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Do you brine the Turkey?

GamecockeggerGamecockegger Posts: 6
edited 6:57PM in EggHead Forum
This is my first Turkey on the egg and was wondering if you brine it. I also was told to use Pecan chips, any thoughts on that? Should I use the VRack or the Turkey cylinder?


  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,769
    CHUNKS not CHIPS.. Pecan is good, Apple would be better.

    If you are going to brine a bird you are running out of time. If your bird is still frozen you HAVE run out of time.

    Having said that I have never brined a bird in my life.

    I always cook mine Horizontal. Either on the Grate or or in a roaster. To answer your question from your choices - V-RACK
  • Probably a silly question but what is the grate? Is that just the steel rack?
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,769
    The Porcelain Cooking grate
  • I have always half-assed brined in the past. This year I am doing it with a bit more gusto and just put it outside to brine.

    2 Q vegetable stock
    1 lb salt
    1 lb honey
    top off with water

    This is a lot more honey and salt than I've used in the past. We'll see tomorrow.

    30 deg it was meant for brining.
  • Newbie here...also wondering myself about to brine or not to brine. I would love to not have to worry about it but does it really add that much more flavor?

    Also, I keep reading that when cooking the bird it isn't the length of time smoke that matters as much as just making sure the indicator pops...i have an 18# bird, does anyone have any good estimate as to how long it would take to cook?

    Thanks y'all...

    Nervous first timer
  • ZippylipZippylip Posts: 4,336
    Jarhead, brining is not so much about adding flavor as it is adding moisture; you'd have to consult a real expert as to all the technical/biological reasons for it, all I can tell you is that it has worked repeatedly in my experience, somehow over the course of 24 hours a reaction occurs on a cellular level allowing the brine to actually penetrate & move liquid in and out of the cells (according to the genius on Alton Brown's turkey show anyway), so the bird actually takes on moisture, something basting cannot accomplish. As far as flavor goes, I do not add anything other than the basic brine components of salt and sugar, sometimes chicken stock, & I have not been able to detect any real flavor difference between brined & unbrined, it tastes just like an unbrined turkey but the moisture difference is unmistakalbe & I will not go back to an unbrined turkey. I have seen brine recipes where all sorts of flavorings are added, I have not done this so I cannot speak to the outcome. Best advice I can give you is try brining one & another time try it without, see what you like better, good luck
  • Awesome advice. Thanks. Brine it is. AND, since I reside here in Georgia and shop at the stores that Alton Brown films Good Eats, I will get the technical answer from him should I see him. But thanks for the great explanation.

    Happy Turkey Day. :cheer:
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,769
    Unless you plan in eating at Midnight tomorrow it's kind of late to brine.

    It really should sit in the brining solution for 24 hours.
  • I always brine mine the night before, about 12-16 hours total, and my turkey always turns out great.
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,769
    In that case try it without the brine. I bet it still comes out good.
  • BrooxBroox Posts: 1
    I have never done this I have always deep fried have evr injected the bird then smoked it
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