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Brining a Turkey is a great way to impart flavor and keep the turkey moist when smoked or cooked on a grill.  Remember to brine the turkey several days in advance.  The best way to do this is to place the turkey and the brine in a food safe trash bag and keep your turkey in a cooler with ice.

Citrus Brined Turkey

4.0/5 rating (2 votes)
  • Serves: 6
  • Complexity: medium
Citrus Brined Turkey


  • Brine
  • 1 1⁄4 cups sugar
  • 1⁄2 cups kosher salt (use only half this amount if you are on a salt-reduced diet)
  • 1 750 ml bottle of fruity white wine
  • 1 gallon water or water to cover
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 2 heads of garlic broken into cloves and peeled
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • juice of 2 limes
  • juice of 2 navel oranges
  • 2 lemons sliced into rounds
  • 2 limes sliced into rounds
  • 1 orange sliced into rounds
  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary
  • -------
  • Turkey
  • 1 bunch poultry herbs (can be purchased in the produce section in most grocery stores)
  • 1 turkey breast, split - gizards removed, washed with cold water and patted dry
  • 1 baking apple cut into chunks
  • 1 pineapple cut into chunks
  • Wood chips for smoking, mesquite or any fruitwood


  • Mix all brine ingredients, (except turkey, poultry herbs and wood chips), in a large pot. Stir to combine.
  •  Cook over high heat and bring to a boil.  Immediately turn off heat and cover pot. Let cool to room temperature
  • Add turkey
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight (or at least 12 hours) in the refrigerator, turning turkey a couple of times to ensure all areas have been submerged. Remove bird from marinade and pat dry. See note above if you are making a whole turkey.
  • Prepare smoker on the lowest temperature possible. If you are using a gas barbecue: Turn it on low and place wet wood chips in the bottom. When the smoke starts, turn the barbecue to very low.
  • Carefully lift skin away from breast and place herb bundle under skin in a thin layer to cover the entire breast. Stuff turkey breast with apple and pineapple.
  • Place turkey in an aluminum pan with the garlic cloves, lemon, lime and orange slices and then on grill in an aluminum roasting pan and cover with foil for 30 minutes. Then remove foil cover.
  • You may have to turn the barbecue up several times during the process to create more smoke. If you are using a kettle-style barbecue that isn’t equipped with gas: Don’t get it very hot; only use 2 cups of charcoal. Once the charcoal heats and has had a chance to burn down a little, put wet wood chips in aluminum foil (or foil pie tin) on top of coals. You may need to remove some of the charcoal with a shovel, if the barbecue gets hot. What you are trying to do is create smoke, without making the barbecue hot. Cover and smoke for 30 minutes.
  • If the skin is browning too fast cover with foil.
  • After using either of the above smoking methods, continue to cook Turkey breast over the hot coals or gas flame (about 350 degrees) 3-4 hours or until cooked completely - a meat thermometer should read 165 degrees. Allow turkey to rest 15 minutes before carving.

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