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Thread: Apple-Brined Whole Turkey

  1. #1
    Moderator Chris Allingham's Avatar
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    Here's a recipe for apple-brined turkey that is great cooked on the WSM.

    • 1 12-14 lb turkey
    • 2 quarts apple juice
    • 1 lb brown sugar
    • 1 cup kosher salt
    • 3 quarts water
    • 3 oranges, quartered
    • 4 ounces fresh ginger, sliced thin
    • 15 whole cloves
    • 6 bay leaves
    • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
    • Vegetable oil or melted, unsalted butter

    Combine apple juice, brown sugar, and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve. Boil for one minute, remove from heat, let mixture come to room temperature, then refrigerate to 40*F.

    In a large non-reactive container, combine the apple juice mixture with the remaining ingredients and stir. Place rinsed, drained whole turkey into the brine. Use a heavy weight to keep the bird submerged, if necessary.

    Refrigerate for 24 hours. Remove turkey from brine, rinse inside and out, and pat dry with paper towels. Fold wing tips under the bird. Brush outside surface with vegetable oil or melted butter.

    Cook at 325-350*F to 160-165*F in the breast, 170-175*F in the thigh, approximately 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Cover loosely with foil and let rest 30 minutes before carving.

    You'll find a detailed version of this recipe, including photos, here:

    Whole Turkey - Apple Brined

  2. #2
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    Chris,

    On Saturday, I used this recipe to smoke a turkey.

    The results were superb! I'll definately use this recipe again.

    Thanks!

    -Albert

  3. #3
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    I've been using this for years (since it was posted here) and I can tell everyone that this is the best. I have been told by the family that I better not change the recipe.

  4. #4
    TVWBB Emerald Member Shawn W's Avatar
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    Just finished dinner after cooking my second turkey with this brine. Wow. Out of this world. I'm a brine believer now.

    Used one chunk apple + BBQers Delight Cherry sample for first bird and one chunk apple + Orange sample pack for second.

    Used fresh free-range non-medicated birds. Breast down, loosely tied wings. Cooked to 168F internal. The white meat was so juicy and tender, when I poked it with my finger clear juice oozed out. I was even eating the dark meat which was unheard of.

    Don't think I need to try any other turkey brine recipes, this is it.

    Thanks Chris

  5. #5
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    With all the other brines I want to try, I can't get past using this one over and over. I always use this for turkey, because it's so good, that I am afraid to try something else. I figure if you have a winner, stick with it, but my thinking certainly doesn't expand my horizons, nor my repertoire.
    Jane

    ...and what do YOU smoke?

    Weber Mastertouch 22", Weber Performer (Stainless) Touch 'N Go, WSM, Weber Genesis Silver A, Smokey Joe

  6. #6
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    I am trying my first turkey on the WSM and have brined it with the recipe you supplied. I was wondering if a rub should be used and I also saw a post that described how much charcoal to use and the technique but I can't find it again, ANY advice would be GREATLY APPRIECIATED. THANX cookin in CANADA!!!!!

  7. #7
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    James--
    Should be used? No. Could? Yes. I rub virtually everything because I like rubs. Some things I do you could barely call it a rub; more like a light dusting of complementary or supporting flavors.

    I'd recommend not using a rub for this recipe, at least the first time out, so you get a good sense of how the aromatic brine and smoke work together on the meat. If you choose to do a rub here, now or in the future, skip the salt in the rub.

    Read the instructions found here; just skip the parts on brining and rub. It'll tell you about fueling and smokewood.
    Kevin

  8. #8
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    Thanx Kevin for the information and the prompt response it was exactly what I needed to get started!! It's 1:00 pm. and I'm about to fire up the cooker. I'll let you know how it turned out tomorrow after the hangover wears off. Thanks again. Smokin in Canada.

  9. #9
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    Hey James,

    Where about in Canada are you? I'm in Calgary.
    I agree about the rub - I would leave it out for the first smoke. I did this recipe for the first time on Easter and I must say, it was ther best turkey I've ever had in my life.

    I used a mix of apple and cherry for this smoke and just oiled the bird and put a little kosher salt and pepper on the skin.

  10. #10
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    Well it's 11:38 pm. and everyone just left. The turkey was a big hit, everyone said it was very good , but I did end up with a few leftovers . LUCKY ME!! I cooked a few sausage for apps. put them on the top rack over the bird. The turkey turned out very juicy and tender. I did have a bnit of a problem keeping the heaT UP IN THE 320/350 RANGE. Iused 2 full starters full of lump charcoal and had to leave the access door open to get the temp. up. I also added about another 3/4 of a chimney part way through to see if this would help the temp. Anyways all was good but I think I might add a light rub to the proceess next time. SMOKIN and DRINKIN in CANADA !!!!

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