|The Turkey in the smoker|
I have said it year after year, for a moist and delicious turkey brine it! The base of the brine is pretty much the same, apple juice, brown sugar and salt. I tweaked my recipe with the addition of some citrus fruit and zest.
1 Gallon of Apple Juice
1 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
1 Cup of Pickling or Kosher Salt
I started by zesting the lemons, lime and orange and then sliced into quarters. In a large stock pot, I squeezed the juice from the fruits and left them in the pot. Next I added the 1/2 the apple juice, brown sugar, salt and zest, and simmered for 15-20 minutes with the occasional stir to ensure the salt and brown sugar are dissolved. Add the other half of the apple juice to your brining vessel the add the brine from the stock pot and stir. Now add the turkey. If the turkey is not fully submerged add water to bucket until it is. Refrigerate over night.
My brining vessel is 5 gallon food safe bucket, you can pick one up at a restaurant supply for $20-$30. You can also use an ice chest or a really big zip lock bags. Just don't use a metal stock pot, the salt will react with the pot and make the turkey taste metallic.
|Turkey Seasoned and wrapped with 2 lbs of BACON!!|
|Bacon After 3 Hours in the Smoker|
|Herb Brush and Melted Butter|
After 3 hours in the smoker, its time to remove the bacon. The bacon has done it's job, infusing the turkey with flavor and protecting the delicate skin from over browning. Now for the next layer of flavors, the herb infused butter. I melted a stick of butter and a quarter cup of olive oil. I made an herb brush with some sprigs of sage, thyme and rosemary and tied them on the end of wooden spoon. Then every 30 minutes I brushed the turkey down with butter until it was done. The butter kept the skin moist and gave it that beautiful golden brown color and of course more flavor.