Brine for curing and smoking


  • 6 litres (1.6 US gallons) of spring water or purified water
  • 2 cups of sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 cups of sugar (white or brown)
  • 3 tbsp of whole yellow mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp of cracked black peppercorns
  • 4 bay leaves, whole
  • 1 onion sliced into wedges
  • 2 apples, sliced


This recipe will brine approximately 6 kilos (13 pounds) of meat

  • Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl, tub or basin.
  • Add in the meat, weigh it down and allow to soak for 12 hours at room temperature.
  • Remove the meat from the brine and place in a container or bag that will fit in the refrigerator. Top off with brine and make sure that it is fully submerged and that there is no air present. Discard any remaining brine.
  • Allow the meat to cure for 4 days and up to 1 week in the refrigerator.
  • Smoke the meat as is or in the case of casing the meat in cloth or paper, such as with turkey breast, chicken or York style ham, be sure to rinse it under cold water before casing it.

Tip: The use of any herbs, spices, fresh fruits or vegetables may be used during the brining process and can be incorporated during the smoking process as seen above in the turkey breast on the right hand side of the photo that is flecked with mustard seeds and cracked black pepper.