If you have never brined a turkey, I highly encourage you to try it! I started brining my Thanksgiving turkeys about 3 or 4 years ago and I’ll never go back. You’ll have a better tasting and moister turkey and your family will love you for it. So just in time for Thanksgiving, I’m here to share with you how to brine a turkey.
My son-in-law said that for a vegetarian I sure know how to cook meat. I take that as a huge compliment.
Since I can’t taste test meat dishes, my hubby gets called to the task. He doesn’t mind.
You can add almost any spice to your brine bath … I used a variation of the Pioneer Woman’s brine bath.
You’ll find the recipe at the end of this post. Boil your brine and then let it cool.
I double bag the turkey … just in case.
Place the bagged turkey in a large roasting pot and place in the fridge for about 24 hours.
After removing the turkey from the brine bath, place the turkey in cold water for 15 minutes.
It’s best not to stuff a brined turkey because the stuffing could be salty. I’ve done it both ways.
No need to smother it in gravy to cover the dryness.
Your family will rave about it for years to come!
Turkey Brine Recipe
3 cups apple juice
2 gallons cold water
4 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
3/4 cup kosher salt
2 cups brown sugar
3 tablespoons peppercorns
5 whole bay leaves
Peel of three large oranges
Combine all ingredients in a large pot (I had to use 2 pots). Stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover. Allow to cool completely, then pour into a large brining bag with the turkey. You can use a pot but make sure all of the turkey is covered. Refrigerate uncooked turkey in brine solution for 16 to 24 hours.
When ready to roast the turkey, remove turkey from the brine solution. Submerge turkey in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Let it sit in clean water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt from the outside. Discard the brine. Remove turkey from the water and pat dry. Cook according to turkey’s package directions, or use your favorite method. (Recipe is a slight variation of the one found at The Pioneer Woman.)
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