Make the brine. Bring 1 gallon of water to boil, add salt and sugar. Stir until dissolved. Allow to cool. This brine recipe may be scaled up or down depending on how much brine is needed to fully submerge the meat you are preparing.
Place meat in a food-grade container large enough to allow the meat to be fully submerged in brine (a food-grade plastic bucket works well). Pour cooled brine over meat, cover, and refrigerate. If you don’t have a container large enough, you can use a cooler with ice, keeping in mind the volume of ice being used and holding back this amount of water from the brine recipe. Ensure meat is always fully submerged and kept at or below 40º for the duration of brining.
Note: You can use this simple brine for all poultry, adjusting brine time depending on the cuts you are using. Brining for too long could negatively impact the texture of the meat. Whole chickens brine for 8 hours, chicken drums or wings 2-3 hours, turkey drums 4-5 hours, whole turkey 24 hours.
Combine rub ingredients together. After brine is complete, remove meat from brine and rinse with cold water. Transfer meat to a large container and sprinkle rub over meat. Hand toss until evenly coated.
Smoke meat at 225º-275º with hickory and apple woods or until internal temp 165º-180º. Turkey drums will take 2-3 hours.
After smoking, grill at medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes to crisp up skin if desired.