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Unread 10-22-2011, 03:35 PM   #1
Oldpro1946
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Default No salt brine

I am smoking a turkey breast and wish to brine it. I don't want to use salt in the brine because it is already enhanced. Honey would be good but don't know what else to use. Another brine also would be fine if it didn't have the salt. Any suggestions? I think I may cook it without skin. Any problems with that method?
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Unread 10-22-2011, 03:46 PM   #2
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maybe some spices or herbs with some type of juice
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Unread 10-22-2011, 03:46 PM   #3
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I think you are looking to marinade then, it wont be brining, as its already in a brine solution.
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Unread 10-22-2011, 03:48 PM   #4
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I may be wrong, but I believe that the only reason a brine works is because of the salt. Its the salinity of the water, and the salinity inside the meat seeking equilibreum that puts that extra moisture into the meat.

That being said it really doesn't make it very salty. After brining just rinse it very well. You may even find that you need a rub with a little salt in it afterward.
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Unread 10-22-2011, 04:50 PM   #5
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Really, you just need a rub or marinade overnight. The brining has been done.

Cheers!

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Unread 10-22-2011, 06:01 PM   #6
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You could make a sweetened(honey, brown sugar, etc) water solution with herbs of choice, and soak it in that. As mentioned above, the cells through osmosis will seek an equilibrium of pressure. Some of the salt would be forced to leave the meat cells, and some of the sweetener/herb mix will enter. Technically this would not be a brine, but would work like one.

Not sure if you bought this on purpose, but in general most of us stay away from enhanced or solution meat for multiple reasons.
Top two being (1) you can make it better than you can buy it, and (2) just paying for water
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Unread 10-22-2011, 06:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiter Q View Post
You could make a sweetened(honey, brown sugar, etc) water solution with herbs of choice, and soak it in that. As mentioned above, the cells through osmosis will seek an equilibrium of pressure. Some of the salt would be forced to leave the meat cells, and some of the sweetener/herb mix will enter. Technically this would not be a brine, but would work like one.

Not sure if you bought this on purpose, but in general most of us stay away from enhanced or solution meat for multiple reasons.
Top two being (1) you can make it better than you can buy it, and (2) just paying for water
I found it difficult to find a turkey breast that hasn't been enhanced. I guess I could have looked for a fresh turkey breast and maybe could have found one this close to Thanksgiving. It looked to me that all the frozen breasts have been enhanced.
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Unread 10-22-2011, 06:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiter Q View Post
You could make a sweetened(honey, brown sugar, etc) water solution with herbs of choice, and soak it in that. As mentioned above, the cells through osmosis will seek an equilibrium of pressure. Some of the salt would be forced to leave the meat cells, and some of the sweetener/herb mix will enter. Technically this would not be a brine, but would work like one.

Not sure if you bought this on purpose, but in general most of us stay away from enhanced or solution meat for multiple reasons.
Top two being (1) you can make it better than you can buy it, and (2) just paying for water
If I marinaded the turkey breast in a brown sugar/honey water solution would 6 hrs be enough time to give it good flavor? Thank you.
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Unread 10-22-2011, 06:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldpro1946 View Post
If I marinaded the turkey breast in a brown sugar/honey water solution would 6 hrs be enough time to give it good flavor? Thank you.
One thing is to make sure the water solution is ice cold.
1) as to not raise the temp of the meat and 2) the cold water somehow causes more diffusion at first

Really depends on how salty it is. So hard to answer. I would do a minimal of the 6 hours.
Any time spent this way would have a positive effect, if even under the amount.

Hope this helps! And let us know how it turns out!
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Unread 10-22-2011, 06:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiter Q View Post
One thing is to make sure the water solution is ice cold.
1) as to not raise the temp of the meat and 2) the cold water somehow causes more diffusion at first

Really depends on how salty it is. So hard to answer. I would do a minimal of the 6 hours.
Any time spent this way would have a positive effect, if even under the amount.

Hope this helps! And let us know how it turns out!
I wasn't going to add any salt because I am afraid that the turkey would taste too salty because it is enhanced.
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Unread 10-22-2011, 06:52 PM   #11
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As mentioned above, it is not a brine without salt. It is a marinade.

I like to inject, even if the bird is enhanced. But, I inject with herb and garlic infused olive oil -- mostly in the breasts. Turkey white meat could use some fat, and olive oil is about as healthy of a fat as you are going to find.

It works for me.

CD
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Unread 10-22-2011, 06:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caseydog View Post
As mentioned above, it is not a brine without salt. It is a marinade.

I like to inject, even if the bird is enhanced. But, I inject with herb and garlic infused olive oil -- mostly in the breasts. Turkey white meat could use some fat, and olive oil is about as healthy of a fat as you are going to find.

It works for me.

CD
Could I mix brown sugar and olive oil and then inject that into the turkey breast? Thanks.
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Unread 10-22-2011, 07:08 PM   #13
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Just to chime in...a Brine is not a brine without salt as a marinade without an acid is not a marinade. I'd add an acid source to that honey and olive oil if you really want it to penetrate and bond with the protein fibers.
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Unread 10-22-2011, 07:16 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreenLeafBBQ View Post
Just to chime in...a Brine is not a brine without salt as a marinade without an acid is not a marinade. I'd add an acid source to that honey and olive oil if you really want it to penetrate and bond with the protein fibers.
I was wrong when I said I wanted to brine. I want to put the breast in a solution to add a honey/brown sugar sweetness to it. I don't have the tools, yet, to inject. Nor do I have the time to run and get the injector. I guess I'll have to go just with the rub. Sorry for my confusion.
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Unread 10-22-2011, 08:18 PM   #15
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No worries at all. I'd sink that in Italian salad dressing for a few hours then season/rub and cook. Let us know how you do!
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