Turkey Brine – It’s Easy!

25 November, 2014 / by Hank Watson

It’s beginning to look at lot like…..  Whoops. Getting a little ahead of myself. It’s TURKEY TIME! One of the things I strive to do is take the mystery out of cooking. Well, and have a few cocktails. Folks have mentioned to me that turkey brining seems so complicated. Or so many cooking shows have led them to believe. Yes. turkey brine. I’m here to tell you, brining is EASY! Brine is simply a mixture of salt and water. Then add what floats your boat. I love my sweet and spicy bring the best, but they are all wonderful. Or make your own. Just remember, keep that turkey cold!

Here are a few recipes of mine. Kinda fun to look back at my first video and see how awkward it was. 🙂  Check out the Sweet & Spicy Brine video here!

Ingredients

Water
32 oz chicken stock
2 cups white wine
2 cups kosher salt
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
2 cups celery, coarsely chopped
1 leek, coarsely chopped
1/4 black peppercorns
4 cloves chopped garlic
Herbs – several sprigs of each

  • Thyme
  • Rosemary
  • Basil
  • Sage
  • Chives

Directions

Add 64 oz of water to large pot or bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients. Add ice to mix (about 16 oz). Place turkey in brine, breast side down, ensuring that the cavities are filled with brine as well. Let set for 12 hours or so.

I personally put all of this into kitchen garbage bags (I double bag to be safe), put it in a cooler and load it with ice.


*****  Make sure you keep the turkey iced while you are brining it!!!!  ****


When done brining, cook covered at 325 – 15 minutes per pound. I remove the cover with 30 minutes left, baste with salted butter, and cook the remainder without a cover to crisp the skin. I also cook it breast side down – the juices flow to the bottom of the turkey. Creates a moist little heaven!

View Recipe

Ingredients

2 gallons water/ice
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup honey
2 cups brown sugar
4 cloves garlic – coarsely chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped green onion
1 tsp whole cloves
Juice from one orange
Bunch of thyme sprigs

Directions

Bring ONE gallon of water to a soft boil. SLOWLY add the kosher salt. Stir, then let the rest of the ingredients go swimming. Let cool. Add half gallon cold water and stir. Add ice to the equivalent of 1/2 gallon of water. Add the turkey, breast side down, ensuring that the cavities are filled with brine as well. Let set for 12 hours or so.

I personally put all of this into kitchen garbage bags (I double bag to be safe), put it in a cooler and load it with ice.

**** Make sure you keep the turkey iced!!!!

When done brining your turkey in this sweet and spicy brine – cook the turkey, covered, at 325 – 15 minutes per pound. I remove the cover with 30 minutes left, baste with salted butter, and cook the remainder without a cover to crisp the skin. I also cook it breast side down for the first hour– the juices flow to the bottom of the turkey. Creates a moist little heaven!

View Recipe