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Author Topic: Brining Turkey Questions  (Read 10018 times)

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2013, 01:40:43 am »
Sorry! I missed what recipe you finally decided to use.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2013, 01:43:28 am by Habanero Smoker »


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Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2013, 01:20:18 pm »
Not a problem, still looking for opinions on my questions though,,,,,anybody??? :)

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2013, 01:55:59 pm »
In viper's recipe the cure level is very, very low for the amount of TQ he is using for two gallons. It may provide some color but that is about it. Morton recommends that you use 1 cup of TQ for each quart of liquid, and at that rate it is too much salt, and it can be expensive. So I never use TQ as part of a wet brine. His recipe has around 14 ounces of salt, which is not a lot, it is about 7 ounces per gallon; but your brine time for chickens was way too long. If I brine chickens it is usually 4 hours for smaller chickens, and up to 8 hours for large roasters.

If you want the ham like flavor, you will need to increase the amount of sodium nitrite, such as what I posted earlier. SmokeHouse Rob's brine is low salt. As it stands without adding 3 ounces of cure #1, it only contains about 5.5 ounces of salt, and a lot of sweetener, so that would mask the taste of even the extra salt added by cure #1. If you want to keep the salt content around the same, then use 3 ounces of salt plus 3 ounces of cure #1. But I would suggest just adding the amount of cure #1 and keep the salt the same as called for in the recipe. Use his brining times, or a standard brine time for whole turkey is 1 hour per pound.

As for color, that depends on how much myoglobin that is in the meat. The breast has very small amounts of myoglobin, so you can not expect too much color in the breast. You will usually see a light pinkish color. Though the higher the levels of sodium nitrite, the better the color and "ham" like taste.

Last season I have seen several commercial birds that were not pumped with a brine solution. I believe I've even seen Butterball "fresh" turkey that was not brined pumped.


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Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2013, 05:19:43 pm »
Thanks I was leaning towards the smokehouse rob recipe and wasn't sure whether to reduce the salt to cure ration or leave it the same, I'll give it a try and report back on the results

Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #19 on: October 28, 2013, 08:08:21 pm »
I'm going to try keeping the salt the same and add the cure, however I have Morton's Kosher instead of the Diamond Chrystal. If I'm understanding this chart correctly I should stick with 5.5 ounces instead of 1 cup which would be 8 ounces to keep true to the recipe.
 
1 cup table salt (all brands) = 10 oz. = 285 grams
1 cup Morton Kosher Salt = 8 oz. = 225 grams
1 cup Diamond Crystal Salt = 5.5 oz. = 155 grams

Also for my experiment I have 6 legs with a total weight of 4 1/3 pounds, how long should I leave in the brine?

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2013, 02:15:41 am »
The chart you posted is accurate. Due to the different salt crystal sizes that is why I was giving the salt measurement in weight. If you look at the first direction in Smokehouse Rob's recipe, it gives you a pretty accurate salt volume conversion of his recipe; of the most popular salts. For Morton's Kosher you will need to use 3/4 of a cup/gallon. If you have pickling or non-iodized salt use a 1/2 cup. I prefer the latter because it dissolves much faster.

For six turkey legs you don't want to make a full gallon. Depending on your container, 2 quarts should be more then enough to cover six turkey legs. That will save on supplies, and expense. To calculate the amount of brine; place the turkey legs in the container you want to brine them in and add enough water to cover the legs by about 1-inch. Remove the turkey legs, and measure the water. That is the amount of brine you will need to make. If it is a odd number such as 37 ounces, to make it easier to scale the recipe, make 64 ounces (2 quarts) of brine. For Smokehouse Rob's recipe, if using 2 quarts you would divide all the ingredients in half, that is also including the amount of cure you plan to use.

With turkey legs, try brining around 3 - 4 hours, and be sure to rinse the legs off, and pat dry to prior cooking.

Rethinking the cure amount; 3 - 3.2 ounces of cure #1 per gallon is my preference; if you want it more like commercially smoked cured turkey, you may want to add 4 ounces of cure #1 per gallon on water.



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Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2013, 06:12:57 am »
Thanks for the quick response, looks like I'll be throwing them in the brine early tomorrow morning and smoke them after lunch.

Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2013, 06:59:37 pm »
With everyone's help I have had success with the turkey legs, even SWMBO has declared that I nailed it for the thanksgiving trip. I did the smokehouse rob brine recipe with cure #1, made a half batch of brine with 1.5 oz cure #1, brined for 4 hours, rinsed and patted dry. We were having a serious all day wind and rain event so I opted to do the 12 hour dry on the rack in the fridge, which ended up being about 18 hours. It really does make a difference in the skin crisping up, this was the first time we had poultry skin out of the 4 rack that was edible without going to the oven or grill. I did 2 hours of apple at 230 and I hit an IT of 166 in that 2 hours with the size of the legs. The two darkest ones on the right side were done with Jan's rub right before going in the smoker and they made a great dinner tonight.



Sliced off a small test piece after it cooled off and it had the nice slightly pink color I was looking for and had a the not to salty not to sweet taste I was looking for



I will be doing a couple of spatchcocked turkey's ahead of time for our camping trip on thanksgiving  ;D

Offline Habanero Smoker

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #23 on: November 01, 2013, 01:32:07 am »
Those are some nice looking turkey legs. Glad to hear the recipe worked out for you.


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Offline ragweed

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #24 on: November 01, 2013, 04:13:34 am »
They look great, Robert.  Congrats!

Offline KyNola

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #25 on: November 01, 2013, 08:04:40 am »
Very nicely done Robert!

Offline Redneckinthecity

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #26 on: November 01, 2013, 08:39:09 am »
Those look great.  I've never tried to make turkey legs, but I remember fondly the legs that we used to get at the state fair.  My memory was that they were quite tender and while they didn't fall off the bone, you also didn't have to gnaw at them like a caveman.  Is the way to achieve that to cook low and slow? 

Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #27 on: November 01, 2013, 07:03:31 pm »
Those look great.  I've never tried to make turkey legs, but I remember fondly the legs that we used to get at the state fair.  My memory was that they were quite tender and while they didn't fall off the bone, you also didn't have to gnaw at them like a caveman.  Is the way to achieve that to cook low and slow?

I think low and slow with this brine will work for you if you experiment with the IT to get the result you want, I also talked to a vendor at a local festival who told me he half cooks his turkey legs in the deep fryer and then finishes them in the smoker with no brine and they looked real good.

Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #28 on: November 23, 2013, 11:29:56 am »
I picked up a 13 lb. fresh bird with only a 3% broth solution that says it has less than 2% salt content so I think I will be ok with the Smokehouse Rob's brine recipe. Because I picked up the SRG I'm changing my plan up a bit and instead of spatchcocking to brine and smoke with a finish in the oven for skin crisping I'm going to brine and smoke it whole to an IT of about 120 per TMB and then into the SRG to finish. After it cools down I'm actually going to spatchcock and vacuum seal it to transport and reheat using an electric roaster water bath.

1. How long should I brine the 13lb turkey?

2. I'm going to put the bird in the SRG bucket to smoke and then straight into the SRG like 10.5 suggested, but I've read different posts about putting the turkey in breast down or breast up for the hot spot, I did get a Tommy Ring to use so what recommendations do y'all have for me?

3. What IT should I shoot for in the breast and thigh to be done with this type of brine?

Offline Saber 4

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Re: Brining Turkey Questions
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2013, 05:21:24 pm »
After cooking chicken in the SRG tonight I have another question to the ones in the post above this one. Would it be better to get a turkey stand like the smaller chicken one I used tonight for holding the turkey upright in the SRG basket?