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eggary 12-13-2012 10:51 PM

Turkey Brine
This is my first post.
I am smoking a Turkey for a Hanukah Party this Saturday. I am going to brine the Turkey. I got a Brine Recipe that I want to use. I also plan on adding Bourbon. I want to know if there is an ingredient that might not belong or might be too much.

Thank you.


Turkey Brine

4 quarts water
2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup sea salt
8-10 whole cloves garlic, peeled
6-8 whole bay leaves
3 large sprigs of thyme
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns

Place 2 quarts of water and other ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, dissolving sugar and maple syrup. Remove from heat, add remaining 2 quarts and allow brine to cool completely before using.

Wampus 12-14-2012 12:09 AM

Never tried adding bourbon to a brine, but I really don't know why you couldn't. Bourbon flavor is great, so why not?

The only thing I notice about the recipe is that the salt to sugar to water ration seems off to me, at least according to most brines that I've seen. Of course the soy sauce is salty too, so perhaps it will work out. Still, with the amount of maple syrup and brown sugar, there's a lot more sweet than salt. Just something that jumps out at me. Plus, since you're only using a gallon of water, it's a really strong or concentrated brine.

A simple/typical brine ratio is 1 gal water, 1 cup salt and 1/2 cup sugar. Yours has a lot more sugar than salt. It's really the salt that's the most critical ingredient in a brine because the salt is what chemically affects the protiens.

Here's a great article on brining, which has a simple brine recipe:

Only way to know for sure is to try it and adjust from there. I'd just hate for you to find out at Hanukkah dinner that it didn't work is all. How long do you plan to soak the turkey? I usually brine turkeys for 18-24 hours. I'd be wary of brining for that long in such a concentrated brine as you have there.

TheJackal 12-14-2012 07:42 AM

First reactions:
you could use most of those ingredients with 2 gallons of water.

That's not a lot of salt. although the soy sauce certainly adds a bit.

I would use light brown sugar instead of dark. I used dark in my brine for thanksgiving and wish I used light instead. It wasn't bad, but the molasses tones were a little too much.

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