Wants to know the secret to juicy, tender meat and poultry? It was learning how to dry brine a turkey!
My aunt taught me this method at Thanksgiving and I was blown away.
Because let ’s face it, whether cooking for the family or getting ready for the holidays, the last thing I want is to serves dry, tasteless meat.! So now I will teach you my method for delicious dry brine smoked turkey!
Brining is a technique that was used to preserve food before refrigerators were created.
It involved placing meat in a mixture of salt and water so that it could maintain it’s moisture and extend its shelf life. We recommend using the gas smoker for this technique.
Brining evolved and became used in cooking to help meat and poultry be more tender, retain its juices and adding lots of flavour. You have two options when brining your meat and that is a wet or dry brine.
Charlie's Hot Tip
If you want some REALLLY crispy skin, my go to is the Weber Genesis ii lx 340. Out of every smoker./BBQ I have tested over the years, this provided the best results, lucky it was Thanksgiving and the whole family can back me up on this!
A dry brine is a method that seasons the turkey like a more traditional wet brine, but it does not use any water. Instead, a dry brine involves rubbing the salt, seasonings, and/or sugar directly onto the meat and skin, and then letting the meat rest in the refrigerator for a period of time before cooking.
There are several very interesting things that happen over this rest period before cooking:
First, the salt draws out the meat juices through osmosis.
Next, the salt dissolves into the juices, essentially turning into a "natural" brine even though there isn't any added liquid.
And finally, this brine is reabsorbed into the meat and starts breaking down tough muscle proteins, resulting in juicy, tender, seasoned meat.
Now that we know what dry-brining is, let's see the are advantages are.
I don't often use this method but I thought I would include it just in case your were wondering.
Wet brining was the traditional method, where the meat is submerged in a mixture of liquid and salt (some people use water, others use cider) so the meat can retain its juices.
The problem with wet brining is that it takes a lot of space (you do have to keep your meat or poultry submerged in a bucket for days at a time) not also that it’s also time-consuming.
And that’s why dry brining is an easier and equally effective option.
The first thing to note when dry brining is picking the right salt.
Firstly, we recommend using kosher salt as it thicker than table salt. We have found that sea salt doesn’t work as well as it doesn’t dissolve well.
The second thing to keep in mind is the amount of salt that you will be using. As a general rule you should use ½ teaspoon of kosher salt or ¼ teaspoon of regular table salt per pound of meat. If there is excess salt, don’t worry, the meat will absorb it.
Finally. after doing this keep your meat refrigerated for a few hours and let chemistry do its magic.
The reason why brining works is that salt loosens up the natural proteins in the muscles of the meat, making them less able to contract when cooking.
If the meat is less able to contract, the more moisture stays on the inside.
Charlie's Hot Tip
If you after some more tips from the professionals we follow head over to our top 10 BBQ blogs. These guys are top of their game and pull out some recipes that absoluty blow us away.
Dry brining your first turkey is a bit of an adventure, here a few things you should know.
What I love about a dry brine turkey is that it doesn’t take much effort and you don’t need
Brining ensures that my meals food will be a success, from my delicious turkey with the crispiest skin to a marvelous roast beef filled the juiciest bits. I have found this to be a certified method to keep the meat moist and the family happy!
You will more often than not find me tinkering around in my backyard. I will have one hand tightly gripped around a can of beer and the other hand tightly gripped around my spatula. Not so long ago (almost 8 years now) I got obsessed with Grilling, smoking and BBQ-ing. I can't get enough of it.. and neither can my family!
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