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
- 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.