Brining Solution for Turkey
Adapted from The Joy of Cooking
This recipe calls for a soak of 12 to 18 hours. Increase salt and sugar levels if you want to soak your bird for a shorter length of time. Remember brined meat tends to cook faster!
Remove the giblets from the turkey and rinse the bird, inside and out. In a clean bucket or tub, mix the following ingredients with six gallons of tap water until the salt dissolves:
2 cups of table salt or 4 cups of kosher salt (2 lbs. of salt; for Diamond Kosher, use 2 cups / Morton Kosher use 1 ½ cups)
2 cups of sugar
A few bay leaves
Some peppercorns lightly crushed
2 gallons of water
Submerge the turkey in the solution for 12 to 18 hours. Put the turkey in a very cool place for 4 to 6 hours. The turkey’s temperature should not rise above 38 degrees. If it is a warm day, place the turkey and solution in a garbage bag and place in a cooler filled with ice. If it is a cold day, a garage or trunk of a car should be fine. Do not leave the turkey unattended outside or a bear or neighborhood dog may be the lucky recipient of your Thanksgiving dinner.
Remove the turkey from the brine. Do NOT reuse brine! Thoroughly rinse inside and out, then pat the skin and cavity dry. Your turkey is now ready for roasting.
(For a more intense brine, boil ingredients with one gallon of water, then add five gallons of cold tap water. When water is cool, submerge the turkey.)
Do I wash my turkey after I brine it?
Yes. Rinse and pat dry inside and out.
My brining solution has turned pink after I brined my turkey. Is that ok?
How do I keep my turkey cold while brining it?
You can keep it outside in the garage, shed or car trunk if it is cold out. The turkey’s temperature must never rise above 38 degrees. If that doesn’t work for you, place the turkey in a garbage bag in a cooler. Pack ice around the bag, fill the bag with brine, knot the bag and brine away.
I over brined my turkey. What do I do?
Soak your turkey in cold water for a couple hours.
Is it worth brining my turkey?
Absolutely! It makes any turkey moist and delicious and it is so easy to do!
Will my turkey suck if I don’t brine it?
Nope. All of Fleisher’s birds have been raised with one thing in mind — GREAT TASTE! So even if you don’t brine, a little salt and pepper, some herbs and lots of heat will make a great meal.