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The Best Way to Brine a Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner

Are you looking for the best way to brine a turkey? Brining is a process that involves soaking meat in a salt solution, and it can make a big difference in terms of flavor and texture. This is especially important when it comes to turkey, which can often be dry. In this blog post, we’ll walk you through the basics of brining – including how to do it and why it’s worth your time. Plus, we’ll share our easy turkey brine recipe so that you can prepare your bird like a pro!

Before we go down this road, “Can you brine a turkey for more than 3 days?” “How long can you brine a turkey?” Most of the recipes out there say to brine for 3 days. We’ve done this. The bird didn’t taste as great as it did this year. We did a 4 day brine. The turkey flavor was great in each bite. It did not matter if you wanted a leg, wing, breast, or thigh. All the meat was flavorful and not grainy.

First, let’s start with why you should brine turkey. Brining turkey helps to season it throughout, which is something that sprinkling salt on the turkey before cooking simply can’t do. This ensures a moist and flavorful turkey – what more could you ask for on Thanksgiving?

Now, onto the fun part – how to actually brine a turkey. Our easy turkey brine recipe includes step-by-step instructions so that you can make sure your turkey turns out perfectly every time. Here’s what you need:

  • 6 quarts of cold water
  • 1 cup of kosher salt
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of whole peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves
  • ½ cup of fresh herbs (optional, and we just grabbed what was in stock in the garden)

Once you’ve gathered all your ingredients, the turkey brine process is really quite simple:

1. Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil.

2. Once boiling, remove from heat and let cool completely.

3. Place turkey inside a large container (or turkey bag) and pour over brine mixture until turkey is fully submerged. Make sure it is fully submerged. Go ahead and add more water if needed.

4. Cover, then refrigerate for at least 3 days. We did 4 and it was amazing. Mind you we did it with a 22 pound bird.

After brining, make sure to rinse off your turkey before roasting to remove any excess salt – then you’re ready to go!

Brining is the start. Cooking is the other half of all this. Instagram picture-perfect-photoshopped birds are just for looks. For those real turkey enthusiasts, you want to cook the the bird breast side down. This works for all birds. The breast meat is the most lean and dries out the fastest. Cooking it breast side down makes it where the liquids cook and go towards the bottom of the bird. In this case, the breast.

Cave Tools Chicken & Turkey Roasting Rack

This year, we are trying a new cooking tool: Cave Tools Chicken & Turkey Roasting Rack. We have fried and hung birds. Normally, we would have hung the bird this time again but this year we had a 22 pound bird.


A little more about this tool

  • Self-Basting Poultry Rack For Gas Grill and Charcoal Grill: Angled stainless steel nonstick frame allows drippings to pool above the breast, maintaining moistness through the cooking process
  • For Any Bird Up To 20 lbs: Chicken, Turkey, or Duck, this Rack can roast better than typical roasting pan with rack combos. Use this with the oven instead of the tired baking pan
  • Reduce Cooking and Cleaning time: Teardrop design keeps bird elevated, enhancing air circulation and saving cook time; non stick design makes easy cleanup; dishwasher safe
  • Includes 25 Recipes: Don’t let your BBQ accessories go under-utilized. Get the most out of your outdoor and backyard grilling accessories with our Cave Tools recipe book! Downloadable with all products
  • Great parts for a Pitmaster’s Holiday Meal: Don’t buy a cheap kitchen rack or a flimsy stainless steel pan; cook your Thanksgiving or Festivus meal the right way and leave it moist and juicy

This rack keeps the bird at a 20 degree angle where it makes sure all the drippings to towards the breast meat. You don’t even have to baste because the liquids go towards the breast and then hit the pan to bring back the moisture.

Broil breast side up for 20 minutes. This will darken the skin and make a nice pouch for the juices to simmer in.

So there you have it, the best way to brine a turkey. Brine your turkey to ensure a moist and flavorful bird and use our easy turkey brine recipe with step-by-step instructions. And don’t forget the Cave Tools Chicken & Turkey Roasting Rack for a perfect turkey every time! Happy Thanksgiving!

Good luck and happy cooking!

TIP: Make use of those dry herbs you’ve had in your pantry for years and dump them into the brine.

Turkey Cook Time at 325° F.

Weight Unstuffed Stuffed
6-7 LBS. 2-2½ HRS. 2¼-2¾ HRS.
7-10 LBS. 2½-3 HRS. 2¾-3½ HRS.
10-18 LBS. 3-3½ HRS. 3¾-4½ HRS.
18-22 LBS. 3½-4 HRS. 4½-5 HRS.
22-24 LBS. 4-4½ HRS. 5-5½ HRS.
24-30 LBS. 4½-5 HRS. 5½-6¼ HRS.

This does not matter. Always use a thermometer and make sure the meat is at least 165° F.

Edel Alon
Edel Alonhttp://edelalon.com
Edel-Ryan Alon is a starving musician, failed artist, connoisseur of fine foods, aspiring entrepreneur, husband, father of two, geek by day, cook by night, and an all around great guy.
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