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Turkey Brine

Can someone tell me what a turkey brine is, and how to make it? I'm considering using the egg on Thursday, and looking for any suggesions you may have.[p]Also, any thoughts on temp & how long a 12 lb. bird should take?[p]Do you still stuff the bird?[p]Thanks.


  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    jhgnag,[p]Below is a link to an excellent article on brining.[p]A nice brine is 1 C kosher salt, 1 C brown sugar, and 1 G water. Bring to a boil to sterlize. Allow to cool before using. Soak the bird (submerged - use a plate to keep it under) for 3-12 hours. The bird and brine must be kept cool (fridge temp) during the brine. I brine turkeys in an insulated water cooler and add ice to keep it cool. Remove and rinse very, VERY well (very salty).[p]The turkey can be cooked using dome temps from 200-350°F. The lower temps extend the cooking time and heighten the smoke flavor. The higher temps shorten the cooking time and minimize the smoke flavor. Figure 75 min/lb @ 200°, 30 min/lb @ 250°, 20 min/lb @ 300°, and 15 min/lb @ 350°F. These figures are approximate, but will put you in the ballpark. On lower temp cooks, check the doneness of the skin near the end of the cook and kick the temp up to finish the skin.[p]We here tend to judge meal doneness by monitoring meat temperature. It has been suggested that this method "may" not allow the stuffing (if stuffed in the cavity) to come to a high enough temperature and then have possible problems with bacteria. I have yet to experiment with a cavity stuffed bird on the Egg. The stuffing mix can be inserted between the skin and the meat (even into the legs) and produces a very nice result. The stuffing mix even flavors the meat a bit.[p]Lots of possibilities when cooking with your Egg :-).[p]Happy Thanksgiving,

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    Spin,[p]My apologies. Here is the article.[p]Spin

    [ul][li]Brine Article[/ul]
  • Spin says, "I brine turkeys in an insulated water cooler and add ice to keep it cool."[p]I never thought about using a cooler before. I bought the smallest turkey I could find last week (they were on sale for $.37/lb!) and it won't fit in my stockpot. Maybe I'll try my cooler. Should I just put it in the cooler and put the cooler out on my deck? It's pretty cold outside, but since the cooler is insulated the brine probably won't freeze. [p]How often do you add ice when you brine in a cooler?

  • SpinSpin Posts: 1,375
    BluesnBBQ,[p]I've brined a 25 pounder in a five gallon cooler (only required 2.5 gallons of brine). You could put it outside if you are sure that critters would not be a problem. On the 25 pounder, I replaced a 1/2 gallon of water in the brine with 1 gallon of ice. Overnight, about 3/4 of the ice had melted. The brine was 37°F. The brine was for 20 hours.[p]On smaller birds you can put them in a plastic bag of brine and then add ice around the bag. Sqeezing all of the air out of the bag ensures a complete cover of the bird.[p]Spin

  • Spin,[p]Thanks for the help. It's boiling right now. I think I'll leave the bird & brine in a cooler outside tonight (at your suggestion). I hope this isn't an exact recipe. I think I had more than 1g or water in the pot that I was using.[p]I'll let you know how things turn out.[p]John

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