Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 6

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1   gallon water
3/4 cup    salt( sea or kosher)
3/4 cup    sugar
1/4 cup    soy sauce
1/4 cup    molasses
2   tbsp   black pepper
1   tbsp   thyme
1   tbsp   oregano
Bring mix to boil and allow to cool to room temp.
You can also make up your own.  Other ingredients like maple 
syrup, garlic, onion, allspice, ginger, or spices you like can be 
By Marlene Rausch
You don't have to brine a turkey before smoking it, but it does 
provide you with a moist, succulent bird. I prepared four turkeys
before getting this recipe right and it is quite delicious. It turns
out slightly sweet and salty, nicely smoky and is one of those 
mahogany visions that would be the envy of any every gourmet
magazine food stylist. You could probably use maple syrup for 
this instead of honey. I also tried a glaze of brown sugar and 
water, applied every hour or so, during smoking and got great 
1 turkey (10 to 12 lbs.)
16   cups     water - approximately
4   cups     hot water
3   cups     pickling salt
1/2   cup      white sugar
1 tablespoon  garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
2 tablespoons pickling spice
1 teaspoon    saltpetre (optional)

2   tablespoons paprika
1   teaspoon    Old Bay seasoning
4   teaspoons   kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon    white pepper
1/2 teaspoon    garlic powder
1   cup         maple syrup
2               apples, quartered

Pre-soaked apple and/or maple wood chunks Apples - about 3 
medium, quartered Water
Fill a large, non reactive container such as a large stock pot with
16 cups of water. In another bowl, stir the four cups of hot 
water with the salt, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, pickling
spice and saltpeter (if desired).  Stir into cold water in stock pot
 to dissolve salt and sugar.
Immerse turkey in salted, spiced water and weigh down to keep
submerged. (I used a brick wrapped in a ziplock bag). 
Refrigerate overnight or at  least 4-6 hours. Once in awhile, 
swish turkey around (this is called "overhauling').
Meanwhile, soak about 12-20 medium large chunks of maple and
apple hardwood in water overnight (or at least a couple of 
Next day, remove turkey from brine. Dry very well. Mix dry rub 
seasonings together: paprika, Old Bay, salt, pepper, and garlic
powder. Pat all over turkey.
Fill turkey cavity with a couple of quartered apple sections.
Prepare smoker according to manufacturer's instructions. Add 
apple pieces to water tray.
Once briquettes are hot, place 4-6 wet wood chunks on top.
Place turkey on cooking grate and close lid. Baste with maple 
syrup during the last three hours (every 45 minutes or so).
Smoke cook, about 4 1/2 - 6 1/2 hours, until turkey temperature
reads 160 to 165 F. Technically, turkey is thoroughly done when
a meat thermometer inserted into the thigh reads l80 F. 
However, I found if you actually keep it on the grill until that 
point it will dry out. At 160-165 F., the temperature continues 
to climb rather quickly - even as you remove the turkey. Taking 
it off at l60 F. ensures it will not be overdone and dry.
The first three turkeys I smoked were taken off between 170 
and 180 F. They were flavorful but rather dry. The last one, 
removed at 160 F., was perfect. For safety's sake, please note 
that many home economist are emphatic about the l80 degree 
Remove turkey from your smoker and drain the inside cavity. 
Cool to warm before placing in fridge to "mature". (24 hours is 
best. Overnight is okay).
 Eat and Enjoy !
Courtesy Of Marlene Rausch
4 gal.  Apple cider 
4 oz.   Kosher Salt 
1 ea.   Onion (diced)
2 ea.   Heads Garlic split 
4 oz.   fresh ginger, chopped 
3 pcs.  Star Anise 
4       bay leaves 
4 ea.   Oranges quartered
Method (In a large stock pot): Sauté the onion, garlic, ginger, 
and anise together in a little canola oil, until lightly browned.  
Add the bay leaves and the oranges. Sauté another 2-3 min. 
Add the cider and the kosher salt. Bring to a simmer for 1 
minute. Remove from heat, transfer to another container and 
chill completely (use an Ice bath if possible).
Rinse and dry bird. Place bird in a large vessel to marinate in. 
