Brined Smoked Turkey Recipe
Making a Smoked Turkey Brine:
Making the smoked turkey brine is actually really easy, all you need is a big huge stock pot or an extremely clean paint bucket. You choose!
The turkey brine that I’ve been making the last few years is an apple cider brine.
It’s simple solution that packs a serious punch. I mean while the smoked part of the turkey is tasty, it wouldn’t without the smoked turkey brine I whipped up.
Tbe anythinghe ingredients for the smoked turkey brine are simply apple cider, water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves, fresh thyme sprigs, onion and garlic.
You bring the water, cider, sugar and salt to a boil to ensure all of those ingredients are dissolved and incorporated and then you let it chill.
Yes, this brined smoked turkey recipe is easy to make, but it will require you to get prepped up a few days before you want to cook and serve it.
Once the brine is chilled toss in the other ingredients and you’re good to go.
Brining a Turkey:
Once the brine is chilled and the other ingredients have been put in it add in your turkey, make sure the giblets have been removed, and completely submerge it.
You can add in a little ice if you’d like to help make sure it stays really cold, and then I add a few of my plates over top to ensure the turkey stays submerged.
Place the turkey in the refrigerator, yes you will probably need to make some room in there because the pot or bucket is pretty big.
Now, I like to brine the turkey for 1 day.
I think this is ample time to bring out some really good flavor in the turkey, but you can absolutely push it to 36 to 48 hours if you’d like, but I don’t think you need it.
Rinsing Off the Turkey Brine:
One of the most important steps to this brined smoked turkey is rinsing off the turkey once it’s done brining.
Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it extremely well in your sink on all sides including the cavity.
You want to make sure your turkey is seasoned, not a salt lick so take the time to do this.
Next, pat the turkey dry and let it sit for 45 minutes before smoking it.
Smoking a Brined Turkey:
Now it’s time to smoke.
Since my in-laws aren’t keen on super smoky foods I do a light smoke and because it’s brined the turkey actually cooks a bit quicker than if it wasn’t’.
I get my smoker up to 275° before putting the turkey in it.
I don’t care if you are smoking the turkey on the big green egg, a Traeger or in a digital smoker, just get it to 275°.
While I like smoking on my green egg, there is no honor in getting up at 3 am trying to light your smoker and checking every hour to ensure it is holding temp.
For this brined smoked turkey, I’m popping it straight into the smoker and forgetting about it for a few hours.
Now, if I were to smoke this turkey completely through it would take about 4 hours for this 14-pound bird but since I lightly smoke it I only keep it in there for 2 hours.
I then transfer the turkey to the oven and cook it at 275 for another 90 to 120 minutes or until the thighs read 165°.
Man you are done, cover and rest this baby up for 30 minutes before slicing and serving!