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Honey brined turkey...with chipotle???

So I've been thinking about adding some pureed chipotle to the brine for the thanksgiving turkey. I'll be smoking it (Alton Brown's recipe) on the grill. Anybody want to talk me out of it? I really can't decide if it is a good idea or not...

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  1. I think its a fine idea. I'll be looking forward to your report. What type of chips do you smoke over? Maybe a little mesquite in the mix?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ghbrooklyn

      I thought I would use a mix. Last year I used whole spices with the wood,(cinnamon, cloves, cumin, star anise.)I may try that again.

    2. that actually sounds really good. an idea i might try out sometime.

      1. I think it might work, but you'd have to have a lot to make a difference given the volume of brine solution. I think I'd make a rub or butter and apply it directly to the turkey instead to give it more flavor.

        3 Replies
        1. re: cheryl_h

          I was thinking about using a whole can. I'm only smoking an 8 pounder.

          1. re: birddogfoodie

            If you go ahead, will you please post the results? I've never tried adding more than just the basics to my brine. I'd love to know if you get chipotle flavor through the meat.

        2. BTW, I'd recommend NOT using chips - use chunks. They last longer of course and I never even have to soak them. Soaking = soot and while we're following Alton's advice here: "soot is not a valid flavor!" ;-) Try dry chunks, you'll be surprised! I promise.

          1. Sounds really good, i'd like to be invited.

            1. So, I used a 24 oz can of chipotle in adobo to 1 pound of honey and 1 pound of salt with lots of water and brined it for about 9 hours. (it was an 8 pounder). Don't bother. I could not tell the difference. The skin may have had a little flavor but I smoked the bird so the flavor may have come from the cooking method.
              Rubbing the bird with a chipotle butter would have been a better approach.
              Sorry it took so long to get back.

              3 Replies
              1. re: birddogfoodie

                I had much the same result from my added flavors - ornage rind and star anise. I couldn't detect either in the finished turkey. I think I'll keep the brine simple in future.

                1. re: birddogfoodie

                  I've come to the same conclusion.
                  Daddy gave me my first smoker more than 30 years ago. I tried everything under the sun and finally found that the smoke was enough by itself.
                  I've been brining some game birds and large turkeys for a very long time and don't use anything but kosher salt and water. Mild solution, short time so the meat doesn't change texture.
                  All the extras work just fine with a rub - just as you say - maybe a few hours before cooking or overnight. Try infusing oil with rub ingredients for a day or so before using instead of using butter - carries the flavor better.

                  1. re: MakingSense

                    Yep, I'm going back to simple brines from now on.