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How to cure turkey

This is how I do a turkey (or any poultry).

Food Safe container or bucket. I use a 5 gallon bucket from Home Depot that has the

image on it. That means that the plastic won’t leach harmful chemicals into your curing brine.

Curing Brine:
I gallon of potable water (drinkable)
½ to 1 cup of salt
½ to 1 cup of sugar
½ to 1 cup of brown sugar
*1 oz. (heaping tablespoon) of sodium nitrite curing salt
Stir the brine approx. 50 stirs to dissolve the ingredients and the brine gets clear

*1 oz. of curing salt – consists of 93.75% plain salt and 6.25% of sodium nitrite. A level tablespoon of curing salt is approximately .80 of an ounce. A heaping tablespoon is approx. 1 oz. Maximum allowed is 3.84 oz./gallon, almost 4 times of what I recommend. It will still get the job done but just takes longer in a lower concentration. Curing salt can be ordered at www.butcher-packer.com; a 16 oz. bag is usually $3.50. They do charge shipping. I usually order 4 bags at a time without exceeding the minimum shipping charges.

Adequate refrigeration (enough room in your refrigerator at 38°, no higher).

Turkey (thawed, can or cannot contain solutions or flavor brines, doesn’t matter), eviscerated parts removed (neck, liver, heart, gizzard – save to boil up and eat). Usually takes about 5 days in a refrigerator to thaw the turkey enough to remove the parts.

Make up 2 gallons of curing brine. You can use the bucket to do so.

Dunk the turkey in the curing brine, breast down, legs up, until it is all covered with the curing brine. Use a heavy plate to keep it submerged. Anything that floats won’t get cured. Just an inch in the curing brine works!

Store in the refrigerator. You DO NOT have to stir or move it in any way, just let it sit and work it’s magic!

Check it twice a week, looking for frothy bubbles. That means it is starting to ferment. Just take it out and dump in the CLEAN kitchen sink, allowing the bad curing brine to go down the drain. Then rinse off the bird, inside and out, make up fresh curing brine and re-dunk and weigh down the top. Turn down the fridge a notch.

You have up to 30 days to cure your bird. Most all will be cured in 2 – 3 weeks. Smaller birds (12-15 lbs), 2 weeks. Heavier birds, (16-20 lbs.), 3 weeks. Huge birds, (22-30 lbs.) 4 weeks. Chickens, ducks, roasting or stewing hens, under 6 lbs., 1 week.

Then, smoke your turkey in your smoker or smokehouse to a minimum of 155º internal in the breast, 165° in the thigh. Use whatever fuel for your unit and to your liking. Because you have cured your bird first, it reduces the chance, greatly, of developing botulism, the ‘safe zone’ does not apply (40º to 140º within 4 hours). Smoke at over 220° continuously. Or, you can bake in the oven whether or not you got to apply smoke and still end up with a flavorful cured turkey (like ham).

And that is how to cure and smoke your turkey!

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Ingredients

Remove giblets and neck; rinse turkey with cold water. Pat dry. Tie legs together with string; tuck wingtips under. Combine brown sugar and next 6 ingredients. Rub over turkey. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 8 hours.

Place turkey on a rack in a roasting pan, breast side up. Arrange onion quarters around turkey. Pour 2 cans broth in bottom of pan.

Bake, loosely covered with foil, at 325° for 1 1/2 hours. Uncover and bake 1 1/2 more hours or until meat thermometer registers 180°. (Cover with foil to prevent excessive browning, if necessary.) Remove onion; discard, reserving pan drippings. Let turkey stand 15 minutes before carving.

Combine pan drippings and enough chicken broth to equal 2 cups in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour, and cook, whisking constantly, 5 minutes or until thickened. Serve with turkey. Garnish, if desired.

Reviews ( 11 )

I made this for Thanksgiving last year. It was moist and my guests loved it. However, my complaint was that the seasonings had not gotten into the meat of the bird, and I still felt I needed gravy for flavor. I will try brining my bird this year.

