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Wild Turkey question on flavor brine

2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
edited 11:20AM in EggHead Forum
OK I have a whole wild turkey to smoke for a friend.

The last time I smoked a wild turkey breast for him it came out perfect but, was lacking flavor.

This time I want to make a low sodium flavor brine using:

One quart of water

One tablespoon of kosher salt.

One tablespoon of brown sugar and anything else I want to throw in there.

My question is how long do I leave it in the brine?

Three hours?

Over night?


  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    the sodium is what causes the brine to work, dragging out water, then getting drawn back in along with the flavorants.

    if you are doing a low-sodium brine, i'd think you'd need to allow as much time as possible to get as much flavor into the meat as possible. without too much salt, you're just submerging it in flavored water, and i
    m not sure how much will actually make it into the meat
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • OconeeDawgOconeeDawg Posts: 148
    I have never tried to grill a wild turkey! How does it tend to dry out? The way I cook wild turkey is soak it in buttermilk with salt and pepper all day then batter in flour and fry. I have 2 in the freezer now I will try to smoke one of them!
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    Hey Jeff, I might have to break out the artillery ie my Jacquard. Or even inject the bird.

    I simply want to try something to add flavor but, not so much to over do it.

    Uncle Max never brined before so he didn't know.

    I guess I'm on my own but, what could it hurt. :unsure:
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    OconeeDawg wrote:
    I have never tried to grill a wild turkey! How does it tend to dry out?

    Not saying it drys out just lacks flavor. I want to add flavor. Not an over powerfull flavor just some moisture with a little flavor. :)
  • thirdeyethirdeye Posts: 7,428
    Remember last year when you were playing with the lite brine on p[ork loins and injected it as well as submerging it? Why not try that?

    You might also get some inspiration for seasonings from my pastramied turkey post where I use a modified version of Guest Pit Boss Old's brine, which actually came by way of Shake. whew, that's a mouthful. Dave's version is great, mine has a little white pepper added.
    Happy Trails

    Barbecue is not rocket surgery
  • stikestike Posts: 15,597
    I think brining would work, just that you'd have more success with a full-sodium version.
    Are you on a salt restricted diet?
    ed egli avea del cul fatto trombetta -Dante
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    Thanks Wayne. I'm like Stike I don't think it will soak it up. So, I will inject it. I wonder if this should be a three hour deal of if it don't matter if it's over night or 24 hours.

    I'll go read your blog. Tim :)
  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817

    I agree with what has been said. Why don't you try some herbs/spices/rubs in the brine. Boil the dry stuff in a little water to dissolve and flavour the water and then mix the cold water in to proportion. Parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme and savoury are turkey friendly. Dizzy Dust would be really good too. You could add peppercorns, cumin, corriander, juniper, mustard and or fennel seed also.



    Caledon, ON


  • Little ChefLittle Chef Posts: 4,725
    Tim: I'm with Stike on this...I would not go with low sodium in the brine for wild game. It is the salt that makes the osmosis take place...the exhange of liquids between the bird and brine. In addition to the salt & sugar I usually add some pickling spice, and something full flavored like Emerils Essense or a strong rub. When I did all that wild Boar, I used a very heavily flavored (and salted) brine, and it was truly amazingly good. A good soak overnight should do. I did the wild boar for 24 hours, but it was nearly 200 lbs. :blink:
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    stike wrote:
    Are you on a salt restricted diet?

    No restrictions. I've made lots of low sodium flavor brines but,never made a regular sodium brine.
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    I hear you Steven I will add a nice mixture of herbs to the brine. Thanks ;)
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    Thanks for the input LC. I'll make a full brine and overnight it for a cook tomorrow. :)
  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    I would brine it 2-3 days, and I'm guessing it's gonna take a wee bit more than a quart of water.

    Use some sage, some thyme, some lemon or orange wedges, some allspice berries, peppercorns, chunks of onion, smashed garlic, basically anything you think will taste good with thunderchicken.

    If you go the low sodium route you're not brining the bird, you're just marinating it. Don't be afraid of the salt, you'll never taste it in the finished bird.
  • 2Fategghead2Fategghead Posts: 9,623
    Thanks Fidel. I'll open up the pantry and throw it in with all the salt and use enough water to drown the thunderchicken. :evil:

    I'll let it soak as long as I can. I need to give it back to the owner sometime on Saturday.
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