I was in the grocery store the other day and found some good deals in the 'Manager's Specials' section. Those are the meats that are close to the expiration dates and marked down considerably. That's the first thing I check when I go to the store. Meat that is aged in the proper temperature, of course for not too long, is very good. When I shoot a deer I like to hang it for 5-7 days if it is cool enough (under 40 degrees maximum), so I have NO problem buying most of those specials.
I found all of these for 50% off; a huge turkey breast, a brisket, a large flank steak and some frog legs. I figured I could smoke the turkey, make corned beef with the brisket, jerky with the flank steak and I could be daring and try smoking the frog legs. Hopefully that will be a new post here in the very near future.
I had great success with brining the Thanksgiving turkey so I thought I might try brining this turkey breast before smoking it. For the brine I used:
1/2 gallon of water
1/2 cup of canning salt
A few smashed garlic cloves
About a teaspoon of onion powder (I was out of onions)
2 teaspoons of Instacure (pink salt, Prague powder) This is optional, I was winging it and thought I would try it.
I mixed all of this up and placed the breast into the bowl and let it sit in the fridge for 24 hours. After this I patted it dry and placed it on my smoker.
I smoked it for about 4 hours but this did not bring it up to a safe temperature of 165 degrees(I need to build a bigger, better smoker!) This is not a problem though. I wrapped it in foil, poured a few Tablespoons of water into the foil, closed it up and placed it in a 300 degree oven. After about 45 minutes it was at 160 degrees. When you pull it out of oven, the temperature actually rises as it rests, and it did go to 165 degrees.
I placed it in the refrigerator until it cooled down considerably and became more firm for slicing. The fun part was using my new meat slicer that my girlfriend Sue gave me for Christmas. Nothing says love more than a Waring meat slicer! Ha!
I sliced it fairly thin and tasted it, I thought I had gone to heaven! It was that good. Take a look:
Turkey breast can be bought cheaply, so try this sometime.