Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Super Simple Turkey Brine

I am not a turkey roasting expert but have made several in my life. The biggest thing that I have learned to make a moist, delicious turkey is to use a brine. You can use the brine as the main seasoning, or use a simple one and flavor your turkey in another way. This year we decided to make a maple and bacon flavored turkey so we used a simple brine, we didn't want too many conflicting flavors. If you want to make a fancy brine there are many good recipes online.


1 (12-15 pound) turkey, defrosted or fresh
1 gallon of water
1 cup of sea salt
1 cup of sugar
Several tablespoons dried sage

* You can also add lots of your favorite fresh or dried herbs to  spice up this simple recipe.

Yields brine enough for one turkey.

Time: 1-2 hour prep and 12-15 hours soaking time (1 hour for every pound of turkey)


Make sure your turkey is fully defrosted. This can take a couple days in the refrigerator so plan accordingly. 

In a large pot bring water to a boil. Add sugar and salt and let dissolve. Remove from heat. Let brine cool to room temperature. Add herbs. 

Remove neck and gizzards from the inside of your turkey. Rinse well and pat dry. 

In a large, sturdy container (I used a garbage bag) place turkey. Pour in brine mixture and add several cups of ice. Make sure all parts of the turkey are covered with mixture. Cover (or in my case, tie bag) and place in refrigerator.
 Refrigerate 1 hour for every pound of turkey. 
Do not let brine longer as it will produce a very salty bird. 

When the turkey is brined for the directed amount of time rinse very well and pat dry.

Prepare and cook turkey as desired. Be careful with cooking times because a brined bird is supposed to cook more quickly than a non-brined bird.


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