On several of the smoking forums I read, around Thanksgiving there was much chatter about “marinating” the turkey in root beer instead of a salty brine. Enough people were talking about it that I wanted to try it but I didn’t want to ruin our holiday meal with a sweet turkey. Vince and I talked about it and decided to use the root beer with a turkey breast and do it sometime other than Thanksgiving.
We both fully expected that we were going to be ruining a turkey breast but we’ll try anything once. We just used a low cost Walmart Root Beer.
One 2 litre bottle was just enough for our turkey breast. We left it in the fridge for about 24 hours and then smoked it.
Unfortunately, I didn’t take a picture when it came out of the smoker but when I first looked at it, I feared I had cooked it too long because the outside was very brown. It will not burn in the smoker (unless you REALLY leave it too long), but it will dry out if it’s cooked too long. When we cut into it, it was very juicy and I realized the brown skin was due to the root beer, along with the smoking.
It was the best turkey we’ve ever had! We divided the leftovers and froze half of them. The bag we kept out to eat on stayed moist and delicious til it was gone.
From some of the last of the leftovers, I made turkey salad, served over avocado halves, with cucumbers and cheese sticks. Delicious! Easy! Perfect!