'Tis the season ... so be sure to see our Holiday Entertaining Recipes for some terrific ideas. And, it’s not too early to start thinking about our Country Christmas menu for any of your holiday meals! For something different, how about mixing it up with our Light Southern Meal with Grilled Catfish and Watermelon Salsa! Happy Holidays!
Folks here can correct me on brining, but here is my personal experience. Check the label and make sure it isn't already brined! You will find that most of them are. I didn't realize this until I couldn't figure out why after cooking a turkey I had brined came out with an awful sponge-like texture. Here is your indicator - it will say right on the package - INGREDIENTS: Whole Young Turkey. Contains up to 8% of a solution of Water, Salt, Spices, and Natural Flavor.
I cook lots and lots of carcass included turkey breasts throughout the year (no dark meat and relatively cheap), which based on the label are pre-brined as above, and what I do is make a compound olive oil. I season the olive oil with red pepper flakes (they disappear during the cok somehow but add an impeccable flavor), pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, bbq rub, italian seasoning, oregano and whatever else you feel like. Rub under the skin, in the cavity, and on the skin. Get your food probe in the coldest part of the breast (stab a lot until you find it) and let it sit out for at least 30 minutes prior to putting on the egg. For smoke, use maple. I've tried them all and maple is the hands down best. Cook according to the bird's instructions or however you want. Once you get a 162 temp, take it off and let it sit FOR AT LEAST 30 minutes. Then, cut the sucker.
But, above all, cook turkey until you are satisfied BEFORE thanksgiving no matter what method you choose. Most pizza places are closed so if you do it for the first time on the greatest of all days and F it up, you're screwed.