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Want to see how the EGG is made? Click to Watch brine or not to brine?

Tell me all your thoughts on brining. 


  • WoodchunkWoodchunk Posts: 911
    edited November 2017
    I don't brine but do inject. I also do a dry rub the day before and into the fridge. But, we only do bone in breast, not a whole turkey.
  • I would say Brine, but it really depends on the bird...most commercial poultry benefits from brining IMO. I cook mostly heritage and local birds and they are very lean so the more moisture I can add the better. On the rare chance that you are cooking a kosher bird, it's probably been salted already and doesn't benefit as much.

    But if it's Butterball and the like, give it a good soak in an apple cider brine - sweet and salty

    1 LBGE in Chapel Hill, NC
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 29,398
    If you land in the brine camp just make sure the bird (commercial) isn't already juiced up when purchased.  
    BTW-welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.  Gotta admit an unusual first post.  Above all, have fun.
    Louisville; "indeterminate Jim" here.  Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!
  • We buy a fresh local bird and brine in a vegetable stock (via Alton Brown) then dry in the frig overnight. 
    Edina, MN

  • I seem to get better results with brining. Then  I pat it dry, separate the skin from the meat as much as possible, and rub some cornstarch into the skin. Finally it sits uncovered in the frig overnight.
    Cincinnati, Ohio. Large BGE since 2011. Still learning.
  • 1voyager1voyager Posts: 1,157
    edited November 2017
    Definitely brine. My recipe has evolved over time (don't they all?) but this one works great for us:

    +/- 12 pound Foster Farms organic turkey from Costco.

    1 gallon water (bit more or less depending on size of turkey). 

    2 cups Kosher salt

    1 cup turbinado sugar

    1 smashed garlic bulb

    1 cup sage (fresh is preferred but dried will do)

    1 cup thyme (ditto fresh is preferred)

    1/2 cup coarse black pepper

    1 TBSP crushed red pepper

    Combine ingredients in large pot and slowly bring to a gentle boil. Once the brine reaches boiling, turn off burner and let mixture cool to room temperature. 

    Place turkey in a double oven bag then fill bag with the brine. Turkey should be totally submerged in brine. Add water if needed. Place bag and contents in a large container and refrigerate for 18-24 hours.

    Remove turkey from brine then rinse with cold water and pat dry.

    Coat the turkey with olive oil and a 50/50 generous coat of sea salt and coarse black pepper.

    Roast in the Egg indirect or in oven @ 350 for around 3 hours until done.

    Optional ingredient during the cooking process is a generous serving of your favorite wine.

    Large Egg, PGS A40 gasser.
  • TheToastTheToast Posts: 374
    I'm from the UK where brining is only now catching on. I've never brined, but I always put butter under the skin and last year used the Naked Whiz's method of putting ice packs on the breasts before cooking to keep the breast cooler / make it cook slower. 

    Ive tried brined birds and can't tell the difference. Seems like a lot of effort to me. Just ensure you pull it when it's at temperature and rest it a good time - I rest mine for 1 hour minimum, normally 2+
  • gdenbygdenby Posts: 6,239
    Because of the size of the pot needed for a wet brine, I go with a dry brine. Rub salt lightly on the defrosted bird, inside and out, once or twice a day for 3 days.
  • Hans61Hans61 Posts: 3,901
    Agree with @lousubcap don’t brine butterball types of injected turkeys.

    The egg produces really juicy birds, you don’t need to put tap water into your meat to make it seem juicier, it just dilutes the flavor 
    “There are three rules that I live by: never get less than twelve hours sleep; never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city; and never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body.”
    Coach Finstock Teen Wolf
  • MotownVolMotownVol Posts: 1,012
    I am in the injection camp.   The injection makes a very juicy bird.
    Morristown TN, LBGE and Mini-Max.
  • mvnolemvnole Posts: 54
    Speaking of Turkey, last year my Turkey skin cracked all over.  Not sure why.  Any thoughts?
    FWB, FL
  • LegumeLegume Posts: 14,077
    mvnole said:
    Speaking of Turkey, last year my Turkey skin cracked all over.  Not sure why.  Any thoughts?
    Only happens to me if the temp gets away from me and turkey is real close to the top of the dome.
  • bgebrentbgebrent Posts: 19,636
    I brine.  I like it.  Wet. 
    Sandy Springs & Dawsonville Ga
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