Sunday, November 20, 2011

smoked turkey brine

before cricket places the magical bird on the big green egg, a lot of prep goes into the process. the most important is the brine. this is where the flavors seep into the turkey, resulting in layers of richness and variety with each bite.

this recipe should make enough brine for a 8-12 pound turkey.

4 quarts water
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup maple syrup
3/4 cups coarse sea salt
8-10 peeled garlic cloves
6-8 bay leaves
3 sprigs of thyme
2 teaspoons whole peppercorns

mix all ingredients in a large part. bring to a simmer, stirring until syrup + sugar dissolve.

remove from heat and let cool.

place the turkey in a large brining bag and set into a cooler or large bucket that'll fit into your fridge. pour the brine over the turkey and seal the bag, getting as much air out of the bag as you can. you've got to keep the bird cool. it's raw poultry afterall.

chill for 12-24 hours. the longer it steeps, the better it'll be.

once you're ready to put her on the smoker, remove the bird from the brining bag and rinse under cool water. reserve the dry remnants of the brine (bay leaves, peppercorns, herbs, etc) + stuff inside the turkey.

now you're ready for the smoker, li'l birdie.

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