Very moist and flavorful, but didn’t taste the spice from the rub much. I just cooked it in a turkey roaster covered so I didn’t have to mess with covering/not covering it up. About 3 hours to cook. Definitely good enough for guests.

Whole family loved the turkey! Super easy, after I put it in the oven the only thing I had to do was take the foil off after the first 1 1/2 hour and then tent it again later to prevent over browning. Really moist and just fell off the bones. I did a 21lb turkey so I doubled the ingredients for the rub and it did take longer ( as expected) ,cooked up perfectly in 5 hours. We will do this again!

Used this for a turkey breast, halfed the receipe. Easy to do and tasted great. The turkey breast was so moist and browned beautifully, did not really need gravy, but did make it. Very nice flavor. Will do this again.

This recipe is wonderful. I used this recipe to cook our turkey for Thanksgiving 2010. It worked out just as the recipe said (I did have to recover the turkey in the last 30 minutes due to browning quickly). Everyone raved about how great it tasted and how moist it was. I’m passing this on to my Aunt so she can use this recipe for her Christmas turkey too.

This was the best turkey I ‘ve ever eaten and it was really easy to make. Very moist, turkey fell off the bone when lifted out of the pan.

I didn’t think this turkey recipe’s reviews could possibly be this good, but I tried it this year on my giant 20 lb. bird and OMG, it was amazing. My entire family thought it was the best turkey they’ve ever had. I didn’t brine the bird, but did cover the breast for about half of the cooking time. I didn’t baste it either. Couldn’t have been easier. Also, mace can be replaced for about 4X the amount of nutmeg instead. Mace is hard to find sometimes and really expensive!

WOW! Prepared this yesterday, what a great treat, moist, tender and this is a keeper recipe. The most important thing is to brine the bird. Love getting recipes from this site.

This allowed the meat to really be flavorful and not dry at all. A true success!

Wow! I was so worried about using a recipe where I did not brine my turkey, but I shouldn’t have been. This was outstanding. Plus, it really could not be easier. The only negative was that I never found mace after trying three stores, including two Whole Foods Markets.

How to cure turkey

The Spruce / Bailey Mariner

Pink salt is a common name for a mixture of sodium chloride, or table salt, and sodium nitrite. It is also called InstaCure, Prague powder, and Pokelsalz in German. It is used on meat to prevent the production of botulinum toxin in meat. Pink salt is toxic to humans but is not present in finished, cured meats in a high enough dose to cause illness or death.

Pink salt is dyed pink in color so it cannot be confused with table salt. This dyed salt imparts characteristic color and flavor to cured meats. Do not use pink salt like regular table salt. Do not sprinkle it on your food.

Preventing Botulism

Once known as sausage disease or sausage poisoning, botulism was named after botulus, the Latin word for sausage. It was first described in Germany by Justinus Kerner in Wurttemberg in 1817, although the pathogen and toxin were not identified until 1895 by Emile Pierre van Ermengem, a professor at the University of Ghent.

Clostridium botulinum is the name of an anaerobic (cannot grow in presence of oxygen) bacterium which is present in soil and water. The durable spores can be airborne and can land on food. If it finds the right environment, low acid and little or no oxygen, it will grow and reproduce.

If the bacterium reproduces it can produce botulinum toxin and cause botulism, a foodborne illness caused by ingesting the toxin.

Clostridium botulinum is difficult to kill; the spores tolerate boiling temperatures (212 F and 100 C) so heating to 240 to 250 F (or 120 C) for 5 to 10 minutes is necessary to destroy the bacteria. This necessitates the use of a pressure canning device when home canning.

A secondary step to ensure your home canned, non-acidic food is safe to eat, is by heating the food for 10 to 20 minutes to temperatures above 176 F (80 C); this will destroy most of the toxin.

Other ways to control the bacteria are by using acids such as vinegar in canning recipes, canning high-acid fruits, and vegetables, using high sugar or salt concentrations (as for jam or pickles), keeping food at temperatures below 38 F (3 C), and using nitrites or nitrates.

