Turkey - brining
Brining is a good way to make a juicy turkey. I personally like to inject saturated salt-milk solutions into the meat, but brining is a classic/proven method of adding flavor and juciness. Here are some tips on brining your bird:
- 1 turkey, about 12 pounds
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 cups kosher salt
- 2 1/2 gallons cold water
(the ingredients below are optional, but add a nice touch)
- 2 bay leaves, torn into pieces
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled
- 5 whole allspice berries, crushed
To prepare the brine:
- Remove giblet bag from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers.
- Rinse well under cold tap water.
- Combine sugar, salt and 3-4 quarts of the cold water in a large bowl. Stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Add remaining brine ingredients except for the remaining 1 1/2 gallons water.
- Use a special brining bag or double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags and put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey.
- *you can also use a large stockpot if it fits - just keep this in the fridge
- Place turkey in bags, pour in brine and remaining 1 1/2 gallons water - there should be enough liquid to completely cover the bird.
- Press out air in bags; tightly close each bag separately.
- Keep turkey cold with bags of ice, which will also help keep it submerged in the brine.
- Brine for 12-24 hours.