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turkey tips ... very long

eggoreggor Posts: 777
edited 7:55PM in EggHead Forum
well i've worked on this for a long time trying to consolidate down for my own cookbook so thought i'ld share. hats off to the wise one for all the work he's done compiling recipes. it's a time consuming process. hope you finds this helpfull[p][p] TURKEY TIPS[p]
Use MINIMALLY processed birds for brining.
Use expensive birds if you want to skip the brining process
Do not brine birds (i.e. butterball) that have a high solution % added
They will be too salty so read the label for solution added.
* Coat with oil before you start (holds spices better and keeps
the skin from getting too dark).
* Dry the skin well before you coat with oil (this allows the skin
to brown more evenly).
* The juices from the turkey are good to inject back into them!
* Get a pair of rubber coated cooking gloves for flipping the turkey or handling any heavy meat.
*Wrap the wings and the very end of the drum stick with aluminum foil.
*Do a couple practice chickens (or turkeys) exactly the same way [p]DON'T!!!
* DON'T use the little pop up thermometer
* DON'T stuff the bird
* Cajun spices have a tendency to blacken or get dark quick.
The flavor is great, but some people think the bird is burned.[p]
By Wyndell "Fergy" Ferguson[p]Brining is simply soaking in a salt water solution. The benefits of brining are many fold. First, brining provides a cushion for the breast meat, so even if it overcooks by ten degrees or so, it remains moist. Secondly, the meat of a brined bird tastes pleasantly seasoned, which eliminates the need to season before and after roasting. Because the turkey sits overnight in a tub of salted water, brining also ensures that all parts of the turkey are at the same temperature. This is especially good insurance if you're roasting a previously frozen bird. Yet another benefit is that the turkey meat absorbs water during the brining process. Water is a heat conductor and therefore expedites cooking. We tested this theory and found that indeed, a brined bird cooks faster than an unbrined one by about thirty minutes. So while it may seem like added work, dunking a bird in the brine is worth it for a whole host of reasons. [p]"THE" SOLUTION” see specific recipes
Estimate how much liquid will be required to completely cover
the bird(s).
For each gallon (which should cover one 16# bird)
1/3 to 1 CUP SUGAR
SPICES [p]You will almost ALWAYS have excellent results if your Turkey is Under Brined but it MAY be almost uneatable if:
A) The brine solution includes too much salt,
B) The brine solution does not contain enough sugar,
C) The turkey is left in the brine solution too long,
D) The turkey is not washed THOROUGHLY before cooking,
E) You used any form of salt in a rub on your turkey after brining.
F) You purchased a "processed" turkey (injected or soaked in a solution which always contains salt).[p] Try the following: if nervous about brining
1) Make your Brine Solution up using LESS salt than suggested,
2) Use at least a HALF CUP of sugar.
3) And of course, your spices.[p]“THE PREP”[p] BRINE TURKEY
Fill a large, non reactive container such as an ice chest with cold water. In another bowl, stir the four cups of hot water with the salt, sugar, and spices. Stir this mixture in with the water in the cooler.Immerse turkey in salted, spiced water and weigh down to keep submerged (a brick in a Ziploc bag would work). [p]TIME IN BRINE SOLUTION
From 6 hours, all the way to 24 hours +. You must experiment.[p]BRINING TEMPERATURE - BELOW 40 DEGREES!!!!
Do not try and cut corners on the proper temperature. Place your turkey in the brine solution after it is cool - Cool the brine solution with ice in plastic bags, if necessary. Cover the container and refrigerate. Flip the bird in the brine at least once.
Next day, remove turkey from brine. RINSE THOROUGHLY!!!
Pat dry with paper towels very well. [p]
You can use any of your favorite spices on your turkey after brining. Just do not use any more salt or soy sauce. Mix dry rub seasonings together. Apply seasonings all over turkey, including the cavity.[p]TURKEY SETUPS

