Last year was the first year we ever attempted brining a turkey. Until then, though one kind soul had strongly recommended the idea to us previously, I didn’t really understand what it involved. It took only ONE well-soaked bird to convince us, however, that it was worth the little extra time and effort. We have made multiple turkeys since then, each one incredibly moist and delicious, thanks to the brining process (and we even brine whole chickens now!)
What is a brine?
Basically, it’s a salt-water soak for meat. It usually includes sugar as well. Other spices can be added.
What does brining do?
Our favorite Turkey Brine Recipe
Some (Possibly) Helpful Notes:
You can use 1 1/2 cups Kosher or canning salt OR substitute 1 cup table salt.
If your bird is VERY large, you may need to double the brine recipe to cover the turkey. We use a large stock pot or canning pot to soak in.
We thaw the turkey most of the way first, then use the brine for the last 48 hours as recommended. It finishes the thawing process and adds incredible flavor! For our 14 pound turkey, we’ll thaw for 3 days, then brine for 2 more.
We like Reynold’s Oven Bags (turkey size) for easy baking. You’ll find these free after coupon at a couple stores this season! You could also smoke, grill or roast your turkey – it really doesn’t matter!
No matter how much I manage to overcook the turkey, it’s ALWAYS moist and delicious!
To avoid stress, we often cook and carve our turkey the night before Thanksgiving. We keep it in a casserole with a little broth, then reheat in the oven for the Thanksgiving meal.
Do YOU have any great Thanksgiving hints, tips or recipes? Have you ever tried brining? Please share!