Recipe to Brine a Turkey For the Smoker

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Recipe to Brine a Turkey

Looking for a great recipe to brine a turkey? Look no further.

Here’s a recipe that’s guaranteed to get flavour and moisture into your turkey.

Why Brine a Turkey?

Although you can still get a pleasing result without brining your turkey, the process imparts moisture and flavour into the meat. 

The salt seasons the meat, and it also breaks down the proteins in the turkey which helps to make it more juicy and tender.

If you add the extra herbs and lemon suggested in this recipe you will be adding even more flavour again.

Recipe to Brine a Turkey Step 1 – Prepare the Brine Solution

We outlined our recipe to brine a turkey in a previous article, and we will be taking the same approach.

If you would like to read the full article see here:

At its most basic the brine is a simple solution of 1 cup of sugar, 3/4 cup of salt and enough water to just cover the turkey.

We have added extra ingredients to enhance the flavour and take the turkey to another level.

Ingredients For the Turkey Brine

  • 3/4 cup of salt
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • Cold Water to Cover the Turkey
  • 3-4 Peeled Whole Garlic Cloves
  • A Tablespoon of Black Peppercorns
  • A Handful of Rosemary or Thyme sprigs
  • A Whole Lemon Cut in Two

If you find it difficult to get a container big enough to hold your turkey or you don’t have enough room in the fridge, we recommend you use a coolbox.

Recipe to Brine a Turkey Step 2 – Place Turkey in Brine

Put all the ingredients for the brine except the water into a large food bag big enough to hold your turkey.

Place your turkey inside the food bag. Now slowly pour in cold water.

Be careful not to add too much. When the turkey is just covered by the water, seal the bag and place in a coolbox or a container to fit in the fridge.

If you are using a coolbox you will of course have to put a bag of ice in there too. 

Recipe to Brine a Turkey Step 3 – Leave to Brine Overnight

Leave the turkey in its brine solution to brine overnight – around 8-10 hours.

When you are ready to smoke the bird, remove it from the brine, rinse it all over with cold water and then pat it dry with kitchen roll.

Prepare to wow your guests with a wonderfully flavoursome, moist, tender smoked turkey which has been properly prepared and brined!

FAQ’s About Brining Turkey

Does Brining Turkey Make it Salty?

Your brine solution is only mildly salty do it will not make your turkey too salty. The salt will actually help break down the muscle fibres in the meat which will help the meat retain moisture.

Keep in mind that turkey is a big bird and can handle brining up to 24hours. Smaller pieces of meat e.g. chicken wings should only be brined for 2-4 hours or they will get too salty.

How to Keep a Brining Turkey Cold

If you have room in the fridge, you can keep your brining turkey cold that way. If you don’t have room in the fridge place it in a food bag and put it in a coolbox with ice.

Does Brining Turkey Reduce Cooking Time?

Yes. A turkey that has been brined will cook in a little less time. You always need to check the internal temperature of the turkey meat regularly in the second half of the cook time.

Overcooking turkey will dry it out, even if it has been brined.

Is Brining Turkey Necessary?

Brining turkey is optional, but it will take your turkey to a whole new level of flavour! It is well worth doing.

Brining provides extra protection against ending up with a rubbery dry bird, which would be extremely disappointing. 

What is Dry Brining Turkey?

Dry brining a turkey is a very simple process. You simply sprinkle salt all over the turkey and leave it in the fridge overnight.

This recipe was for a wet brine which achieves a better and more moist result, but dry brining turkey will season the bird as well as break down proteins in the meat to produce a tender result.

If you enjoyed this article you might also enjoy our article on ‘Chicken in the Smoker Recipe.’

For another good article giving you a recipe to brine a turkey try here:

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