23 November 2011

Turkey Brine

Hey Yall, Bubba here

I know i know it's a bit late for a heads up yall should have already done this, but maybe you can use this goodness for Christmas dinner... eh well here goes..

In my quest for extreme BBQ goodness i wanted to smoke turkey for TG ( that's thanksgiving yall) but knowing the physics of the this and that of the physical nature of smoke and fire, heat and air movement. The need for a brine is top of the list on top of need for high heat for crispy goodness on the skin level.

I turned to one of the BBQ Buddies from the Brethren PatioDaddio aka John Dawson, and his Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Brine. I recommend checking it out, and using his recipe.

I followed it to the Tee, then twisted it ( for AZ at the end).

First of all ya gotta let the bird defrost. ya dont want no chunks blockin where flavor can git in, then ya make sure to get the neck and giblets outta there, them's good eatin after ya boil em up, i like the hearts and gizzards myself.

head over to your local grocery store, or walmart, dairy queen or bakery someplace that does large amounts of food stuff in large buckets, them's food safe, not a good idear to use that orange homedepot bucket...no good...

warsh it out, then throw a capfulla bleach with a bucket of water to kill off all the lil baddies!!

buckets DONE!!

next up is the brine finally, John's list is here (with my thoughtful changes in bold)

1 1/2 gal Ice water (lots of ice)
1/2 gal Hot tap water       ( bout 1/3 of my big pot is what i did)
2 cups Dark brown sugar
1 1/2 cups Kosher salt
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning (available in most grocery stores) ( i goofed and got Old Bay Seasoning Rub had a bit of extra brown sugar)
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
( about 1TBSP Chipotle Powder)

See i didnt change much i just didnt try to measure out the water, then i had to add a bit of spice to the mix, this is Arizona after all. 

Now here's what ya do with all that stuff.
Simply heat up the water in the pot to a boil, then stir in all the dry stuff, til the sugar and salt are mostly dissolved, and ready yourself for some good smells in your nostrils!! Squeeze your lemons and oranges into the mix. Then i added the ice straight to the pot and let it get cold while i plopped the turkey into the clean bucket. then pour the mixture into the bucket with the turkey, and get all the good stuff in there, add a bit of water to the pan and swish it around to get the stuff in there. Top with smore ice, and make sure that bird is covered good!

I did this with both turkeys, then i put them in my cooler, to soak for the night. You really want to be careful here, and keep that bird cold, below 41 i like even colder so i put ice around the buckets in the cooler as well. Dont need anyone food poisoned.

the next day these birds hit the smoker to get good! Rub the skin down with some canola oil and Cook em about 350 ish for nice n crispy skin and they should cook ( depending on your bird) in 5-7 hours. Here's where things got sketchy for me, I had to make an emergency BIL save in Yuma, AZ about an hour after these birds hit the smoke, so  the timing wasnt exact and neither was the temp. but i'll let the pictures tell the rest of the story.

Overall i can say that this WILL be my Brine of choice at least the base brine from which i modify for individual tastes. I could have added more Chipotle powder, but the flavor was fantastic, i added no additional salt or pepper, and the leftovers were simply awesome, i've never had leftovers that were as good as this turkey was.



  1. Wow! Thanks so much for trying it, and for your very kind comments. I am humbled and honored to have helped a little with your meal.


  2. Cool. Great brine recipe I only have a couple others that I like - now I'll add this one. I was gonna brine my turkey for thanksgiving. Was going to start making my shopping list Until... Duhn duhn duhnnnn... The turkeys my wife bought were preinjected! Agh! What now? Well I couldn't find any good reads out there that said it was ok to brine and inject, so I let it stand alone with the preinjection. I really want to brine a turkey!! (bucket list)

    Oh and I Love that you got the word nostrils into your blog :o) Fun read Kevin! Thanks

  3. who knew that nostrils would make a reader's day! thanks for readin!!