Smoked Turkey

Smoked Turkey Brine

We don’t cook a bird without a smoked turkey brine!

The key to achieving a moist and flavorful turkey isn’t determined by how it’s cooked, it’s actually determined  in the preparation the night before by brining your bird and choosing the right turkey for your dinner table.  

The easiest part is choosing the right turkey!  

Over the years we’ve sampled a ton of turkey brands, and easily the most flavorful and juiciest turkey has come from Omaha Steaks. 

Omaha Steaks only offers their turkeys during the holidays, so you have to snatch them up whenever you see them. 

We typically order two a year, one for our family meal and one so we can freeze the leftovers to enjoy throughout the following couple of months. 

Instead of having the hassle of going to the store to pick up a turkey, have Omaha Steaks ship one directly to your door!

A turkey brine is also easy and only requires a few ingredients and time.  

Our smoked turkey brine is tried and true because Karen’s family has been making it for years!

Karen’s family recipe is simple by allowing the turkey to not be overpowered for the smoke flavor that you’re going to add in later. 

A brine is even more vital when smoking your turkey low and slow for hours, because the last thing you’ll want to end up with is a dry turkey after hours of smoking and waiting patiently. 

Smoked Turkey Brine

What is a turkey brine?

A brine can be done dry or wet and mainly consists of salt.  

We prefer a wet brine for our turkey or whole chickens, and a wet brine consists of salt, water, and other flavoring agents.  

Wet brining is best for low fat birds like turkey because it will enhance its texture, flavor, and most importantly moisture throughout the cook.  

Maybe you aren’t planning on smoking an entire bird.

This recipe works for a smoked turkey breast brine if you’re just wanting the white meat.

Or this recipe also works if you are looking for a turkey leg brine to make those massive turkey legs that you find at state fairs or renaissance festivals.

We promise you, once you make your turkey with our wet brine you’ll never make a turkey without it. 

Smoked Turkey Brine

How long to brine a turkey

We recommend brining your turkey for at least 5 hours, but it’s best when it has 24 hours to sit in the wet brine.  

Be mindful that you don’t want to brine your turkey for too long because it can impact the consistency of the meat.

Smoked Turkey Brine

Can you brine a frozen turkey?

Yes, you can brine a frozen turkey. Keep in mind that you want to allow enough time for the turkey to fully thaw.

A good rule of thumb is to allow 24 hours for every 5 pounds of turkey. A 20 pound bird can take up to four days to thaw!

With that being said, we recommend that if you want to brine a frozen bird, it should be at least semi-thawed unless it is a smaller bird so that you do not over-brine the meat.

Smoked Turkey

Do you rinse a turkey after brining?

Rinsing your turkey after brining is important as the bird has been sitting in a salt bath.  

Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold water 1-2 hours before cooking, and then pat the turkey dry.  

By doing this you’re removing the salt which will allow you to season your bird with your desired seasonings before cooking. 

Smoked Turkey

How to brine a turkey

While you can just purchase a turkey brine kit, we like to make our own brine with our family recipe!

Ingredients:

  • A 5 gallon bucket 1/3 filled with water
  • 2 cups Morton salt cure
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce 
  • 3 tablespoons Seasonall 
  • 2 bay leaves 
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • Additional water

Steps:

  1. Fill a 5 gallon bucket ⅓ of the way full with cool water. 
  2. Add in all ingredients and mix.
  3. Submerge the turkey, top with additional water.
  4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 5 hours and up to 48 hours. 
  5. 1-2 hours prior to cooking remove the turkey and rinse the inside and out with cold water. 
  6. Smoke the turkey as directed (check out our smoked turkey recipe).

No matter what time of year you’re cooking your turkey and using our smoked turkey brine we know we‘ll convert you for years to come because our turkeys are just that flavorful and juicy. 

Smoked Turkey Brine

Smoked Turkey Brine Recipe

Yield: 4 gallons of brine
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 1 day 2 minutes

Your secret to a juicy turkey - this easy brine recipe!

Ingredients

  • A 5 gallon bucket 1/3 filled with water
  • 2 cups Morton salt cure
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Seasonall
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns
  • Whole Turkey
  • Additional water

Instructions

  1. Fill a 5 gallon bucket ⅓ of the way full with cool water. 
  2. Add in all ingredients and mix.
  3. Submerge the turkey, top with additional water.
  4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 5 hours and up to 48 hours. 
  5. 1-2 hours prior to cooking remove the turkey and rinse the inside and out with cold water. 
  6. Smoke the turkey as directed (check out our smoked turkey recipe).

Click this link to pin this smoked turkey brine recipe on pinterest. Also, don’t forget to follow us on instagram and facebook for more recipes and foodie recommendations. If you’d like to automatically receive our posts in your email, register here.

Whip up this smoked turkey brine? Be sure to tag us on social media as @coupleinthekitchen and we’ll share it with our foodie followers!

This recipe was made in partnership with Omaha Steaks, thanks for supporting the brands that we love.

Brined Turkey

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