Try hanging them; use a chrome choke collar for dogs. Cinch it around the legs and pass the free end up through the chest cavity and out the neck. You can either hang them 'leg down' or bring the chain along the
back and tie it to the loop around the legs and hang them ‘breast down’.[p] "TURKEY ON A THRONE" or "up the butt turkey sitter" style wire rack.
The fat drains out during the cooking process, leaving a cleaner and less messy bird when it's done. [p]“TURKEY ON A RACK”
Laying horizontal, the fat pools in the body cavity, which makes a mess when you pick up the bird to turn it or to take it out of the smoker. Some start with the turkey breast down for about 2 hours, and finishing breast up. Imo this is not necessary if brined (faster cooking times). [p]All methods require drip pan.[p]Fill egg with lump, get a nice clean burning fire, this may take an hour if using fresh lump, and stabilize @ 340 deg grill temp.[p]If you want to add wood chips or chunks, use what you like, but remember this may be too much for guests. The bird will take on a great deal of smoke and can overpower all other flavors. I will recommend loosley foiling over the bird to reduce the amount of smoke.[p]Baste during the last three hours (every 45 minutes or so), with butter, corn oil, olive oil, or even maple syrup, honey, or brown sugar . Cook until thickest part of the breast reads 160 to 165 F. The temperature continues to climb even as you remove the turkey. Taking it off at l60 F. ensures it will not be overdone and dry. [p]
Please note that many home economists are emphatic about the l80 degree minimum.[p][p]“CORRECTING FOR PROPER TURKEY SKIN COLOR” By Jim Minion[p]If you find that the skin is turning black and don't want this, soak cheesecloth in vinegar and wrap the turkey. Spray the turkey once an hour with water and oil solution. The turkey will come out golden brown. If you wrap from the beginning, you can put more smoke on and still get the color you are looking for.[p]INJECTING TURKEYS FOR MORE FLAVOR
Many successful pitmasters INJECT their turkey after brining for
an even more flavorful end product. Here are just a sampling
of the contributed recipes:[p]BY HEIDI ANDERSON
The last time I smoked turkey, I injected it with equal amounts
of Canadian whiskey, apple cider & canola oil with garlic powder.
I then rubbed it with garlic powder and lemon pepper.
From The Cajun Injector
NOTE: If you have brined your turkey (or chicken), please be
very careful with the salt contained in this recipe !
1 10-12 pound dressed turkey not injected with butter,
seasonings, or other flavorings
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons ground red pepper, preferably cayenne
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup celery, finely chopped
3 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons hot pepper vinegar, peppers only, ground
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon red cayenne pepper, ground
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup basic turkey or chicken stock
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce[p]In a large skillet, melt the butter over high heat until half melted. Add the onions and sauté about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the celery, garlic, Ground Hot Pepper Vinegar peppers, the 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon salt, the 1 tablespoon red pepper, and the black pepper. Cook until mixture is a rich golden brown, about 3 minutes, stirring and scraping pan bottom frequently. Add the stock and Worcestershire and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and immediately transfer mixture to a blender: blend on highest speed until mixture is a very smooth puree, pushing sides down as needed to make sure every bit of the vegetables are finely pureed (so it won't stop up the injector needle). Rinse and drain turkey well. While puree is still hot, pour it into the food injector and inject the puree into the turkey: Insert to the bone or to the depth of the injector needle, without piercing through to the cavity. To fill the injection hole with the puree as much as possible, from bone to surface of bird, begin to draw the needle out as you inject the puree. Make holes about 2 inches apart and use most of the puree in the meatiest areas; be sure to inject some of the puree in the upper joint of the wing, too. Pour any remaining puree (the part that won't go through the injector) into the cavity of the turkey and rub it over the inner surface. Set turkey aside. Sprinkle the reserved seasoning mix evenly over the bird and inside the cavity, rubbing it in by hand and using it all. Close the legs and tail together with the metal prong (or fold legs back into skin flaps, or tie legs together with kitchen twine).
Cover and refrigerate overnight. [p]BY DAVE WIENER[p]I've used all kinds of injecting recipes, but one of the best is an
equal combination of melted butter, honey, and sherry wine.
It gives a little sweetness that goes great with the smoky taste.[p]FERGY'S INJECTION RECIPE
1 stick Unsalted butter
1 can Low salt chicken broth
3 tablespoons Tx Pete hot sauce
Garlic powder To taste
Onion powder To taste
Black pepper To taste
Melt on low heat. Mix all ingredients together.
Let cool before injecting.[p][p][p][p][p]TURKEY BUTTERMILK BRINING[p]Brine
1 cup fine salt or 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup molasses or maple syrup
(I used some of each as I didn't have any maple flavoring)
1 T crushed or minced garlic (or garlic powder)
1 T onion powder
1/4 cup pepper
2 T Franks hot sauce
1/2 tsp allspice
1 tsp coriander
1 Qt buttermilk
The turkey does not need to be completely thawed but should
be close. Mix ingredients with cold water until the salt and
molasses dissolve. Cover birds completely with brine and
1 gallon water
3/4 cup salt( sea or kosher)
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup molasses
2 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp thyme
1 tbsp oregano
Other ingredients like maple syrup, garlic, onion, allspice, ginger, or spices you like can be used.
By Marlene Rausch
16 cups cold water
4 cups hot water for mixing brine
3 cups pickling salt
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons pickling spice[p]DRY RUB