Using Nitrites

Nitrites inhibit the growth of anaerobic bacteria, which logically inhibits toxin production. Nitrates turn into nitrites over time which makes them a time-release form of the inhibiting compound. Both are toxic to humans in high doses. Home cooks, therefore, are allowed to purchase sodium nitrite which has already been cut with salt, reducing the chance of accidental overdose.

Nitrite is eventually used up in the meat during the curing process and converts to nitric oxide, which is not harmful and is safe for human consumption. The amount of nitrite in cured meats is not harmful at several times normal levels of consumption.

Two Forms of Pink Salt

Pink salt comes in two forms: cure No. 1 and cure No. 2. Cure No. 1 pink salt is used to cure all meats that require cooking, brining, smoking, or canning. This includes poultry, fish, ham, bacon, luncheon meats, corned beef, pates, and other products. It is 93.75 percent table salt and 6.25 percent sodium nitrite. It is used at a rate of 1 teaspoon per 5 pounds of ground meat.

If you are using it for a brine, you use 1/2 cup InstaCure No. 1 per gallon of water, plus 1 3/4 cup table salt, 2 1/4 tablespoon sugar, and any spices you wish.

Cure No. 2 is formulated for dry cured products such as pepperoni, hard salami, prosciutti hams, dried sausages, and other products which do not require cooking, smoking, or refrigeration. One level teaspoon (a mix of 1 ounce sodium nitrite (6.25 percent), 0.64 ounces sodium nitrate (4 percent) to 1 pound of salt) is used per 5 pounds of meat.

The cures are not interchangeable so follow the recipe you use closely and use a recipe from a reliable source.

Curing Meat Warning

Curing meat requires specific expertise and failure to cure meat properly may result in sickness or death. If you have no experience in this area, we advise you to consult an expert to teach you proper techniques and applications.

Great Resources on Curing Meat

Since curing meat requires such a specific skill set, otherwise, it can lead to illness or worse, we highly recommend consulting with an expert to teach you proper techniques. We found that the following four publications are super helpful guides and go in-depth about just such processes, procedures, and techniques:

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melanie

Songster
  • Feb 17, 2009
  • #2
  • crtrlovr

    Still chillin’ with my peeps
    • Feb 17, 2009
  • #3
  • farmerlor

    Songster
    • Feb 17, 2009
  • #4
  • FrenchHen

    Chicken Ambassador

    pre-seasoned cajun turkey anyone?

    Wouldn’t it make the chicken eggs taste weird?

    Or could we market Tabasco flavored eggs?

    • Feb 17, 2009
    • Thread starter
    • #5

    melanie

    Songster
    • Feb 18, 2009
  • #6
  • gypsy2621

    Songster
    • Feb 19, 2009
    • Thread starter
    • #7

    melanie

    Songster
    • Feb 19, 2009
  • #8
  • NYREDS

    Crowing
    • Feb 19, 2009
    • Thread starter
    • #9

    melanie

    Songster
    • Feb 19, 2009
  • #10
  • farmerlor

    Songster

    Here’s an article:

    HOT NEWS FOR TURKEYS

    By Larry Ross, RR # 3, Clifford, N0G 1M0

    Soon after I started keeping turkeys (from the second year on) blackhead has been a problem for me. For those not familiar with blackhead, this is a disease caused by protozoans. It can kill a flock of turkeys in less than a month. Protozoans are single-celled, microscopic animal life. (The Ministry of Agriculture’s factsheets have good descriptions of all types of poultry diseases.)

    I have tried several natural remedies to kill the protozoans responsible. I started looking for something else after my trails with garlic powder proved only partially effective. Although I’ve only tried it one year, I’ve had excellent results with cayenne powder. I use it at a rate of 1 rounded tablespoon per 20 litres of chopped feed. Cayenne isn’t water soluble, but it still works in the drinking water. I use the same rate, allowing the cayenne to soak and then stirring the mixture well. The water method is essential for the sicker birds who won’t eat. During the outbreak of 1993, I used cayenne in both the feed and water at first. Later on, I put it in the feed only.

