Author Topic: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine  (Read 13716 times)

Offline Smokeville

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Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« on: October 08, 2009, 07:26:05 AM »
So the 9lb turkey is all defrosted and will be ready to smoke tomorrow.

I've just made 1/2 of the brine....

1 gallon water
2 cups kosher salt
1.5 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup
1 bunch sage
1 bunch rosemary
1 bunch thyme
1 bunch savory

I've never used these quantities of fresh herbs before....

Later today I'll add another gallon of water and put in the turkey(s). A friend is supposed to be bringing his over, as he says he keeps drooling down his T-shirt every time he reads my facebook posts, so I thought I'd help him out.

Here's the experimental part: when the brine time is over I plan to salvage the herbs and put them inside the turkey cavity during the smoke.

Any thoughts or ideas before this blows up in my face? (I have another turkey in reserve just in case!).

Regards, Rich



Offline Hopefull Romantic

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2009, 07:33:54 AM »
I am not the expert here but I dont think you will have any problem. I would wash the herbs first before stuffing them into the turkey.

HR
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Offline FLBentRider

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 08:12:08 AM »
If it was me, I would not re-use the herbs.

1. They were in the brine with the raw poultry. The salt should protect it but.....

2. The IT in the cavity (especially when smoking) may not get hot enough (in the herbs) to kill what the salt doesn't

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Offline pensrock

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 08:20:11 AM »
Agreed, toss the herbs and either use fresh or try something like onion slices, orange slices, lemon slices & crushed garlic. I have done this before and the mild citrus taste is really good.

Offline Smokeville

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #4 on: October 08, 2009, 09:54:04 AM »
If it was me, I would not re-use the herbs.

1. They were in the brine with the raw poultry. The salt should protect it but.....

2. The IT in the cavity (especially when smoking) may not get hot enough (in the herbs) to kill what the salt doesn't



That's a good point. I think I'll just throw in fresh herbs instead of re-using. I think the IT would be ok --- I don't truss the turkey and so the cavity would be open mouthed, but as they say in food safety class "when in doubt, throw it out..."

Offline KyNola

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #5 on: October 08, 2009, 10:40:50 AM »
Good call Smokeville.  Tossing the used herbs would be my suggestion as well.

KyNola

Offline ArnieM

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #6 on: October 08, 2009, 11:13:02 AM »
Yeah, I'd toss the herbs too.  Aside from food safety, the herbs would probably bring a lot of salt to the party, even after rinsing.  And, salt in the cavity would tend to draw moisture out of the bird.
-- Arnie

Where there's smoke, there's food.

Offline Smokeville

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2009, 01:52:31 PM »
The bird is brined and ready to hit the smoke..... note the poor little guy is wingless but he never used them anyway!




Offline ArnieM

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2009, 02:05:30 PM »
They're easier to truss up without the wings.  I've trussed up a chicken for our indoor rotisserie and the bird looked like it was trying to fly off - wings flappin' all over.

That looks food Smokeville.  Be sure to post pics on how it came out, BEFORE every has eaten it.
-- Arnie

Where there's smoke, there's food.

Offline Smokeville

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2009, 03:21:42 PM »
They're easier to truss up without the wings.  I've trussed up a chicken for our indoor rotisserie and the bird looked like it was trying to fly off - wings flappin' all over.

That looks food Smokeville.  Be sure to post pics on how it came out, BEFORE every has eaten it.

That's going to be difficult!

As a teaser, I also brined the turkey backs I had bought for making gravy. I didn't smoke them, I baked them and they just came out of the oven... and the little bit of meat on each is AMAZING. Now they go into a pot to make a stock. Tomorrow I'll add the carcass from the smoked turkey and we'll be in business!

So later tonight will be the test of will power.

Offline Smokeville

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2009, 03:56:35 PM »
They're easier to truss up without the wings.  I've trussed up a chicken for our indoor rotisserie and the bird looked like it was trying to fly off - wings flappin' all over.

That looks food Smokeville.  Be sure to post pics on how it came out, BEFORE every has eaten it.

That's going to be difficult!

As a teaser, I also brined the turkey backs I had bought for making gravy. I didn't smoke them, I baked them and they just came out of the oven... and the little bit of meat on each is AMAZING. Now they go into a pot to make a stock. Tomorrow I'll add the carcass from the smoked turkey and we'll be in business!

So later tonight will be the test of will power.

Ok, so my wife and I picked at the turkey backs.... the taste of the brine came right through, especially the subtle sweetness and taste of the maple syrup... Hey, I should be a food writer...

Anyway, if the smoked turkey itself is 1/2 as good I will be very happy.

My wife said "I won't need any meat with dinner...."

Offline ArnieM

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2009, 04:49:05 PM »

Hey, I should be a food writer...

Naw.  All they do is WRITE about it.  They don't know how to COOK it.  That's where we have the advantage.  But, your description was nice.  :D
-- Arnie

Where there's smoke, there's food.

Offline Smokeville

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2009, 08:37:33 PM »
Photos will follow, but smell-o-vision and taste-o-vision haven't been invented. As Alton Brown would say, "we're working on it..."

Best turkey yet. My wife says "best turkey ever."

Which, of course, is relative (very small joke) to what you have had before....

Rich

Offline Quarlow

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2009, 08:42:35 PM »
Who is Alton Brown. Just kidding, I love when he says bam.
I like to walk threw life on the path of least resistance. But sometimes the path needs a good kick in the ass.

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Offline Smokeville

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Re: Smoked Turkey and experimental brine
« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2009, 05:35:30 AM »
Here we go....


Ready to carve






Ready to eat!







The experiment with the brine (without herbs added to the cavity during the smoke) was a success!

Regards, Rich