Smoked Turkey Brine
Brining before smoking a turkey will add flavor and result in a juicy and more tender bird. This turkey brine recipe makes enough for a whole turkey.
- Serves: 12 persons
- 1gallon water, divided
- 1cup salt, or 1 1/2 cups kosher or coarse salt
- 1cup white sugar
- 10to 12 fresh tarragon leaves, or 1/4 cup dried tarragon
- 1teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 2whole bay leaves
Step 1Gather the ingredients.
Step 2Heat 1 quart of water to near boiling (on the stovetop or in the microwave) and add the salt. Continue to heat until the salt is dissolved.
Step 3Add the sugar and stir until it's dissolved.
Step 4Remove this solution from the heat and add the tarragon, black peppercorns, and bay leaves (the hot brine will take on more of their flavor while it cools). Allow this solution to cool completely. Place it in the refrigerator or let it cool on the countertop.
Step 5Mix the salt and sugar solution with the rest of the water once it has cooled.
Step 6Place the turkey in a large nonmetallic dish and cover it completely with the brine. Brine the turkey in the refrigerator for 1 hour per pound. (For example, 16 hours for a 16-pound turkey.)
Step 7Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse it thoroughly (including the cavity), and pat it dry. Coat the turkey with olive oil. Place it in the smoker. Cook as directed.