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Author Topic: Brining Turkey Questions  (Read 10021 times)

Offline Saber 4

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Brining Turkey Questions
« on: September 23, 2013, 08:08:59 am »
We are going on a camping trip for thanksgiving and I am wanting to do spatchcocked turkeys brined and smoked so they have that old fashioned color and taste.
What brine/cure's have you used and recommend?
If I do ahead and vac seal can I reheat in simmering water without over cooking?
Or do I just serve room temp?
We're going to be in Oklahoma and don't know what the weather will be like so I don't know if I want to take the 4 rack digital, I will probably take the BCS to do small stuff but it won't handle turkey's.

Offline SiFumar

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2013, 09:23:52 am »
I'm not sure if this will give you the "old fashion" taste you're looking for, but this is my "go to" brine for turkey, especially for just breasts....http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?21-Apple-Juice-Turkey-Brine-by-Smokehouse-Rob

Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2013, 12:59:03 pm »
I'm not sure if this will give you the "old fashion" taste you're looking for, but this is my "go to" brine for turkey, especially for just breasts....http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?21-Apple-Juice-Turkey-Brine-by-Smokehouse-Rob

Thanks Sandy, does this give you that dark reddish/pink color and almost ham like texture that you get from fair turkey legs? Years ago I worked for a company that gave out smoked turkeys at Christmas and that's how they were and everyone loved them. I got hooked on them because they had a layoff in October but forgot to change their order so I ended up with about 15 smoked turkey's in the freezer that year.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2013, 01:25:16 pm »
I'm not sure if this will give you the "old fashion" taste you're looking for, but this is my "go to" brine for turkey, especially for just breasts....http://www.susanminor.org/forums/showthread.php?21-Apple-Juice-Turkey-Brine-by-Smokehouse-Rob

Thanks Sandy, does this give you that dark reddish/pink color and almost ham like texture that you get from fair turkey legs? Years ago I worked for a company that gave out smoked turkeys at Christmas and that's how they were and everyone loved them. I got hooked on them because they had a layoff in October but forgot to change their order so I ended up with about 15 smoked turkey's in the freezer that year.

It will not give you that rosy color or ham like flavor you are looking for. In order to get that add 3 - 3.5 ounces of cure #1 to Smokehouse Rob's recipe. Because he is using Diamond Crystal Kosher, that will be about 5.5 ounces of salt. You can reduce the amount of salt  he is using in the recipe by the amount of cure #1 added, which will bring the amount of salt in the recipe down to about 2.5 ounces. If you leave the salt as stated in the recipe and add the cure it will give it a more salty flavor that you would expect from a ham.


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Offline SiFumar

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2013, 02:51:33 pm »
Didn't realize you wanted the hammy like texture.  ;D You can go by what HS said...or take a look at this posing by Viper125... http://forum.bradleysmoker.com/index.php?topic=28137.msg334746#msg334746

Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2013, 05:20:22 pm »
Thanks guy's I know I can always rely on the forum to have the answers. :)

Offline Wazzulu

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2013, 11:32:03 pm »
The brine I use for legs is much like Vipers.  Always turns out great.

Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2013, 11:14:18 am »
Someone suggested that I try doing the brine recipe with a chicken since they haven't put the cheap turkey's out for Thanksgiving yet, (to busy with Christmas setup) So I got a whole chicken, spatchcocked it and used the viper125 recipe for the brine. Brined it for 72 hours, rinsed it, patted it dry, rubbed half with paprika and half with Jan's Rub while letting it come up to room temp for the smoker, into the smoker at 220 with apple for 3 hours, cooked to an IT of 165, total cook time 5 hours for a 7lb bird, double wrapped in foil and into the microwave till dinner.





The taste was good, a bit to salty and the legs/thighs had some pinkish color but not the deep color I was hoping for, the meat definitely had a cured texture so I don't think it didn't get enough cure time to be completely cured. I picked up some turkey legs to try another round with.

My questions for the experts are:
1. Would soaking instead of rinsing help with the saltiness like it does for Canadian bacon or do I need to reduce the salt/Morton's TQ?

2. Would it be better to stick with the original recipe or switch to the smokehouse rob recipe with cure 1 added since it has more sugar's to counter the salt?

3. Do you think the color issue has to do with the difference between chicken and turkey meat or is it related to the difference between Cure 1 and Morton's TQ? This is the first time I've used the TQ.

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2013, 01:11:47 pm »
What recipe did you finally use? It will help members to answer your questions.


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devo

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2013, 01:33:19 pm »
Unless I am missing something I think he said  viper125 recipe for the brine

Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2013, 01:55:40 pm »
Unless I am missing something I think he said  viper125 recipe for the brine

You didn't miss anything Devo, I did start out with Viper125's brine recipe which had been suggested earlier in the post. I thank everyone in advance for their help.

Offline GusRobin

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2013, 01:56:38 pm »
when I brine poultry, I just use salt and not any cure or MTQ. I do the brine as a wet brine and soak the bird for a day or 2 at the most. I then rinse it off with cold water (rinse it good) and then pat it dry, add rubs, etc. and cook. It always comes out very moist. The only saltiness is if I use the drippings for gravy, it is usually too salty. I am not sure what you mean by "cured texture" as I only do it to improve the moistness.
I have not brined the last couple of years since I have used the SRG. The poultry with that comes out more moist than any brined bird I have done so no need for me to brine any more.
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devo

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2013, 02:17:48 pm »
Most birds you buy are so full of brine crap that you are just wasting your time brining. Now if your raising turkeys and they are fresh turkeys than by all means brine those suckers. If you are wanting that circus turkey pink meat than your going to brine with curing salts but I am guessing you already knew that. To me a turkey is not suppose to be pink and taste like ham   :o just my thoughts on it.

Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2013, 02:40:58 pm »
Most birds you buy are so full of brine crap that you are just wasting your time brining. Now if your raising turkeys and they are fresh turkeys than by all means brine those suckers. If you are wanting that circus turkey pink meat than your going to brine with curing salts but I am guessing you already knew that. To me a turkey is not suppose to be pink and taste like ham   :o just my thoughts on it.

I can get fresh unbrined turkeys in November, We're going on a camping trip and I was trying to come up with a smoked turkey that was like we used to get at Christmas time that was whole turkey smoked and pink, it's been years since I've seen these turkey's available but I also haven't been looking real hard until now. It may turn out not to be a practical way of doing things for this trip. We had a fall festival in one of the local towns yesterday and I got to talk to the guy selling turkey legs and he told me his secret is to fry his legs till about half done then throw them in the smoker to finish them off, he said he gets plenty of smoke into them that way, however I wasn't going to spend $7 to find out, although the ones I saw him selling did look good.

GusRobin, hopefully this will answer your question about what I meant by "cured texture". The ones we got in the 80's in Michigan were sold for school fundraisers and served cold and I worked for a company later back home in Texas that got them from a different source and gave them as Christmas gifts to employees and good customers. They were both pink in color, had lots of smoke flavor but weren't overly salty and the skin wasn't crisp so I suspect they were smoked very low and slow to have skin like we get in the Bradley.

Offline GusRobin

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2013, 05:20:01 pm »
thanks -
"It ain't worth missing someone from your past- there is a reason they didn't make it to your future."

"Life is tough, it is even tougher when you are stupid"

Don't curse the storm, learn to dance in the rain.