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Turkey Brine/Rub Recipies - Printable Version

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Turkey Brine/Rub Recipies - Pegleg - 10-22-2007 07:51 PM

Thanksgiving is only four weeks away and I'm smoking two turkeys in my WSM's for our family dinner. I have used the brine recipe below for the last several years; it is very good and everyone likes it but I would also like some variety and try something different. I was wondering if anyone would be willing to share some of their favorite recipes and techniques as to what works for them. THANK YOU!!

Dan Gill's Turkey Brine
1 gallon cold water add
1 1/2 Cups salt*
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 tablespoon garlic or garlic powder crushed or minced
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/4 cup black pepper
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 ounce maple flavoring
12 ounces ginger ale

Alternatively, use:

1/2 tablespoon ginger (ground, or minced) in place of the garlic and onion.

* Table salt is not recommended because of the iodine. I usually use dairy salt which is just a good quality sterilized fine salt. I buy it from a farm supply store in 50 pound bags for curing meat and fish. Kosher salt works fine too, it just dissolves a little slower.

Cover birds completely with brine and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove from brine and drain while preparing smoker. Rinse birds well inside and out. Smoke at around 250F (measured at grate level) to an internal temperature of 170F in the thickest part of the thigh. Basting with butter every few hours will give you a beautiful golden-brown skin.

This recipe is from "The BBQ FAQ" section at BBQSEARCH.COM

Re: Turkey Brine/Rub Recipies - PackerBacker - 10-22-2007 08:39 PM

Sounds like a great brine! I have done the "Big Birds" before on the WSM but have always had them come out a bit chared on the skin, the meat is great, just looks bad?? I have been told to use cheese cloth to cover them to get a nice golden brown color. Keep in mind I have always cooked them on the top grate, maybe to close to the lid, getting that radiant heat beating down on the bird, I myself can use some help on the "BIG BIRD THEORY"


Re: Turkey Brine/Rub Recipies - Guest - 10-22-2007 10:08 PM

The brine does sound pretty good, but I tend to be more of a purist when it comes to brines, especially with a holiday turkey. I'll send you my brine and preparation recipes, if you are interested. As for cooking, I highly recommend the trash can method, or, even better, The Orion Cooker which is (or was during the summer) available at Home Depot. They are great cookers. You can cook a 20-pound turkey in 2 1/4 hours. That is what I used to make the chicken wings at Fire Water & Ice.


Re: Turkey Brine/Rub Recipies - Pegleg - 10-23-2007 09:16 AM

Before the bird goes in, I always give it a good rubbing with olive oil and then rub it every couple of hours. I'm going to try butter this time and see how it turns out. When I do the brine, I inject the bird then give it a two day bath then rinse it well in cold water.

I would very much appreciate the information you have as well, please e-mail it to me at <!-- e --><a href="mailto:earlld@ldschurch.org">earlld@ldschurch.org</a><!-- e -->. I see those Orion cookers at Home Depot all the time and the price isn't too bad ($150). That is going to be at the top of my Chrismas list this year.



Re: Turkey Brine/Rub Recipies - Guest - 10-23-2007 09:38 AM

I should have just posted the brine recipe here, but I was lazy last night. In any event, I've had two requests, so here ya go! Simply adjust the amounts as needed depending on the size of your bird.

1 five gal bucket - cleaned and sanitized

1 1/2 gal Ice water + 1/2 gal tap water
1 1/2 cup Kosher salt
2 cups Dark brown sugar
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning
1 tsp Chinese five spice
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 2 oranges

- Make the ice water in the bucket.
- Bring the 1/2 gal tap water to a boil in a large pan.
- Remove from the heat and add the salt, sugar, juice and all of the seasonings.
- Let the seasoning mixture sit in the pan, stirring occasionally, until all of the salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Add the seasoning mixture to the ice water in the bucket.

Brine the bird breast-side-down at least 10-12 hours.
You may need to weigh it down to keep it submerged. I use a large rock in a ziploc bag.
I pack the top of the bucket with ice and set it outside to stay cold.


Re: Turkey Brine/Rub Recipies - Pegleg - 10-23-2007 10:44 AM

Thanks a Ton John,

I'm definantly going to use it. In fact maybe I'll run a couple of whole chickens through it this weekend!! I didn't know what Chinese Five Spice was until I checked it out on the internet -- I have never seen it in any stores.

Also, while I was checking out the links I came across a recipie for Chicken Wings that used this seasoning. On the review page one individual wrote that they grilled it using mesquite chips -- it sounds pretty good. Smile

Here's the link if anyones interested :arrow: <!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/101930">http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/101930</a><!-- m -->

Re: Turkey Brine/Rub Recipies - Guest - 10-23-2007 10:53 AM

Pegleg;p="6327 Wrote:...I didn't know what Chinese Five Spice was until I checked it out on the internet -- I have never seen it in any stores.
Lyle - You can find five spice in the Asian section of nearly any grocery store. I use the Sun Luck brand.


Re: Turkey Brine/Rub Recipies - Guest - 10-23-2007 02:45 PM

I did this turkey last year at Thanksgiving - a "Hurricane Turkey"... It took a little work, but it was simply fabulous and well work the effort... Didn't know how all the different "flavors" would work, but it produced a really great tasting bird

Follow the link for the recipe and some good "how-to" pictures...

<!-- m --><a class="postlink" href="http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=1701&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=turkey">http://www.thesmokering.com/forum/viewt ... ght=turkey</a><!-- m -->


Hoochie 8)

- Phred - 10-15-2009 07:57 AM

The recipe you reference says to intially smoke the bird at 200 degrees, that seems quite low for poultry, most other folks cook it at a highter temp to protect against food poisoning. Is that the temp you use?


Re: Turkey Brine/Rub Recipies - Guest - 10-15-2009 08:14 AM

Hey, Phred...

You can/will find sources that will say 200 is fine... But like you, I was a little "uncomfortable" with that... We did ours at around 230-235...