looks like people are really happy with it:

Barbecue Turkey: The Ultimate Smoked Turkey Recipe

I'll probably leave the cavity of the bird hollow to cook it faster.

4ish hours @ 325F for a turkey sounds like it would barely brown, yet alone cook to 160-175. Any ideas on this?

Other advice would be amazing! Thanks!

I dont like brining an injected bird.

Dont even bother brining if you are only going to do it for an hour or so. It wont work.

Id either skip the brineing of an injected bird or find a natural one and brine it.

Depending on the size of the bird, most turkeys will be completely cooked, if not overcooked, after 4 hours at 325. DO NOT OVERCOOK POULTRY.
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Old 10-05-2011, 03:46 PM   #7
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Brining usually is done using a bird that does not have anything injected. Another method would be to do this 24 hours in advance--again a bird that does not have anything injected is recommended. Loosen the skin along the breast and thighs. Take 2 T of kosher salt and massage it into the meat between the skin. Prick the fat pockets by the neck and the thighs about 5 times. Rub the inside with 1 T of Kosher salt. Rub the outside (front and back with more salt). Cover with plastic wrap and refridgerate it for 24 hours. The next day, pat the bird on the outside with paper towels. Prepare your stuffing and take a piece of cheesecloth to line the cavity. Put a couple of cups of stuffing in the cheesecloth, tie it. Put it in the roaster breastside down. Take some salt pork, slice it, rinse it, pat it dry, and lay this across the back. This will self-baste the bird. When the breast is about 130, flip the bird (remove the salt pork) and the cheesecloth. Return to a hot oven (about 400) and cook until the breast is 160, the thighs 175. Let rest 30 minutes. While it is resting, you can prepare the stuffing (adding the stuffing that is in the cheesecloth back to the reserved stuffing, bake about 15 minutes in a greased baking dish). Make your gravy. I can't remember the temperature for the stuffing, but I think it is around 150-160 as well.
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Old 10-05-2011, 06:16 PM   #8
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Also, brining decreases the cook time of a turkey. So that might be why it only takes four hours. Last year, my turkey (which I brined) cooked in like three hours, it was about 12-14 pounds.
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Old 10-05-2011, 07:14 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by PrincessFiona60
The stuffing and an oven @ 250 degrees.
Not to mention the fact that the turkey must have weighed close to 30 pounds!!
:). He he!
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Old 10-06-2011, 08:19 AM   #10
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Not to mention the fact that the turkey must have weighed close to 30 pounds!!
:). He he!
True, some of the turkeys my Great grandmother cooked were bigger than some of the younger cousins.
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Old 10-06-2011, 01:04 PM   #11
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Having never brined any food in my life, I have a very basic question for those of you that have; does the final product, when eaten, have a much higher level of salt content than that which has not been brined, or is that somehow not absorbed into the meat?
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Old 10-06-2011, 03:25 PM   #12
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Having never brined any food in my life, I have a very basic question for those of you that have; does the final product, when eaten, have a much higher level of salt content than that which has not been brined, or is that somehow not absorbed into the meat?

There is more salt in the food after brining. When you put poultry (or other meats) into a brine, there is a salinity imbalance between the fluids inside the meat's cells and the brine. Through osmosis, the salinity levels are equalized. So when you're done, there's more salt in the bird and less in the brine.

After brining, rinse off the food and pat dry before cooking.
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Old 10-13-2011, 12:47 PM   #13
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Hope you don't mind if I go slightly off topic. I love smoked turkey though I have never cooked one (but do have a smoker). I would highly recommend deep frying your turkey. I have been injecting and deep frying our Thanksgiving turkey for about 9 years. Only the skin gets slighlty greasy. Otherwise it locks in the juices and makes it so moist and flavorful, plus it cooks in less than an hour. Just be careful if you choose this method. Make sure it is completely thawed, pat off excess moisture, lower slowly into oil, wearing gloves and long pants.
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Old 10-13-2011, 02:24 PM   #14
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There is more salt in the food after brining. When you put poultry (or other meats) into a brine, there is a salinity imbalance between the fluids inside the meat's cells and the brine. Through osmosis, the salinity levels are equalized. So when you're done, there's more salt in the bird and less in the brine.

After brining, rinse off the food and pat dry before cooking.
Thanks Andy. I guess while I was sick, I missed your reply until just now. I wasn't thinking very clearly.

I react pretty badly to salt now that I've all but eliminated it from my diet. I guess I won't be trying this. I doubt I could handle the salt's flavor or after effects.

Thanks anyway!
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Old 12-13-2012, 07:25 PM   #15
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Okay, I quartered a turkey, the back is in the oven roasting for stock on a rack over carrots, onion, celery, and apples. For the brining, I did the traditional sugar:salt:water ratio, added cranberries, garlic, apples, juniper berries, fennel seeds, black pepper, ... did I miss something? I'm thinking smoke the pieces in my Brinkman, toss in some apple wood...this is Saturday's supper. at least part of it is.
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Old 12-17-2012, 04:43 PM   #16
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Poultry does not benefit from the traditional smoking mantra of low and slow.
Excuse me.

Smoked Turkey


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Old 12-18-2012, 02:32 AM   #17
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Try a dry brine, it's much better. Wet brine = mushier texture and reduced turkey flavor. Dry brine = meatier texture and more concentrated turkey flavor.

Also, if you spatchcock the the bird, it'll get a SIGNIFICANTLY better smoke (more surface area exposed), cook more evenly (and thus stay jucier), and it's done in about half the time (also keeps it jucier). There's no reason to not spatchcock poultry. Works whether you're grilling, BBQing, or roasting. Try it, it's super easy.
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Old 12-18-2012, 10:34 AM   #18
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I disagree with using dry brine verses wet brine for smoking turkeys

Dry brine works by the salt drawing moisture out of the turkey which opens up the pores of the meat, allowing flavor to flow back in.

Wet brine works using an osmosis process to add moisture to the area surrounding the cells.

To effectively dry brine a turkey takes longer than the wet brine process. Reason is you need to draw moisture out of the bird and then let it slowly be reabsorbed. This takes about 2 to 3 hours per pound depending on the brine instructions.

My experience is that a normal turkey, 15 to 20 pounds, will take two to three days to dry brine compared to one day to wet brine.

Also, I find that wet brine is better at introducing moisture into meat than dry brine.

A wet brine turkey weighs about 15% more than it did before going into the brine. This increased weight is moisture.

A dry brine turkey actually loses some of its moisture during the brine process.

Try both methods and weigh before and after the brine. I have.
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Brining and smoking a turkey Ok, I know that brining has probably been covered before and I even found a recipe a few posts back. I'm hoping to get some feedback from tried-and-true recipes for this kind of thing. What I can bring to the table: I'll probably be working with an injected turkey from the supermarket (Kroger). It will be about 15ish pounds. It will probably be injected, but I have no idea of what with, or how much. If I brine I'll keep it to about an hour or 2. 1 C kosher salt/gal of brine 1/2-1C sugar/gal of brine I am still trying to get a cook time on this. The link below looks like people are really happy with it: [url=http://www.amazingribs.com/recipes/chicken_turkey_duck/ultimate_smoked_turkey.html]Barbecue Turkey: The Ultimate Smoked Turkey Recipe[/url] I'll probably leave the cavity of the bird hollow to cook it faster. 4ish hours @ 325F for a turkey sounds like it would barely brown, yet alone cook to 160-175. Any ideas on this? Other advice would be amazing! Thanks! 3 stars 1 reviews
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