How to Brine a Turkey
with with Step-by-Step Instructions and Recipes
A turkey brine makes the
meat moist and seasoned throughout, especially if you add herbs and
placing your bird in the salt bath you end up with a
turkey that you may not have got, had you cooked it conventionally.
hope you enjoy these turkey brine recipes that we have for you. We have
great holiday recipes that are free
for the taking. Enjoy!
Containers for your Turkey Brine
When you brine a turkey you will have to think of what you are going to
place the turkey in. Whatever container you choose, you have to make
sure that it is big
enough for your turkey to sit in it comfortably. There should be at
least 1 inch of free space around the outside of the turkey, and at
least an inch to 2 inches at the top.
A large plastic tub, or a large stock pot will equally be fine for the
job, as long as you have that space you need.
Secondly, you will need to see if your container will now fit into the
fridge. A turkey is a big bird, and the container will be even bigger.
How to Brine a Turkey
brine a turkey, only use a
fresh turkey. Frozen turkeys usually contain a
basting solution in the meat.
A 12 -14 pound turkey will need 2 gallons of brine. For
this you will need 1 cup table salt. If you use kosher salt use it at a
ratio of 1 cup of kosher
salt per gallon. Remember different types of salt have
different strengths. They are not all the same.
When you brine a turkey make sure that it is completely covered
with the brine.
the bird after removing it from the brine and pat dry with
paper towels. It is not necessary to rinse the bird afterwards, but you
may do, if you wish. I recommend rinsing due to the reasons below.
You can stuff
your turkey after it has been removed from the brine.
However, go easy on the seasoning because it may be more salty than
usual, especially if you didn't rinse the cavity out.
Again, if you don't rinse the turkey under a running tap
after brining, you will end up with patchy skin, so not such a great
looking bird. This is why I
recommend that you rinse the bird after removing it from
the salt solution.
Turkey Brine Recipes
When you mix the salt with the water, and then add it to the container
you need to make sure that you have enough liquid to cover the turkey
once it is in the brine. If there is just a little liquid needed to
make up the shortfall you can do one of 2 things.
1. Just add more plain water to the container
2. Place an object, like a full bottle of water, or something to
displace the rest of the water.
If you find that you are a lot of water short, you will need to mix up
a further amount of salt water. This time, only mix up half the
solution needed. If you look at the recipe below, this would be 1 cup
table salt and 1 gallon of water, or even half of that may be what you
Turkey Brine Recipe for a 14 lb Turkey
This is a very basic
turkey brine recipe. You take 1 cup of table salt
and mix it in 2 gallons of cold water.
Remove the plastic packaging, make sure that there are no giblets in
the cavity. If there are remove these and use them for making your
turkey gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out in some cold, running
water. Remove any pin feathers that are still present. Now soak your
bird in the turkey brine for
4-6 hours in your fridge.
If you need to soak the turkey overnight, then halve the salt amount
and soak for 12 hours in
After the allotted time, remove the bird from the brine mixture and
rinse it under the tap in cold water. Pat dry with some kitchen paper
toweling. Rinse and dry inside the cavity as well.
Although you can now roast your turkey, it is better to place it in the
fridge overnight. This allows the skin to dry out, so that when you do
roast it, you will get a crispy skin, and the flesh will still be
and Honey Turkey Brine Recipe
Photo courtesy of Chris Young
This next brine recipe is more complex, but only in ingredients,
nothing else. The procedure is the same as the recipe above. This is a
good brine recipe if you want to use turkey pieces, rather than brining
a whole bird.
1/3 cup salt
1/4 cup honey
1 cup water
1 head of garlic, cut but not peeled
3 bay leaves
4 sprigs of fresh thyme
4 sprigs of fresh sage
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
2 teaspoons allspice berries
1/4 cup celery leaves
1 whole turkey, cut up into pieces
Take a saucepan and add the salt and the honey. Add 1 cup water and
cook over a high heat. Stir until dissolved.
from the heat, and add the rest of the ingredients. Allow for the herbs
and spices to infuse in the honey and salt mixture for 10 minutes.
Taking a large casserole dish that will take 4 quarts of liquid, add a
cup of ice cubes and 2 1/2 quarts of cold water.
the turkey parts and place in the mixture. Make sure that you cover the
container with glad wrap. Place in fridge overnight.
following day, remove the turkey parts from the brine and pat dry.
Place the pieces on baking racks place in roasting pans that have 1 cup
of water in each. Make sure the turkey has been placed skin
up on the racks. Dot with butter, and scatter herbs of your choice on
the top. Fresh or dried will do.
Roast at 425 degrees F. for 30
minutes or until beginning to brown. Reduce heat to 400
F. and continue to cook for another 15 minutes or so, until cooked.
Cider Turkey Brine
2 cups kosher salt or 1 cup table salt
2 cups brown sugar
2 gallons apple cider
6 cups water
4 apples, cored, peeled and sliced thinly
Place all the ingredients into a stock pot and place on the heat. Stir
to dissolve sugar. Allow the brine to come to the boil and then remove
from the heat and allow to cool. When cold lower the turkey into the
brine and make sure that it is fully covered.
Place in the
fridge for 6-8 hours
if your bird is 8-12
pounds. Leave for 12
hours if your bird is
pounds. Leave overnight for a bird 16-20 pounds.
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