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Thread: Brining turkey for Green Egg

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    Default Brining turkey for Green Egg

    Canadian Thanksgiving coming up and I want to brine/smoke a turkey. There's a lot of variation in brining recipes out there and I'm worried about the bird getting too salty. What are you guys using for brine? Use sugar?

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    Default Re: Brining turkey for Green Egg

    Ingredients
    For a 12-16 lb turkey (NOT pre-brined)

    This is my basic recipe. Hat tip to Alton Brown
    1 cup kosher salt - This is important. Use less if table salt. Even less if you chose pickling salt.
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 gallon vegetable stock
    2 tablespoons black peppercorns
    1 gallon heavily iced water

    Variations - Use dk brown sugar, honey, or molasses for sweetener. Maple syrup in Canadia.
    Throw in aromatics - I usually add some fresh thyme if I have it.

    I think there is value in even a two-hour brine for a 12 lb bird. But, I go as long as 16 hours. Never had one be salty.

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    Default Re: Brining turkey for Green Egg

    Quote Originally Posted by summilux View Post
    Canadian Thanksgiving coming up and I want to brine/smoke a turkey. There's a lot of variation in brining recipes out there and I'm worried about the bird getting too salty. What are you guys using for brine? Use sugar?
    the salt in the brine isn't meant to pass into the turkey, but act as an agent for osmosis for moisture transfer...won't get too salty!

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    Default Re: Brining turkey for Green Egg

    Quote Originally Posted by funcrusher View Post
    the salt in the brine isn't meant to pass into the turkey, but act as an agent for osmosis for moisture transfer...won't get too salty!
    Sharpen those pencils. It is a neat trick.

    Science of Brining

    "The brine surrounding the muscle fiber cell has a higher concentration of salt than the fluid within the cells. This leads salt ions to enter the cell via diffusion. The high salt concentration immediately begins to do its work on the protein complexes within the muscle fiber (see below for detailed explanation). The end result is the muscle fibers draws in and retain a substantial amount of water by both osmosis and capillary action"

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    Default Re: Brining turkey for Green Egg

    Quote Originally Posted by Too Tall View Post
    Sharpen those pencils. It is a neat trick.

    Science of Brining

    "The brine surrounding the muscle fiber cell has a higher concentration of salt than the fluid within the cells. This leads salt ions to enter the cell via diffusion. The high salt concentration immediately begins to do its work on the protein complexes within the muscle fiber (see below for detailed explanation). The end result is the muscle fibers draws in and retain a substantial amount of water by both osmosis and capillary action"
    should've written "excessively"...salt diffuses into the cells, increasing the salinity and therefore drawing in the moisture...but there is a limit to how much salt will enter...ie more salt doesnt mean saltier turkey

    i will lay out the cash to buy a new BGE as punishment for causing any confusion

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    Default Re: Brining turkey for Green Egg

    Too salty is not a worry. The brining water can only hold so much. I like to throw some sugar into the water as well. I normally use some maui cane sugar and hawaii sea salt for brine. Both are easy ingredients for me to get, so that's what I use. Lots of ideas on brine re: adding other stuff for flavor. Many probably have merit, but I prefer to keep it simple, as I do it to keep the turkey moist - if you are smoking, there are other ways to get flavor into the bird that will work better.

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    Default Re: Brining turkey for Green Egg

    Quote Originally Posted by Noteddy View Post
    Ingredients
    This is my basic recipe. Hat tip to Alton Brown
    1 cup kosher salt - This is important. Use less if table salt. Even less if you chose pickling salt.
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 gallon vegetable stock
    2 tablespoons black peppercorns
    1 gallon heavily iced water

    Variations - Use dk brown sugar, honey, or molasses for sweetener. Maple syrup in Canadia.
    Throw in aromatics - I usually add some fresh thyme if I have it.

    Did this except that I didn't use vegetable stock. Instead, I replaced it with water and added 2 heaping Tb each of dried thyme and rosemary to 4 gallons of stock. Smoked at 325 degrees with some cherry. A 16lb bird took 3.5 hours. BEST turkey ever. Beautiful brown skin, super moist, super tasty. Thanks for this.

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