    Cayenne does more than just prevent and cure blackhead in turkeys. It is also seems effective in preventing and treating coccidiosis in chickens and turkeys.

    With range birds it is often difficult to ensure all the birds are consuming the cayenne-treated feed and water. If the birds are penned up at night, giving them their treated feed before letting them out for the day is one answer.

    Cayenne has several advantages. The flavour of the meat was not affected. (I kept the birds off cayenne for three days before slaughter.) Being a food substance (for humans), cayenne bypasses

    registration as a drug, a lengthy and expensive process. This makes it relatively cheap – often for as little as $5/lb. through a meat processor. This is a real bargain compared to Emtryl at $30 – 40.00 per 500 mg!

    Learn how to brine a turkey to add flavour and tenderness by using both a wet and dry brine, plus find our top turkey brine recipes for Christmas.

    Traditional turkey recipes advise basting a turkey to keep the moisture in. While basting can have good results, it’s not guaranteed to stop your turkey drying out and you can end up with slightly soft, streaky skin. Modern turkey recipes instead recommend dry brining, which is much more likely to result in a juicy turkey with crisp skin.

    What is brining?

    Brining means adding flavour, moisture and an improved texture to raw poultry and meat, and it works through osmosis (which you may remember from school science classes). Brine is essentially a salty liquid. When you immerse a turkey in it, the water already held within the flesh will exchange with the brine until they are both equally salty. As salt is drawn into the turkey, it will start to break down the proteins within the meat, loosening them. As the turkey cooks, the proteins won’t tighten up as much, helping keep the meat moist.

    Drier, leaner meats benefit from brining, so try this method with turkey crowns and breasts as well.

    Dry brining vs wet brining

    You can wet brine a turkey by soaking it – or completely covering it – in a salt solution.

    Dry brine a turkey by rubbing salt all over it. With a dry brine, the salt will initially draw the moisture out of the turkey, then the salty liquid formed will be reabsorbed, taking some salty flavour with it. It will also dry out the skin, which helps it crisp up in the oven.

    Dry brining is easiest, as you can put the turkey in a bag or container that only just fits it. With a wet brine, you need to use a bucket or very large container in order to fit both the turkey and liquid. You can add flavour such as herbs, spices, garlic and citrus zest to both wet and dry brines, and the flavours will be drawn into the meat.

    How to cure turkey

    How to brine a turkey

    1. A brine solution is usually composed of the same ratio of salt to water. Use about 50g coarse salt to 1 litre water.
    2. You shouldn’t brine for longer than necessary, or you will end up with salty, mushy meat. Calculate 1 hour per 500g meat.
    3. The easiest way to make and cool a brine quickly is to heat half the amount of water you need with the salt and any aromatics. After the salt has dissolved, add the rest of the water, making sure it is as cold as possible – it should be completely cold before you use it.
    4. Keep the turkey in the fridge while you brine it.

    Try the above, or have a go at this 5% brine recipe:

    Simple 5% wet turkey brine

    Makes 2 litres

    200g coarse salt
    100g golden caster sugar
    2 bay leaves
    5 peppercorns
    1 orange, zested

    1. Put all the ingredients in a pan and add 1 litre of water. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.
    2. Add 1 litre cold water and leave the brine to cool completely.

    Top turkey dry brine recipes

    Brined roast turkey crown & confit legs
    Dry brined turkey with the legs cooked separately is an easy way to make a perfect Christmas meal.

    Moist turkey crown with chestnut truffle stuffing
    This turkey crown is brined before extra flavours are added in the stuffing that’s pushed under the skin.

    ISTANBUL, Nov 23 (Reuters) – President Tayyip Erdogan has set Turkey’s $720-billion economy on a risky new path of aggressive interest rate cuts that he says will boost jobs, exports and growth and paradoxically stem soaring inflation and a currency meltdown.