Pour the well-chilled brine over the bird and turn to coat well. 
Place a weighted plate or something of the sort over the bird to
keep it immersed. Cover and refrigerate while marinating. Turn 
the bird daily. Marinate a minimum of 48 hours. Reserve some 
of the brine to baste with if you like.
Proceed with roasting as usual ( I like to start with the breast 
side down). I made this much brine to marinate (2) 14# birds.
I highly recommend this brine and received rave reviews with it
last year. I will do it again this year.
By Pan Anderson 
Serves 6-8
1 1/2 cups kosher salt or 1/2 cup table salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 (6- to 8-pound) fresh, whole, bone-in, skin-on turkey breast, 
4 tablespoons 	unsalted butter
3 tablespoons 	softened butter
1 tablespoon 	melted butter
1/4 teaspoon 	pepper
1/2 cup water, white wine or stock
Mix salt and sugar in 1-1/2 gallons of cool water in large 
stockpot until completely dissolved. Set turkey breast in brine,
making sure it is submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours.
Twenty minutes before roasting, adjust oven rack to middle 
position and preheat oven to 450 degrees. Mix softened butter
with pepper in small bowl. Set aside.
Remove turkey breast from brine. Rinse thoroughly under cool 
running water and pat dry. Rub seasoned butter under breast 
Brush the skin with melted butter.
Place turkey breast in the oven, wide neck end toward back of 
oven. Pour 1/2 cup water (or white wine or stock if you are 
making gravy) into pan bottom to prevent drippings from 
burning. Roast 15 minutes, then rotate roasting pan. Roast until
skin turns golden, 15 minutes longer.
Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees, continue to roast, 
rotating pan once more, until internal temperature in deepest 
part of breast registers 160 to 165 degrees (depending on 
preference), 30 to 45 minutes longer.
Let stand 20 minutes before carving.
Note: If pressed for time, use twice as much salt and sugar in
brine and cut soaking time to 2 hours.
By Bruce Cook
I brined an 18 LB fresh turkey for twenty-four hours
Brine Recipe
2 Gallons Water
1 1/2 cups Kosher salt
1 1/2 cups molasses
1/4 cup Penzy's Bicentennial Rub
Rinsed very well. NOTE:  I put the turkey in large strainer 
and use the water hose outside <G>
Let sit in refrigerator overnight.
1 apple quartered
1/4 grapefruit
1/2 medium onion
1 celery stalk
Smoked breast down at 325 for 4 hours on my SNPP offset 
smoker. Turned over and rotated after 3 hours.
Used lump charcoal and briquettes, orange wood chunks, dried
basil stems from bushes.
I would not let sit out of brine overnight. I know some juice 
leaked out resulting in a less moist turkey.
Was not salty at all. Molasses resulted in a nice caramel color
for turkey skin. Penzy's Bicentennial Rub is a little too peppery
for my taste.
Bruce D. Cook
Bruce's Dalmatian Chef BBQ
By Fred In Nebraska
Here is a brine I like!! A 5 gallon bucket is the best ... 
For each GALLON of water add, the following:
1-1/2 C  Salt - or to taste
1-1/2 C  brown sugar
3     C  apple cider or juice
1/2   t  ginger - fresh if you have it
4     T  black pepper
4     C  lemon juice - fresh preferred
1/2  oz  maple flavoring
Soak the bird in this solution for at least 2 days, 3-4 is better.
Remove from brine and rinse with cold running water.
Pat dry and rub bird in and out with brown sugar (optional)
Smoke at 225-250° for 1 to 1-1/2 hours per pound till the temp
in the thigh reads 165-170.
Of course, the "shake hands method" works well also.   If the 
leg wants to come off in your hand the bird is done!! Another 
way to tell the doneness is when the juices run clear.
By the way ... IF you brine the bird in the refrigerator, cover the
bucket.  I use a plastic sack.
The smoking time will be determined by your smoker, the wind 
and your smoker temperature.
