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-   -   The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Brine (pic) (http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/showthread.php?t=72774)

PatioDaddio 11-16-2009 11:50 PM

The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Brine (pic)
 
I've tried many brine concoctions for my holiday birds, and I've settled on this one, at least for now. Give it a try and drop me a line to tell me what you think. This recipe works very well for both smoking or traditional roasting, and with Thanksgiving just days away, there's not really a better time to post it.

http://www.patiodaddiobbq.com/images...rkey_1_4_2.jpg

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 gal Ice water (lots of ice)
  • 1/2 gal Hot tap water
  • 2 cups Dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning (available in most grocery stores)
  • 1 tsp Chinese five spice (Asian section of most grocery stores -- I like the Sun Luck brand)
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • Juice of 2 oranges
  • Extra ice as needed
Method
  • Get a clean food-safe five-gallon bucket, wash it, then sanitized it with a gallon of water and a capful of bleach.
  • Make the ice water in the bucket.
  • Bring the tap water to a boil in a stock pot or large pan.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and add the salt, sugar, citrus 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 water and seasoning mixture to the ice water in the bucket.
  • Gently submerge the turkey in the brine, breast-side-down. Oh, and make sure you've removed both pouches of innards.
  • Note: It must be completely submerged, so add more ice and water if necessary. If the turkey tends to float, you can seal a rock in a zip-top bag and stuff it in the cavity.
  • Set the bucket in the coldest place you can find (I put mine outside or in the garage), cover with foil, wrap with a sleeping bag or blankets, and let sit at least 12 and up to 24 hours.
  • Caution: It's critical that the brine be kept at or under 40º throughout the entire brining process, so check the ice and add more as needed.
  • An hour before you're ready to cook the turkey, lift it gently and slowly from the brine, allowing it to drain completely. I turn it over just to make sure.
  • Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
  • Rub the skin with canola oil and roast or smoke as desired.
Enjoy,
John

P.S. This recipe and many others can be found on my blog.

Blackened 11-17-2009 01:24 AM

Thanks for the recipe.. Sounds like a winner!

J_Don 11-17-2009 07:22 AM

I am getting ready to do one for our company Thanksgiving lunch next thursday. Thanks for the recipe. I have done one before but didn't have that many ingredients.

SmokeWatcher 11-17-2009 07:38 AM

I will definitely have to try this one out...thanx!

early mornin' smokin' 11-17-2009 07:49 AM

assuming 2 gallons is the standard go to, this is my brine, take about a 1/4 gallon of water, boil it, dissolve 2 cups brown, 2 cups kosher. Let cool. Add concentrate to 1 1/2 gallons of water, a cup of Jack Daniel, half gallon of apple cider. Im not a fan of brining with citrus, fear of almost cooking the bird, but im gonna try and throw some old bay in there.

boatnut 11-17-2009 08:49 AM

thanks John! might have to give that a try next week!

vr6Cop 11-17-2009 10:29 AM

I might have to give this a try. I guess I could use my big-enough cooler for the container instead of a bucket - I would just need to clean and sanitize it at least twice before and after using.

It looks like a really good recipe.

early mornin' smokin' 11-17-2009 10:34 AM

^^^ get urself some of the 10 or 20 gallon ziploc storage bags, double them up, and pack it in ice, no sanitation needed

PatioDaddio 11-17-2009 10:38 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by early mornin' smokin' (Post 1087907)
assuming 2 gallons is the standard go to, this is my brine, take about a 1/4 gallon of water, boil it, dissolve 2 cups brown, 2 cups kosher. Let cool. Add concentrate to 1 1/2 gallons of water, a cup of Jack Daniel, half gallon of apple cider. Im not a fan of brining with citrus, fear of almost cooking the bird, but im gonna try and throw some old bay in there.

I understand your point about citrus, but in this case it is so diluted that it has no real effect. If anything, it helps denature the protein strands just a little more. The real purpose is to compliment the other spices and add a little brightness to the flavor.

John

bigabyte 11-17-2009 11:38 AM

Thanks! I'm going to give this one a try this weekend.

bobaftt 11-12-2010 07:45 AM

how would you change this for an enhanced bird? cut the salt to a half a cup?

PatioDaddio 11-12-2010 08:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bobaftt (Post 1455731)
how would you change this for an enhanced bird? cut the salt to a half a cup?

Cut it in half (3/4 cup).

John

southernsmoker 11-12-2010 09:37 AM

I'm putting that one in my book for future use! Thanks

likeadeere 11-12-2010 09:49 AM

thanks john, every year i get a turkey from work. And since I'm rarely in charge of cooking a turkey for our big family meal - I get a freebie to experiment with. Last year I smoked my freebie turkey w/o brine. This year, it's gettin your brine - thanks man.

joe

p.s. I'll try to document the process and give you props on the forum.

pomah25 11-12-2010 09:57 AM

That sounds great, going to try it in in about a week!


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