    Erdogan orchestrated the policy shift as his opinion polls slide ahead of elections due by mid-2023. Economists have ridiculed the “experiment” as reckless and a recipe for eroding Turks’ earnings and savings, given the resulting market crash.

    Here are the main elements of the strategy that has taken shape in speeches and policy decisions since September:

    EMPHASIZE EXPORTS AND BALANCE THE CURRENT ACCOUNT

    On Oct. 28, Central Bank Governor Sahap Kavcioglu offered an unexpected explanation: one of the best ways to bring Turkey’s 20% inflation down to a 5% target is to flip the “unsustainable” current account deficit to surplus. “When we achieve … surplus we will achieve financial and price stability,” Kavcioglu, whom Erdogan installed in March, said at a quarterly inflation update. read more

    Yet this sector represents only one slice of the economy and hinges on global demand, tempering any immediate broader benefit for households. Economists also say competitive structural reforms over several years are needed to rebalance an economy that is heavily reliant on imports and foreign funding, including $167 billion in short-term external debt due.

    LIRA DEPRECIATION IS A TOUGH BUT NECESSARY ADJUSTMENT

    The currency has plunged 20% since the beginning of last week alone. That’s the sort of dislocation that might typically prompt emergency measures to stem the bleeding, but there has been no tangible intervention from the government, regulators or central bank.

    Erdogan has addressed the foreign exchange turmoil in two speeches, including on Monday when he vowed to carry on his battle against interest rates and urged Turks to see the devaluation in a different and more positive light.

    “The competitive force of the exchange rate leads to increase in investment, production and employment,” he said, adding the country’s enemies have “played games” over the lira in the past only to fail. “Just as we took our country out of this many traps and misfortunes, with the help of Allah and the support of our people, we will emerge victorious from this economic war of independence,” Erdogan said.

    PROVE TO DOUBTERS THAT RATE CUTS BRING INFLATION DOWN

    Erdogan has long espoused the unorthodox view that high interest rates cause inflation. He has imposed this view on the central bank, firing three central bank governors in the last 2-1/2 years, leaving its credibility in tatters. The recent rate cuts are the most high-stakes test of his theory.

    “We saw that the theory that inflation can be brought down only with monetary tightening has no basis other than in closed economies,” he said on Monday. “I reject policies that will contract our country in the way that … economists desire, weaken it, condemn our people to unemployment, hunger and poverty.”

    Devlet Bahceli, leader of the nationalist party MHP that is allied with Erdogan’s conservative AK Party, said on Tuesday there is “no alternative” to cutting rates. “Turkey needs to rid itself from the hunchback of interest rates,” he said. “We are aware of the problems our people are facing, we see the complaints over the exchange rate, but the policies being implemented are correct. Soon, everything will be fine.”

    EXPAND STATE-BANK CREDIT TO BOOST JOBS AND INVESTMENT

    Private Turkish lenders are hesitant to boost credit given risks of stoking a hot economy and possible company defaults. But the big three state banks have followed the central bank’s lead and slashed borrowing costs in line with the easing.

    “As they have done until now, our banks will continue to stand beside our customers and companies, contributing to the strengthening of our country’s economy and employment,” the banks said in a joint statement last month after cutting rates on loans by up to 200 basis points. read more

    State banks also nearly doubled credit growth last year to ease fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic – a move that began driving up prices and forced the central bank to start a tightening cycle that brought the policy rate as high as 19% in March.

    The easing sparked a 33% drop in the lira versus the dollar, boosted inflation via imports, and set Turkey well apart in a world in which other central banks are tightening to stem price rises. On Oct. 28, Central Bank Governor Sahap Kavcioglu offered an unexpected explanation: one of the best ways to bring Turkey’s 20% inflation down to a 5% target is to flip the “unsustainable” current account deficit to surplus.

    How to cure turkey

    President Tayyip Erdogan has set Turkey’s $720-billion economy on a risky new path of aggressive interest rate cuts that he says will boost jobs, exports and growth and paradoxically stem soaring inflation and a currency meltdown.

