Years ago, back in 2003, I had the good fortune to connect with a group of barbeque experts online. This was in the days of Google Groups… which were part of a withering ecosystem of newsgroups replaced by Facebook. It was in the alt.food.barbeque newsgroup that I received my education in the art/science of barbeque.
In one of these threads was a discussion of brining and TFM (the Fat Man) shared his brine for poultry. Below is the base recipe he provided and I have used for many years. I include two changes in this recipe. The first is regarding salt. I prefer to use Kosher salt. Either is fine, I just prefer Kosher salt for its size and structure for my barbeque rub and keep spices to a minimum in our small kitchen cabinet. The other change is regarding Dave’s Insanity sauce. I like to use Frank’s Red Hot. Any brand of hot sauce will do. Do not use a wing sauce.
The Fat Man’s Turkey Brine II
A delicious brine perfect for roasting or smoking a turkey for Thanksgiving or, anytime.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 day
- 2 Gallons Water
- 1-1/4 Cup Pickling Salt/Kosher Salt
- 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
- 3 Tbsp. Garlic Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Chili Powder
- 1 Tbsp. Ground Sage
- 2 Tbsp. Crushed Red Pepper
- 1 Tbsp. Black Pepper
- 4 Each Bay Leaves
- 1 Tbsp. Old Bay Seasoning
- 1 Tbsp. Dave's Insanity Sauce/ Franks/Texas Pete’s Hot Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
Mix all ingredients in pot until dissolved.
Place turkey in large container or, XXL Ziploc storage bag.
Add brine to container.
Place container in refrigerator.
Allow turkey to brine up to 24 hours.
Cook/Smoke/Barbeque as usual until breast reaches correct internal temperature.