QBabe's BBQ Adventures....
Maple Brined Turkey
For the Brine…….

2 cups kosher salt
6 cups hot water
6 quarts cold water
1 1/2 cups maple syrup
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
8-10 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
18 black peppercorns
8 bay leaves
6 strips lemon zest (about 1 1/2 inches x 1/2 inch)
6 strips orange zest (about 1 1/2 inches x 1/2 inch)
5 whole cloves

Pour the salt and hot water into a large deep nonreactive pot and stir until the salt dissolves. Mix in 6 quarts of cold water and the maple syrup. Add onion, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, lemon zest, orange zest and cloves. Let the brine cool until it’s at room temperature. When the brine is cool, place turkey in 5 gallon food-safe bucket and pour brine over it, making sure to submerge it completely. Take a gallon ziploc and fill with ice cubes. Lay the filled ziploc bag on top of the turkey to weigh it down. Cover with lid and place in refrigerator overnight.

Set up the egg for indirect cooking (platesetter, firebricks, whatever you use). Stabilize the cooker at 325°. I usually don’t add any extra smoking wood, as poultry takes on smoke very easily, but if you prefer a smoky bird, add wood now.

For the drip pan and the bird……

6 tbsp. butter, melted.
2-3 sliced onions
4 cups water
4 cups chicken broth
2-3 quartered oranges
2-3 quartered onions

Remove the bird from the brine and rinse well. Rub well with melted butter and sprinkle with salt, pepper and parsley flakes. Place the bird in a v-rack breast side up and put in a drip pan filled with chicken broth, water, more melted butter and sliced onions. Stuff the cavity with quartered oranges (do not peel) and onions. Place polder probe in thickest part of the breast and put in cooker. If the wing tips start to brown too much, cover with aluminum foil. Baste with liquid from drip pan every 30-45 minutes (I use one of those long tubular things with the bulb at one end that sucks liquids into it rather than a brush). As liquid accumulates in the cavity area, use the baster to remove them from there and add to the drippings in the drip pan. Cook until the breast reads 162° (the little pop-up thingy may not have popped yet, but that’s ok). Remove from cooker, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

20 lb bird took 5 hrs at 325°.

Last Modified on June 21, 2004