Fred in Nebraska
'We are smokin' on the eastern shore of Nebraska'
Recipe By Alton Brown, Food TV
  Amount  Measure       Ingredient -- Preparation Method
  ------  -------       --------------------------------
  16      Pounds        Turkey -- Frozen
1 Cup               Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup            Light Brown Sugar
1 Gallon           Vegetable Stock
1 Tablespoon    Black Peppercorns
1/2 Tablespoon Allspice Berries
1/2 Tablespoon Candied Ginger Root
1           Red Apples -- Sliced
1/2        Onion -- Sliced
1           Cinnamon Stick
1 Cup     Water
4 Sprigs  Rosemary
6 Leaves Sage
             Canola Oil
Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stock pot 
and bring to a boil.
Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat.
Cool to room temperature and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine 
the brine and ice water in a clean 5 gallon bucket. Place thawed
turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in
a cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once,
half way through brining. 
A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. 
Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and cup of water in a
microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. 
Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water.
Discard brine. Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan 
and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity
along with rosemary and sage.  Tuck back wings and coat whole
bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.
Place rack on the lowest level of the oven and roast turkey at 
500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover 
breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe 
thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven,
reducing temperature to 350 degrees. Set thermometer alarm 
(if available) to 161 degrees. A 14-16 pound bird should require
a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely 
covered for 15 minutes before carving.
By Ben Witso
I brined and smoked my turkeys and think they turn out great.
No salty taste at all.  I had a 12 pounder this Thanksgiving 
that cooked to 175 in about 4 hours at 300. I was expecting it
to take longer, so I missed taking it off at the more 
appropriate 165.
The brine recipe I use came from Dan Gill, and has been 
modified a bit. I use it on all my poultry and am consistently 
told that it is the best chicken/turkey that my guests have ever
had. Highly recommended.
I brine overnight so the bird sits in there around 14-16 hours. 
Then I rinse in cold running water for a couple of minutes.
3/4   C Salt (I've used both table and pickling.)
1/2   C Molasses
1-1/2 T Garlic powder
1/2   T Onion powder
1/4   C Pepper
1/2   C Lemon juice
1/2   T Ground ginger
1   Gal Water
By Carey Starzinger
I had a wonderful Thanksgiving and the turkey came out great.
I am older than most BBQ'ers and have been involved in BBQ 
for quite a few years. I do NOT subscribe to the  'low and slow'
concept when it comes to turkey.  I have cooked it this way for
a good 20 years and have always had good reviews.  This year 
the bird was 14 pounds 4 ounces. This is how it was prepared.
The bird is allowed to thoroughly thaw in the refrigerator. When
I get up in the morning, the day BEFORE cooking,  I place the 
bird in a large ceramic crock.  The brine mixture is 1/2 cup sugar,
1/2 cup non-iodized salt, some garlic powder, a couple of
tablespoons of dried onion per gallon of filtered water.  (Here 
in the desert we need to filter the water to make it palatable).
The bird is submerged completely in this brine.  24 hours later,
in the early AM, the bird is removed from the brine and 
thoroughly rinsed.  The crock is also rinsed and refilled with 
fresh filtered water.  The bird is again submerged for 
approximately 6 hours. During this time the bird is shaken 
twice within the crock.
For turkeys, I use the Weber Kettle 21" with the rotisserie 
attachment. I start with two chimneys full of Mesquite charcoal 
briquettes and have a deep baking pan in the center, 
distributing one chimney of briquettes to each side.  I then 
cover the briquettes with wet smoking chips.  I like Apple and 
Alder.  This takes quite a few chips, so make sure you use a 
big enough pot for soaking them.  The turkey is put on the 
rotisserie and I use a sprinkling of poultry seasoning over the 
bird.  The bird is tightly trussed with butcher's twine, making 
sure the wings are secured against the body. 
The rotisserie is turned on and the lid placed on the Weber. I 
do not open it for the first hour.  Heavy smoke is obvious. After
one hour, I replenish the smoking chips again.  After another 
hour, the chips get replenished again.  I then mop down the 
bird with a mop made of White junk wine, (gallo special), 
Freshly ground dried rosemary and a dash of poultry seasoning.
I now go onto a 1/2 hour timing, basting (mopping) the bird 
with the above mop every 1/2 hour.  By now, I have the fat and
secondary juices being caught in the drip pan.  Sometimes the 
bird has one of those pop-up cooking indicators,  but I always 
use a thermometer as well.