    Erdogan orchestrated the policy shift as his opinion polls slide ahead of elections due by mid-2023. Economists have ridiculed the “experiment” as reckless and a recipe for eroding Turks’ earnings and savings, given the resulting market crash. Here are the main elements of the strategy that has taken shape in speeches and policy decisions since September:

    EMPHASIZE EXPORTS AND BALANCE THE CURRENT ACCOUNT The central bank, under pressure from Erdogan, has slashed its policy rate by 400 basis points to 15% since September. The easing sparked a 33% drop in the lira versus the dollar, boosted inflation via imports, and set Turkey well apart in a world in which other central banks are tightening to stem price rises.

    On Oct. 28, Central Bank Governor Sahap Kavcioglu offered an unexpected explanation: one of the best ways to bring Turkey’s 20% inflation down to a 5% target is to flip the “unsustainable” current account deficit to surplus. “When we achieve . surplus we will achieve financial and price stability,” Kavcioglu, whom Erdogan installed in March, said at a quarterly inflation update. Exports surged 20% to $21 billion last month, outstripping imports and helping drive recent trade surpluses, even though the 12-month current account remains in the red. Benefiting from the lira weakness, exports of machinery, cars and textiles have set the economy on a path to near 10% overall growth this year.

    Yet this sector represents only one slice of the economy and hinges on global demand, tempering any immediate broader benefit for households. Economists also say competitive structural reforms over several years are needed to rebalance an economy that is heavily reliant on imports and foreign funding, including $167 billion in short-term external debt due. LIRA DEPRECIATION IS A TOUGH BUT NECESSARY ADJUSTMENT

    The currency has plunged 20% since the beginning of last week alone. That’s the sort of dislocation that might typically prompt emergency measures to stem the bleeding, but there has been no tangible intervention from the government, regulators or central bank. Erdogan has addressed the foreign exchange turmoil in two speeches, including on Monday when he vowed to carry on his battle against interest rates and urged Turks to see the devaluation in a different and more positive light.

    “The competitive force of the exchange rate leads to increase in investment, production and employment,” he said, adding the country’s enemies have “played games” over the lira in the past only to fail. “Just as we took our country out of this many traps and misfortunes, with the help of Allah and the support of our people, we will emerge victorious from this economic war of independence,” Erdogan said. PROVE TO DOUBTERS THAT RATE CUTS BRING INFLATION DOWN

    Erdogan has long espoused the unorthodox view that high interest rates cause inflation. He has imposed this view on the central bank, firing three central bank governors in the last 2-1/2 years, leaving its credibility in tatters. The recent rate cuts are the most high-stakes test of his theory. “We saw that the theory that inflation can be brought down only with monetary tightening has no basis other than in closed economies,” he said on Monday. “I reject policies that will contract our country in the way that . economists desire, weaken it, condemn our people to unemployment, hunger and poverty.”

    Devlet Bahceli, leader of the nationalist party MHP that is allied with Erdogan’s conservative AK Party, said on Tuesday there is “no alternative” to cutting rates. “Turkey needs to rid itself from the hunchback of interest rates,” he said. “We are aware of the problems our people are facing, we see the complaints over the exchange rate, but the policies being implemented are correct. Soon, everything will be fine.” EXPAND STATE-BANK CREDIT TO BOOST JOBS AND INVESTMENT

    Private Turkish lenders are hesitant to boost credit given risks of stoking a hot economy and possible company defaults. But the big three state banks have followed the central bank’s lead and slashed borrowing costs in line with the easing. “As they have done until now, our banks will continue to stand beside our customers and companies, contributing to the strengthening of our country’s economy and employment,” the banks said in a joint statement last month after cutting rates on loans by up to 200 basis points.

    State banks also nearly doubled credit growth last year to ease fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic – a move that began driving up prices and forced the central bank to start a tightening cycle that brought the policy rate as high as 19% in March.

    (This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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