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Brining turkey?

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Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:42 pm
767dvr medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 213
Location: N VA
A question for the well informed. I am new to this low&slow style of cooking. Are there any problems or adjustments with brining a butterball or supermarket frozen turkey/turkey breast. I know you need to thaw the bird. Do you soak the bird in plain water before the brining. A fresh bird is not going to happen :cry: .

Cheers,
Ed
Weber Silver C
ECB"gourmet" slightly moded

Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:50 pm
Eaglesno1 rare
rare

Posts: 36
Location: Atlantic City
No you don't have to wash beforehand, but make sure you wash after to get most of the salt off. Be carefull using a Butterball, the already have been injected with a brine/butter solutionand I had a couple come out a little salty.

Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 1:51 pm
YardBurner BBQ Deputy
BBQ Deputy

Posts: 5367
Location: Damascus, Maryland
Be carefull.

Butterball and almost all store brands are
already either brined or injected.

Read the label.

It's possible if you brine one it will be TOO salty.

I've never brined anything other than a fresh bird.

Anyone out there have any tales to tell?
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Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:27 pm
mrjohnnyucla medium-rare
medium-rare

Posts: 59
Location: Los Angeles
I just brined a non-butterball frozen (and defrosted) turkey last week. I used about 1 cup of salt for a gallon of water. Plus added black pepper, oregano, and rosemary. Brined for 12 hours (overnight). Turned out great.

I also injected it with butter/lemon about 1/2 way through the smoking process and basted it every hour with butter/lemon.

Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 2:28 pm
jamesstew well done
well done

Posts: 899
Location: Minnesota
If you are just wanting to have a moist turkey than a Butterball since being pre-brined is a good way to go. If you are trying to add additional flavors I would try using a brine that has the salt content cut by two-thirds. I have brined turkeys that have been pre-brined using this ratio and they have not been too salty. Just remember to use a rub with less salt and if you coat the breast with butter usually use unsalted.

Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:35 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2617
Location: Valley Springs, CA
I just ordered a fresh natural turkey (not injected). 15lber for $23. I pick it up on Monday. I'll have it in the maple brine Tuesday night :D . I've never brined a turkey for that long. I'm hoping for good results.


E

Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 7:36 pm
Wolfpackbbq well done
well done

Posts: 2617
Location: Valley Springs, CA
YardBurner wrote:
Be carefull.

Butterball and almost all store brands are
already either brined or injected.

Read the label.

It's possible if you brine one it will be TOO salty.

I've never brined anything other than a fresh bird.

Anyone out there have any tales to tell?


I've brined a couple pre injected turkeys with good results. I cut back on the salt in the brine to even it out

Post Mon Nov 13, 2006 11:07 pm
767dvr medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 213
Location: N VA
Thanks to all for the info. I will cut back on the salt if we go with the butterball. I will use unsalted butter/herb mix to inject the bird. I was thinking of smoking a turkey breat this week(1st attempt). Any guess of the min/lb for turkey breast? I will use a dig themometer for acurate temps on the grate and for the bird.

Cheers,
Ed

Post Tue Nov 14, 2006 1:25 pm
Drac rare
rare

Posts: 38
Location: McKinney TX
I get unbrined birds and brine in about 1 cup to a gallon of salt and add 1/2 cup of brown sugar. I brine for about 12 hours two days before. I then rinse it off, lift the skin away from the meat and place it on a cooling rack over a large serving plate in the frig to dry out the skin. This gives it a great crispy skin. The reason I lift it before is so before I cook it I place a mix of honey and butter under the skin to flavor the meat a bit more.

I did brine an injected bird once and it was inedible even for me.

Jim

Post Tue Nov 14, 2006 2:35 pm
jamesstew well done
well done

Posts: 899
Location: Minnesota
Instead of brining a pre-brined bird you could try injecting it for flavor. Just use an injection with no or little salt.

Post Tue Nov 14, 2006 5:52 pm

Posts: 25
Location: Maple Ridge Canada
I am curious how your turkey will turn out. I post last month regarding the outcome of the skin on my brined turkey. The turkey was incredibly moist but the skin was like a tough chewy membrane. I had lots of great input and if it wasn't for the thousand other things that I want to experiment on I would have tried another turkey. I will post my results once I get the opportunity.

Post Tue Nov 14, 2006 7:04 pm
767dvr medium-well
medium-well

Posts: 213
Location: N VA
BBQ'D Badger- I am planning on finishing the breast on the weber gasser to crisp up the skin some. I have tried this with smoked chicken, and it helped out.


Well, I have a 5.5lb turkey breast brining away. I cut way-way back on the salt,although I did put some old bay into the mix. I was planning on a 5-6 hour brine. I will take the turkey breast out tonight and inject and smoke on Wed.. I am also going to try(3rd attempt) at a rack of ribs 3-2-1 style. Any guess at the cooking time on the turkey breast(low and slow method)? Should I put the breast on a pan or place directly on the grate? Any help would be great. Thanks as always 8)

Cheers,
Ed
ps I am planning on using a cherry/apple/old # 7 for the smoke :lol:

Post Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:04 pm
Eaglesno1 rare
rare

Posts: 36
Location: Atlantic City
It should be about the same as the ribs, maybe 45min/pound. I also found its easier to cook if you butterfly the breat to have it lay flat. Its a much better way to baste also. Good luck.

Post Wed Nov 15, 2006 1:24 pm
jminion medium
medium

Posts: 179
Location: Federal Way, WA

767dvr wrote:
Thanks to all for the info. I will cut back on the salt if we go with the butterball. I will use unsalted butter/herb mix to inject the bird. I was thinking of smoking a turkey breat this week(1st attempt). Any guess of the min/lb for turkey breast? I will use a dig themometer for acurate temps on the grate and for the bird.

Cheers,
Ed

Cutting back on salt in a brine is giving the turkey a bath not a brine. A brine is a chemical reaction that needs more salt in the brine than there is in the meat to cause the reaction. In short if your are going to cut back on the salt don't waste your time unless it is a really dirty bird.
Jim
Weber Rancher
WSMs
Primos
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Ole Hickory EL-ED

Post Wed Nov 15, 2006 2:05 pm
jamesstew well done
well done

Posts: 899
Location: Minnesota
jminion wrote:
767dvr wrote:
Thanks to all for the info. I will cut back on the salt if we go with the butterball. I will use unsalted butter/herb mix to inject the bird. I was thinking of smoking a turkey breat this week(1st attempt). Any guess of the min/lb for turkey breast? I will use a dig themometer for acurate temps on the grate and for the bird.

Cheers,
Ed

Cutting back on salt in a brine is giving the turkey a bath not a brine. A brine is a chemical reaction that needs more salt in the brine than there is in the meat to cause the reaction. In short if your are going to cut back on the salt don't waste your time unless it is a really dirty bird.
Jim


Come to think of it maybe brining a pre-brined bird with less salt in this case might draw moisture out of the turkey. Maybe injection and rub is the safest way to go.

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