This year, the total cooking time was 4 hours exactly, and the 
pop-up was up, and the thermometer registered 175 at the 
thickest part of the breast.  This temp climbed on up to the 
180 mark upon setting for less than 10 minutes.
The birds are smoked throughout, with a mild taste of smoke 
being detectable clear against the breast bone and are very 
juicy.  No hint of saltiness or bitterness.  Most of the meat is 
white, with a slight smoke ring and is slightly pink in the smoke
ring.  The pink color does not indicate that the bird was not 
thoroughly cooked, but is something I have always seen with 
smoked fouls, and I assume it is a product of the smoking
Carey Starzinger Member, Rib Eye Express BBQ Tag Team Now 
living the good life, high in the Sonoran Desert of Southern 
Arizona, Home of the Giant Saguaro Cactus, and 10,000 
Again, On a Weber Kettle
By Jason Creager
"Best turkey I've ever had."
I brined in roasting bag, and then rubbed with Dan Gill's rub. I 
put the bird on a Weber Kettle. 
===> The turkey was stuffed in the cavity with:
Onions, and
I smoke over apple scraps and mesquite lump for three hours. 
I baste with butter once.
The result ? 18# of beautiful, tasty turkey.
Since I didn't have the heat resistant gloves, I didn't rotate it 
half way through. This meant the that dark meat cooked faster
than the breast. At first check, the thigh temp was 185, but 
the breast was still 145. The breast hit 161 in about 40 minutes.
Wow ! The dark meat was still good ... in fact, it was as good 
as the white meat.  That, coming from my wife who previously 
hated dark meat.
By Charlie Wood
After seeing all this stuff about brining, I thought I'd give it a 
try. I always deep fry a turkey for Thanksgiving so I also bought
a 6 LB breast to brine and smoke as an experiment. I used Dan
Gill's Brine recipe and soaked it overnight.
Then I rubbed with Lousianne Cajun spice. Fuel was 100% red 
and white oak as usual, and cooking temp was 320.
I wrapped the breast in a single layer of cheesecloth and left a 
big ball of cloth at the top and mopped with apple cider every 
30 minutes or so.
I thought the bird would take about 4 hours.  After 3, I went to 
remove the cheesecloth and stuck a thermometer in to see how 
it was coming. It was already 168 degrees!  Yikes!  I left the 
temp in, spiked the heat to 375 for a few minutes to brown the 
skin, but made sure the internal temp didn't rise anymore.  Since
we weren't eating for another 1-1/2 hrs, I took the bird inside 
and wrapped it with foil and figured that me and the cat would 
eat the breast.
It was fantastic!  The brine added a nice flavor, and there was a 
visible and tasty smoke ring.  Best of all, even though the 
internal temp was too high, the brine saved me!  It was still very
juicy, and the texture was great.
On a Weber Kettle
By Terry Light
For Holidays, we do two 13 pound turkeys at my Dad's.
Both are brined in the same solution in a 15 gallon stock pot for
about 26 hours and are rinsed thoroughly prior to cooking.  They
are cooked on a large Weber Kettle between 300-325 degrees, 
using lump charcoal and (mostly) applewood chunks with a few
pieces of cherry wood thrown in.
We pull them at 165 in the breast.
We remove the legs and thighs (which are only at 160 degrees) 
and cook them another 1/2 hour or so to bring them up to 170.
The turkeys are excellent, very moist and not at all salty.
The seasonings are not distinguishable, yet you knew 
"something" has been done. 
I've not cooked an unbrined turkey since I had some at Dan Gill's
Ointoberfest three years ago. 
Dan has a Masters Degree in poultry science (?? Or something 
like that) and raised turkeys in the late 1960's / 70's.
Dan Gill is the one who deserves ALL the credit for turning us 
on to brining.
He's been doing it for years.
3-3/4 gal H2O (three gallons + three quarts!)
1 quart ginger ale
3 cups Kosher salt
2.5 cups molasses
1 heaping tablespoon onion powder
1 heaping tablespoon garlic powder
1 heaping tablespoon black pepper
1 tab maple flavoring
1 tablespoon sage
2 teaspoons ginger powder
Terry Light
Oak Hill, Virginia
By MISTER Jerky, Dan Sawyer !
