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Turkey - Why Brine

What are the advantages/disadvntages to brining a turkey before smoking?


  • ChefRDChefRD Posts: 438

    Ches, from my experience it seems like the brined ones are more moist and has more flavor since the brine adds a unique flavor. Salty/spicy/herbs etc. the flavor is slightly imparted into the bird but not overwhelming IMO. The taste is better but if you 'over brine' the bird may get sorta mushy. 24 hours is plenty IMO.
    My suggestion is that you brine one overnite, cook it the next day and you should notice a difference. If you don't like the result or notice a difference then you won't need to do it again :)
    later, chefRD[p]

  • Ches,[p]My experience with brining my past two turkeys has been great. The Cook's Illustrated recipe I follow says to brine for 1 hour for every pound of meat but no more than 8 hours. I followed that for a seven pound breast and it was nothing short of fabulous, super moist and tender, my guest said it was the best they ever had. The second cook was a 18 pounder, it was very good but I'll go longer than the 8 hours next time around, probably overnight.[p]Depending on how you like your skin they recommend brining then letting it sit in the frig overnight so the skin can dry out. I recommend putting some plastic wrap over it, my skin dried out too much and cooked up leathery, tasted good, but leathery.[p]Watch the smoke, poultry absorbs smoke very easily; it doesn't take much.[p]Good luck,[p]CC
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