Monday, November 24, 2008

The Best Turkey Is A Brined Turkey

Soaking your turkey overnight in a salt brine solution is the best way to insure a moist juicy turkey on Thanksgiving. It requires no special ingredients or tools except a pot or bucket big enough to hold the turkey and small enough to fit in your refrigerator. You can also use a large cooler filled with ice if your Turkey is too large.

The turkey should be completely submerged in your brine solution and should be soaked anywhere from 12-24 hours depending on its size. For a large turkey above 15 lbs, I suggest 24 hours.

A basic brine solution is made up of water, salt and sugar. In addition to this, you can add any number ingredients such as fruit, herbs, spices, vinagers, juices, stock etc. The brine recipe I've used with success is:

For 1 Gallon of Brine:
  • 3/4 c. coarse Kosher salt
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. white sugar
  • 1/2 c. cider vinegar
  • 2 lemons quartered
  • 2 oranges quartered
  • Sprigs of thyme
  • sprigs of rosemary
  • handful of peppercorns

For each additional gallon necessary to submerge your bird, add 1/2 cup of salt, 1/2 c. sugar, and one more piece of citrus fruit.

Here is more information on brining poultry.


IBerg said...

I tried this brine at thanksgiving, great stuff. My wife said that it was the best turkey she has ever had. I cooked it using the Joy of Cooking turned method (I started it breast side down). I have never had such moist white meat. Not sure if it was the brine or the method. The brine smells wonderful before you put the turkey in though, I will definitely use it again.

Andrea said...

I'm glad it worked for you. For cooking methods, you generally can't beat the Joy of Cooking. I can't say this enough, using a brine, I've never had anything but a moist plump roasted fowl. I love it.