Smoked Bourbon and Orange Brined Turkey

Every year Big Spazz makes two turkeys in his electric smoker and one turkey in his oil free fryer. So far, this is his favorite brine for the smoked turkeys. Take out the innards, put the defrosted turkey in the brine and leave it in the refrigerator overnight. 

Ingredients for brine:
  • 2 gallons cold water
  • 1-1/2 c bourbon
  • 1 c Hawaiian salt
  • 1 c brown sugar
  • 1 lg naval orange, sliced into 6 wedges
  • 1 bay leaf, crumbled
  • 1 Tbsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Ingredients for turkey:
  • 1 (12-14 lb) turkey, defrosted, giblets removed
  • 1 large naval orange, sliced into 6 wedges
  • several sprigs fresh herbs: sage, thyme, rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  1. For the brine, in a large stockpot or other container large enough to hold the turkey and brine, combine the water, bourbon, salt, brown sugar, orange wedges (squeeze each wedge to release the juice), bay leaf, pepper, and cinnamon. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar. 
  2. Add the turkey to the brine, breast-side down, weighting it with resealable plastic bags filled with ice or cold water. Refrigerate the turkey and brine for 24 hours. 
  3. Recommended hardwood for smoking: apple
  4. Cook time - 3 hours


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