Brining How To - Part 5




PART 5-A Fergy's Thoughts On Poultry

After brining, for turkey seasoning, I simply use just salt, pepper, onion, garlic. Sprinkled on.

Baste with butter, garlic and onion.

Inject with a Honey-Butter-Garlic-Onion mixture after brining in: Salt, Garlic, Onion, Molasses and Brown Sugar Brine.

I do them a little fancier than I really need to. Simple is good!


Dan Gills's Web Page ADVICE On Brining

Dan Gill is another one of America's most respected PitMaster's (like Fergy, Danny G, Dan Gill, Rock, Kit, Belly), a title bestowed upon very few.

He has an EXCELLENT home page 

with a VERY large section dedicated to BBQ'ing and Smoking, and helping others to learn the right methods. He also has a rather complete page detailing the brining process.

He has kindly allowed me to "borrow" his page intact.

NOTE: Dan is also the most kind host of the "6th Annual Remlik Steamed Crab, Silver Queen, and Q Feast" held at his home in Virginia at the end of July. You can real all about it at 


"Turkey: To Brine Or Not To Brine"

By Dan Gill

"Turkey and chicken may be slow smoked but the skin is rubbery and not very good.

They don't need a great deal of smoke flavor, so temperatures of 275 to 325 are ideal. Use lighter flavored woods such as cherry and apple.

If you smoke a turkey at temperatures of 180 to 225 F., you need to brine it or risk making everyone very sick because the bird spends a lot of time in the danger zone (40 to 140 F.). At 250 F. and above the risk decreases dramatically. List members (starting with me) discovered that brined birds are moist and taste really good. Many of us have publicly declared that we will not cook another turkey without brining it first.

Some people are sensitive to salt and find that birds subjected to the full treatment are too salty for their tastes. To reduce the saltiness, add sugar, decrease salt, decrease brining time or soak the bird in fresh water for an hour prior to cooking. You can brine just with salt but since salt takes flavors in with it, why not take advantage. Sugar moderates the salty taste and helps keep the birds juicy. Most of the people who have commented that their birds were too salty did not use enough sugar. The garlic, ginger and maple flavors are very subtle but enhance the flavor of the bird. For safety, I would definitely recommend using the brine full strength when cooking below 200 F. At higher temperatures, you can cut the salt in half if you are salt sensitive.

Do not over cook! Brined birds cook faster so be careful and use a real thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast. Cook to 170 internal. There is no need to cook with the breast down because the bird will be plenty juicy.

Estimate how much liquid will be required to completely cover the bird(s).

for each gallon (which should cover one 16# whole bird or two 8# breasts), mix: 
1 1/2 cups salt
1/2 cup molasses
1 1/2 T crushed or minced garlic (or garlic powder)
1/2 T onion powder
1/4 cup pepper
1/2 cup lemon juice
1/2 oz maple flavoring

I also usually throw in about 12 oz ginger ale. Alternatively, use 1/2 T ginger (ground, minced or whatever) in place of the garlic and onion.

Cover birds completely with brine and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove from brine and drain while preparing smoker. Smoke at around 275 (measured at grate level) to an internal temp of 170 basting with butter every few hours to give you the golden brown skin."



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Friday, May 05, 2000
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