Turkey Brine Bath

Discussion in 'Egg, Chicken, & Other Favorite Recipes' started by jeremy, Nov 23, 2009.

  1. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oakland, CA
    A few people have asked me how I prepare my turkey for Thanksgiving so I just thought I'd share an excellent way to ensure a deliciously moist and flavorful bird.

    Makes enough brine for one 18 to 20 pound turkey.

    7 quarts (28 cups) water
    1 1/2 cups coarse salt
    6 bay leaves
    2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
    1 tablespoon dried juniper berries
    2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
    1 tablespoon fennel seeds
    1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
    1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), patted dry, neck and giblets reserved for stock, liver reserved for stuffing (optional)
    1 bottle dry Riesling
    2 medium onions, thinly sliced
    6 garlic cloves, crushed
    1 bunch fresh thyme

    Tools and Materials
    5 gallon brining container (tub, stockpot, or bucket)
    Large brining or oven-roasting bag
    Refrigerator (or a cooler with ice)

    One day before roasting turkey, bring 1 quart water, the salt, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes.

    To minimize cleanup, line a 5-gallon container with a large brining or oven-roasting bag. Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts (24 cups) water, and the other ingredients. Tie bag; if turkey is not submerged, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once.

    If there isn't room in your refrigerator, place the bagged bird inside a cooler, and surround it with ice, replenishing as necessary to keep it at 40 degrees.

    Remove turkey from brine one hour before you're ready to roast it, and pat it dry inside and out. Let stand for up to 1 hour before roasting it to your preferred recipe's specifications.

    You should let your turkey "bathe" for a full 2 to 3 days before cooking to ensure maximum effectivity of the brine.

    Happy Thanksgiving! [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 23, 2009
  2. AhBee01

    AhBee01 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2007
    yo. ohio
    Thank you! Thank you!
  3. jeremy

    jeremy CA Royal Blues

    Mar 23, 2008
    Oakland, CA
    No problem! The turkey last year was amazing, I'm sure you'll love it!
  4. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    wow! That sound great! I'll get me a bucket from work!
  5. Amethyste

    Amethyste For Love of Boo...

    I found this a while back on the web, and did it last year. It was amazing!

    ◦1 1/2 cups, kosher salt
    ◦1 1/4 cups, brown sugar
    ◦3 tsp dried thyme and/or 3 tsp dried sage
    ◦10 whole cloves
    ◦3 tsp black peppercorns
    ◦1 1/2 gallons (6 quarts) apple juice or cider (non-alcoholic)
    ◦peel from one orange or one tangerine

    Combine all ingredients in a non-reactive pot, bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, partly covered. Allow brine to cool completely.

    This did a 20 lb turkey. Same instructions as urbanfarmboi had for doing it tho! Brining is yummy [​IMG]
  6. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    Brining makes a delicious bird. Sometimes we even brine chickens.
    We use this recipe for our holiday turkeys:

    3/4 cup coarse kosher salt (or 1/2 c table salt without iodine)
    3/4 cup sugar
    1 cup boiling water
    1 gallon cold water
    1 tablespoon pepper
    Several sprigs of thyme, rosemary and/or sage - optional (use your favorite herbs)

    Follow directions given in Urbanfarmboi 's OP.

    I like the addition of wine. Riesling is one of my favorites. May have to try that. [​IMG]
  7. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    Ok, Urbanfarmboi! I did the same brine you OP'd, except I couldn't find juniper berries. I have my bird floating in a aromatic bath, it sure smells great! I have never brined before. I usually massage the bird with butter before baking, also rubbing salt +pepper on the skin, then herbs. I wasn't sure about the reisling but I found some at the store. I used the whole bottle too,, except for a taste for me [​IMG]
  8. deb1

    deb1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    I use Alton Brown's recipe. My husband is the one who does the brining.

    Someone at his work told him that brining sounded too time consuming. It isn't really a difficult process and it doesn't really take up that much time. Besides, I am tired of a dry turkey and we always have a moist one when we brine.
  9. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 8, 2009
    you know, that turkey smells fantastic! And he's still floating in the brine! I bet this is going to be the best turkey I ever cooked. I have never used some of these spices before but I will be sure to keep this recipie!
  10. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    My brine and pre-prep is on my blog post today. The link is over there under my name.

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