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Brine for Turkey

Sawdust&SmokinSawdust&Smokin Posts: 8
edited 9:39AM in EggHead Forum
Does anyone have a good receipe for a Turkey Brine? I was thinking about trying a brine for the Christmas Bird. My thought is to do a herb brine and then smoke according to the Mad Max instructions.

Any thoughts would be helpful.


  • Search on the Forum around Thanksgiving you will find various ones. I took the liberty to do a cut and paste for you from one of the "senior" cooks. J Appledog is her moniker and I have tasted some of the stuff she made at OctoberFest. Hopefully she does not mind:

    This recipe has been modified from one I got from Cat years ago. It was originally credited to California cookbook author, chef & teacher John Ash.


    1 turkey, 12-18 pounds, rinsed thoroughly, giblets, tail, and neck removed

    2 cups brown sugar
    1 cup maple syrup
    3/4 cup coarse salt
    3 whole heads garlic, cloves separated, but not peeled, and bruised
    6 large bay leaves*
    1 tablespoon Mrs. Dog’s Jamaican Jerk Marinade**
    1-1/2 cups coarsely chopped unpeeled fresh ginger
    2 teaspoons dried chile flakes, or a couple of chipotles
    1-1/2 cups soy sauce
    3 quarts water
    Handful of fresh thyme sprigs

    Combine all the brine ingredients in an enamel or stainless steel pot. Bring to a boil, remove from heat and let cool completely. Rinse the turkey well, and put it in a large enamel, stainless steel or food-grade plastic pot or bucket. Cover with the cold brine and add more water if the brine doesn't cover the turkey. Put a plate on top of the turkey to hold it under the brine.
    Refrigerate for 2-3 days, turning the bird twice a day. (When you
    turn the turkey be sure to empty the brine out of the body cavity
    before you turn it or it splashes everywhere.)

    Rinse twice and air dry in refrigerator overnight.

    * I use allspice leaves as well
    ** optional

    Cook the bird to 161° in the breast.
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