The morning of, remove the turkey from the brine (over the sink to minimize any mess) and rinse it off completely, including inside the cavity. Pat it dry (a wet turkey is a soggy cooked turkey). Very gently separate the breast skin from the meat, being careful not to rip it.
Cool the brine down and add to the bucket or container with the rest of the cold water. Stir the water well then add the turkey and completely submerge in the brine. Set the container in a refrigerator or cold place at approximately 36 degrees F for 10 hours; After 10 hours, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well.
1 20-pound turkey (neck and gizzard reserved) DAY 1 Simmer 1 quart of the apple cider with the spice for about 10 minutes to infuse the cider with the spice aromatics. Stir in salt to dissolve.
After the brining remove turkey, rinse, pat dry, and smoke as usual. 5: Smoke Turkey at 220 degrees for 12-14 hours, the first 2.5 hours with Cherry Smoke until internal temp hits 170-175.
For a simple wet brine for a 12-14 pound turkey use 6 quarts of water with 1 ⅓ cups of kosher salt (if using Morton’s, use a bit less than a cup). Dry brining a turkey of course uses no water. You just spray on some olive oil, rub the turkey with this mixture you throw together in a small bowl and bam, you’re done.
And smoking a wild turkey breast requires a salt brine. Period. Period. If you are not familiar with what brining does, it uses the power of salt and osmosis to slightly denature the proteins in the meat, swelling them with salty moisture and trapping more liquid in the meat than it would otherwise be able to contain.
Smoked Turkey Leg Brine. The magic step to making these turkey legs comes from the brine. This magically wet curing liquid does 3 things to the turkey legs: It helps tenderize the meat. The brine gives the turkey that gorgeous signature pink color. It gives the an even saltiness throughout – talk about major flavor baby!
When brining smaller foods, you can get away with using a stronger brine for less time, but in order for the brine to gently penetrate a whole turkey, you're better off with a 5 percent solution.
My recipe for Turkey Brine: Brine for 12 to 14 lb Turkey. 8 cups apple cider 8 cups water filtered or bottle so not to taste of chlorine. 1 lb. kosher salt (1-3/4 cups if using Morton’s; 2-3/4 cups if using Diamond Crystal) 1-3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar 1 cup apple cider vinegar 3/4 cup honey 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 5 dried bay leaves
Brining a turkey is all about adding moisture for a tender, juicy bird. We flavor our brine with parsley, rosemary and a touch of thyme. —Felicia Saathoff, Vashon, Washington. Get Recipe . Originally Published: October 17, 2019. Rashanda Cobbins.