Brined Smoked Turkey, I Don’t Get It

Smoked turkey brined3

I have experimented with brining chicken and turkeys for a few years. Many people swear by it. I find it does give a moister bird but I find the meat is somewhat pasty. I just don’t like the texture. As for moist meat, I find if you don’t overcook the bird, the meat remains moist.

However, a buddy came to visit and said he found white turkey meat dry most of the time. So, I brined the turkey before smoking it.

I made a brine up of salt, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, herbs and water. I brined the bird over night and then put it in a cooler for the skin to dry out before I smoked it.

Smoked turkey brined

I chopped fresh rosemary, thyme, sage and garlic. I mixed it with olive oil and worked it under the breast and thigh skin and over the surface of the turkey.

Smoked turkey brined1

I put temperature probes into the turkey and put in my Bradley smoker.

Smoked turkey brined2

I smoked it at 300 F until the internal temperature was 165 F in the thickest part of the breast and thighs.

The Verdict This was ok but the meat, while very moist, is just too pasty. Even my friend said it was too soft.

I think it is way better to cook the turkey properly and skip the brine.

The Old Fat Guy

4 thoughts on “Brined Smoked Turkey, I Don’t Get It”

  1. Hello, I just your video on Shaw while we were in BC on vacation. Since then I have been checking out your recipes on the web. I love your ideas. Char Sui Pork is going on the pellet grill today and I also have Back Bacon curing. I have a question about brining chicken. I’ve done it with a salt brine and found it very good and we liked the texture so will do it again. Have you ever tried using cure when doing a chicken or turkey? Years ago someone brought some to work done this way and it was great. I’ve never gotten around to experiment with it so I was just wondering if you had. Thanks, Eldon Samson

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Eldon. I have cured turkey drumsticks but not a whole turkey. I love the way it turns out and suggest you give it a try. However, if you are curing a large bird I would suggest curing it in a wet brine and injecting the cure into the large muscles to make sure you get an even distribution.

      1. Thanks. That was my plan. I’ll let you know how it turns out when I get around to trying it . By the way, the Char Sui pork was a hit!

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