2 tablespoons paprika
1 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup maple syrup
2 apples, quartered in cavity[p]===========================
Courtesy Of Marlene Rausch
4 gal. Apple cider
4 oz. Kosher Salt
1 ea. Onion (diced)
2 ea. Heads Garlic split
4 oz. fresh ginger, chopped
3 pcs. Star Anise
4 bay leaves
4 ea. Oranges quartered
Method (In a large stock pot): Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, and anise together in a little canola oil, until lightly browned. Add the bay leaves and the oranges. Sauté another 2-3 min. Add the cider and the kosher salt. Bring to a simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat, transfer to another container and chill completely immersed. Cover and refrigerate while marinating. Turn the bird daily. Marinate a minimum of 48 hours. Reserve some of the brine to baste with if you like. Proceed with roasting as normal.[p]E - BRINED SMOKED TURKEY
By Bruce Cook
I brined an 18 LB fresh turkey for twenty-four hours
Brine Recipe
2 Gallons Water
1 1/2 cups Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups molasses
1/4 cup Penzy's Bicentennial Rub[p] INSERTED INTO CAVITY BEFORE COOKING
1 apple quartered
1/4 grapefruit
1/2 medium onion
By Fred In Nebraska
Here is a brine I like!! A 5 gallon bucket is the best ...
For each GALLON of water add, the following:
1-1/2 C Salt - or to taste
1-1/2 C brown sugar
3 C apple cider or juice
1/2 t ginger - fresh if you have it
4 T black pepper
4 C lemon juice - fresh preferred
1/2 oz maple flavoring
Recipe By Alton Brown,

1 Cup Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 Gallon Vegetable Stock
1 Tablespoon Black Peppercorns
1/2 Tablespoon Allspice Berries
1/2 Tablespoon Candied Ginger Root
1 Red Apples -- Sliced
1/2 Onion -- Sliced
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Cup Water
4 Sprigs Rosemary
6 Leaves Sage
Canola Oil
Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stock pot and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5 gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Remove and discard brine. Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil. Cook as usual.[p]BRINED SMOKED TURKEY Ben Witso
3/4 C Salt (I've used both table and pickling.)
1/2 C Molasses
1-1/2 T Garlic powder
1/2 T Onion powder
1/4 C Pepper
1/2 C Lemon juice
1/2 T Ground ginger
3-3/4 gal H2O (three gallons + three quarts!)
1 quart ginger ale
3 cups Kosher salt
2.5 cups molasses
1 heaping tablespoon onion powder
1 heaping tablespoon garlic powder
1 heaping tablespoon black pepper
1 tab maple flavoring
1 tablespoon sage
2 teaspoons ginger powder
Recipe By Bruce Cook
"Crab Boil Turkey/Chicken"
I have found that many seafood seasonings also flavor turkey
and other poultry very well. I have added various crab boil and
seafood seasonings to brines and/or used seasonings as rubs.
2 gallons water
1/2 cup liquid crab boil (Old Bay, Zatarins, etc.)*.
10 lb fresh turkey breast.
Appropriate amount - sugar or substitute
Apply your favorite seafood rub. Preferably the same kind as
your liquid seafood boil.
*If liquid mixtures are unavailable. Dry rubs may be added to
water at a rate of 2 tablespoons per gallon of water, 1/2 to 3/4
cup of salt, and sugar at the same rate. I would recommend
bringing water to a boil to dissolve salt, sugar and seasonings.
Allow to COOL before adding turkey or poultry.[p][p]


  • BordersBorders Posts: 665
    eggor, Is that all? Where are all the details? Seriously, this will be a popular post around the 3rd thursday in November.

  • eggoreggor Posts: 777
    third thursday in novemember??? oh yah now i get it, can't wait, lookin forward to turkey day, can't take much credit for the info just trying to get my head straight when the the day comes and pass on some research. thought i knew somthin bout cooking turkey till i ran into these guys, just sorry i didn't spend more time givin credit to everyone over here that has given their time. hope they know i appreciate their tips. save the recipes and pass em on if you like 'em and offer any tips.[p]Scott

  • eggor,
    great list of tips. . .but here is one i didn't see that i SWEAR by. .. .about 1/2 hour before you put the bird in the cooker, take a gallon plastic bag full of ice cubes and lay it over the breasts (of the turkey) for about 20 minutes. . .by making the breasts much cooler than the thighs/drumsticks, you will guarantee that they finish at the same time, making for very moist breast meat. .. [p]

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