How to Brine a Turkey

Hey y’all! I thought I would share the recipe for the turkey brine we did at Thanksgiving in case y’all needed inspiration for your Christmas dinner! It takes a little bit of work and planning ahead, but oh my goodness, it is so worth it! Turkey has a tendency to dry out, but this brine will insure a juicy, flavorful bird for your holiday feast!

If you are feeling a little more adventurous, you can check out how we Fried a Turkey with a Cajun dry brine that is absolutely out-of-this-world fantastic as well! Of course, you can use the salt/sugar water brine method or the dry brine method no matter what cooking technique you use!

Let us know how your turkey comes out if you try either of these recipes!

Happy Holidays!

~Shanna

Turkey Brine:

12-15 lb. Turkey

2 gallons water

2 cups Salt

1 cup Sugar

2 Lemons, halved

6 cloves of Garlic

3 Bay Leaves

1 medium Onion

3 sprigs Rosemary (or 1 TBsp. dried)

1 TBsp. Sage

1/2 tsp. AllSpice

1 tsp. Black Pepper

You will also need:

Giant Ziploc Bag – BPA free

Zip Tie or Twisty Tie

Ice Chest/Ice

Directions for Brining a Turkey:

Gently warm 2 quarts of water in a sauce pan. Add the salt and sugar and whisk to dissolve. Next, add in all the ingredients and stir until everything is well incorporated. You will need to add enough ice to completely cool the liquid, or just set aside and allow it to cool. That is, if you have time on your hands. 😉 You just want to avoid adding warm liquid to raw poultry! If you have room in your pot, you can add a gallon and a half of water for a total of 2 gallons of brine. If not, you can wait and add the liquid to your giant sized Ziploc bag.

Place your giant ziploc bag in a cooler and park it right by your sink. You will want to remove the neck and giblets from your turkey, rinse it off with cool water, then transfer it to your ziploc bag in your cooler. Pour the brine over your turkey inside the bag. Next, you want to get as much of the air out of the bag as possible while twisting it tightly close to the turkey. Wiggle the turkey inside the bag until it is completely surrounded by the brine, then secure the bag with a zip tie or a heavy duty twist tie.

If you live in the south, (or a warm climate) you will want to fill the cooler with ice and allow it to sit in the brine for 12-36 hours. My sisters live in Ohio and when they brined their turkey, they simply placed their turkey in their cooler and set it outside where it stayed nice and cold in the sub-freezing temps of the north country.

When it is time to cook your turkey, remove it from the brine, give it a light rinse with cool water, pat it dry with paper towels, and then you are ready to prepare it with your preferred cooking method!

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