(Closed) How to Properly Brine a Turkey?

posted 6 years ago in Food
  • poll: What is your favorite Thanksgiving food?
    Turkey : (4 votes)
    11 %
    Stuffing : (9 votes)
    25 %
    Mashed potatoes : (5 votes)
    14 %
    Cranberry sauce : (1 votes)
    3 %
    Sweet potatoes : (1 votes)
    3 %
    Green beans : (1 votes)
    3 %
    Pies! : (1 votes)
    3 %
    Other : (2 votes)
    6 %
    33 %
  • Post # 3
    9098 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    This website has a lot of suggestions.

    You can brine in a cooler, a bucket, a stock pot, a garbage bag [Not wholley reccomended], turkey oven bags, or large ziplock bags.

    ETA: Keeping your turkey in a cold garage or surrounded with bags of ice or in a cooler will keep your turkey food safe.

    Post # 6
    9135 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper
    • Wedding: November 2013 - St. Augustine Beach, FL

    @MrsHoneyBear:  Alton Brown’s recipe is consistently ranked very high.  http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html

    I use his cooking method but I’ve never tried the brine because I don’t have enough space to do it in my fridge (we have a half size).


    Good Eats Roast Turkey


    1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
    For the brine:
    1 cup kosher salt
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 gallon vegetable stock
    1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
    1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
    1 gallon heavily iced water
    For the aromatics:
    1 red apple, sliced
    1/2 onion, sliced
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 cup water
    4 sprigs rosemary
    6 leaves sage
    Canola oil
    Click here to see how it’s done.

    2 to 3 days before roasting:

    Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

    Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

    Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:

    Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

    Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

    Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

    Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

    Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.

    Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

    Post # 7
    1021 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @cheebs:  +1

    Pioneer Woman has a great brine recipe. Also, don’t forget to rinse it after you brine to get all the excess salt off.

    Post # 8
    8440 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    I brine mine in an oven bag and it always comes out just fine.  I do put the bag in a large bowl or bucket, just in case anything leaks (learned that the hard way one year), then I put the whole thing in the frige.  I use an apple based brine though.

    Post # 9
    873 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    Do I have to brine a turkey which is not free range???? This is my first year also and I picked up an unfrozen 15# butterball.

    Post # 10
    11520 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2014

    I have personally never brined a turkey but I’ve eaten turkey that’s been brined – delicious. 

    Post # 11
    11520 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @Billsgirl:  you don’t.  I never have.  I always salt and pepper inside and out, stuff it with a bread/onion/savoury stuffing and then rub it down with some butter and baste it baste it baste it (every 20 minutes or so).  My turkeys are always fantastic and gorgeous brown and never dry. (and I sounds like a pompous jerk….)


    Post # 12
    873 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013

    @MsGinkgo:  πŸ™‚ No you don’t! Sounds yummy!!!

    Post # 13
    1092 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    This is my first time cooking for Thanksgiving too! I don’t think we are brining our Turkey. My parents never have and it is always yummy. I’m just hoping mine isn’t this:

    Post # 15
    7310 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

    We used the Alton Brown recipe last year. Best roasted turkey of our lives! We live in an area where it is cold enough to leave the turkey brining in our garage. Seriously, today’s daytime high is 36 degrees F.

    Post # 16
    717 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: September 2015

    I’m a personal chef, and I myself use a recipe very similar to the Alton Brown one! Instead of water, I use apple cider, then cool it down with lots of ice to water down the apple juice. It doesn’t make the turkey taste like apple, just gives it a bit of sweetness. Best of luck with your first turkey. I second everything said above me!

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