I do a pretty basic brine:
I start with a 5 gal. plastic pail, put about three gallons of cold
water in it and add enough salt to float an egg - approx. 3/4 cup
per gallon. I add an equal amount of corn syrup and stir well.
I use a frozen bird and don't worry about trying to dig the neck 
and giblets out - I just drop the whole bird into the brine ... a 
five gallon bucket will hold a 15-20 lb. bird.
I just put a chunk of plywood or cutting board over the top to 
keep the critters out and set it out on the porch for about a day
and a half.
Before cooking, I'll rinse it in cold water and pat it dry with a 
towel. I don't add too much of anything at this point, maybe a 
little pepper and brush on some cooking oil.
I'll cook the bird pretty hot for an hour or so  - 425F - and then
reduce the heat to around 300F for about another hour - and the
bird's done!
This year we had a 14#er and it took about 2.5 hours - 
absolutely fall-apart tender and juicy - breast too.
The juices in the pan make excellent gravy.
Pour all of the juice into a big skillet and add a 12 oz. can of 
canned milk.  Thickened with one cup of water mixed with 1/3 
cup of corn starch.  Don't add anything but a little black pepper.
It will turn out just right - not too salty and had just a little 
sweetness to it.
In the smokehouse, I have done a large breast and a ham butt
that went through the same brine.  But they were both fresh, 
so the brine time was cut in half  - I basted the ham with brown
sugar, mustard, soy sauce, vinegar and some blackberry syrup
then covered with cracked black pepper - pretty tasty.
The turkey breast got my standard rub mixed in oil. Smoked
both with straight alder for about 8 hours at around 240F - can't
do smoked turkey as a main dish, I like it cold on sandwiches, 
or thin sliced and wrapped up with cheese for snacks.
A fellow carnivore,
Dan in WA
By the bbqshack
Turkeys need to cook at higher temperatures than most other 
While you start your fire, rinse and clean the turkey and then 
pat it dry with paper towels. Using olive oil, rub the whole 
turkey inside and out. You can now rub the inside of the 
turkey with your favorite BBQ rub. Now insert the turkey in a 
BBQ stockinette or cheesecloth. If using a stockinette, be sure
to soak it in vinegar prior to inserting the bird as it will keep it 
from sticking to the skin. Placing the bird in the stockinette will
insure a nice, golden-brown skin when it is done and the oil will
help to keep the skin moist.
Put the bird in the smoker and let smoke at 300 - 315 degrees 
F until the temperature at the inner-most part of the thigh 
reaches 180 degrees F. It is better to cook the bird at a higher 
heat for a shorter period of time. By doing so, the bird will cook
quicker and not have time to dry out in a low temp environment. 
Recipe By Bruce Cook 
"Crab Boil Turkey/Chicken"
I have found that many seafood seasonings also flavor turkey 
and other poultry very well. I have added various crab boil and 
seafood seasonings to brines and/or used seasonings as rubs. 
I fixed the following for a neighborhood picnic this summer, and
received rave reviews from everyone.
2 gallons water
1/2 cup liquid crab boil (Old Bay, Zatarins, etc.)*.
10  lb fresh turkey breast. 
Appropriate amount - sugar or substitute
Brine turkey in above brine for 24 hours
Rinse very well at least two times.
Apply your favorite seafood rub.  Preferably the same kind as 
your liquid seafood boil.
Smoke turkey according to your usual procedure.
*If liquid mixtures are unavailable.   Dry rubs may be added to
water at a rate of 2 tablespoons per gallon of water, 1/2 to 3/4
cup of salt, and sugar at the same rate. I would recommend 
bringing water to a boil to dissolve salt, sugar and seasonings.
Allow to COOL before adding turkey or poultry.

Up ] Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 1 ] Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 2 ] Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 3 ] Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 4 ] Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 5 ] [ Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 6 ] Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 7 ] Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 8 ] Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 9 ] Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 10 ] Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 11 ] Turkey Tips and Tricks! Chapter 12 ]

Friday, May 05, 2000
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