Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Smoked Brined Turkey

Brining your turkey will keep it moist and full of flavor. As I mentioned in my post about our smoked deli operation, we would brine the chicken and turkey before smoking, deep frying or baking by using a commercial vacuum brining machine.This is a recipe that I think came from a Sunset magazine. But who knows, I clip and keep so many recipes I can't remember. I just know it is very good.

It must be prepared early in the day before you plan to cook because the bird should brine overnight at least. I use a small clean ice chest. Since it's pretty cold at night here (20 degrees this morning), I can just put the bird the the ice chest,fill with the cooled brine and set outside on the deck.

Smoked Brined Turkey

6 quarts water
2 large onions quartered
1 cup coarse salt (non-iodized)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped fresh ginger
4 bay leaves
4 star anise
12 whole peppercorns

1 whole turkey (10 -12-lbs)
2 oranges quartered

1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbs sesame oil

4 cups hickory chips soaked in water

3/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup dijon mustard
3 tbs butter

BRINE: Bring to a simmer in a very large pot ,the water and all ingredients up to the turkey in the list. Simmer until sugar and salt are completely disolved. Cool brine COMPLETELY. Do a day ahead if needed. Completely thaw turkey. Rinse and pat dry. Submerge in brine and chill. Marinate overnight or longer. Turn turkey twice.

Before smoking, place oranges inside bird. Brush with oils. Smoke at a low temperature according to your smoker or BBQ directions, (about 220) breast side up unitl reaches 160 degrees. Approx 3 hours. Brush with glaze and cook until temp reaches 180 in the thigh areas, about 1 to 2 hours or longer...be patient. Cover any parts of turkey that are getting too dark with foil

GLAZE: Mix syrup, wine, mustard and butter and simmer, stiriing in a small pan until thickened. Brush over the bird for the last half hour or so.

If your bbq has a temperature gauge, check occaisonally to make sure the temperature doesn't rise over 22o and use an instant read meat thermometer after an hour or so. Depending on the size of your turkey it could take several hours to cook to the desired temperature. I use a Polder temperature gauge like this one.

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