Sunday, November 22, 2009

Step by Step Instructions on How to Brine a Turkey!


If you've ever had a dried out turkey, you should consider brining the bird before cooking it. Brining is really easy and adds flavor, and moisture to any kind of meat. Here is a great article on Why Brining Keeps Meat so Moist. Brining not only adds moisture it adds flavor. Here is how I brine my Turkeys. There are lots of different recipes for brining meat out there. Really you can just use a salt and water mixture but I prefer to add some additional flavors and I don't like my food too salty so I use a combination of salt and sugar for my brine


You will need to find the XL Ziploc storage bags or XXL that are sold for storing items in. Ziploc's are so strong and thick that they afre perfect for this task.  
4 qts of water and 3 quarts of ice
2/3 cup Kosher salt or 1/3 cup table salt
1c brown sugar
3T black peppercorns
1 can of frozen apple juice concentrate
2 Bay leaves
6 cloves or 1/2 tsp of ground cloves
A one inch piece of ginger root- sliced or 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 onion, sliced
1 orange, sliced
2 apples, sliced
  • Place your bag open with the sides folded out on the counter. 
  • Find a plastic tub that is big enough for the turkey to sit in. 
  • Pour 4 cups of water into a saucepan and add the salt, brown sugar, cloves, ginger and pepper corns. 
  • Over medium high heat, stir until all the sugar and salt are dissolved. Set aside to cool. 
    • Peel the onion and slice into 1/4 inch slices- really any size slices will do. This doesn't  have to be exact!
    • Slice the apples and the orange- No need to peel or core them. 
    • Pour 4 qts of water and 8 to 10 cups of ice into the bag.
    • Add the apple juice concentrate to the salt and sugar solution and stir to melt then pour this into the big bag with the ice and water.
    • Add the fruit, onions, and bay leaves to the bag. 
    • Remove the turkey from it's packaging and remove the neck and the giblets from the cavities. 
    • Rinse the turkey inside and out.
    • Place the turkey into the bag and place a few slices up on top.
    • Now squeeze the bag and push as much of the air out as you can. I zip the top almost closed and then squeeze. Once all the air is out, I close the zip top then gather the top up and tie it with some string or yarn to hold the bag tight so that the entire turkey is covered with the solution. 
    •  Set the bag into the plastic tub and set into a refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. 
    I start brining the turkey on Wednesday afternoon then take the turkey out of the brine on Thursday morning Throw away the brining solution,  rinse the turkey inside and out, dry it off then place it back into the empty plastic tub and set it in the fridge for a few hours so that the turkey has time to really dry before going into the oven. That's all there is to it.

      5 comments:

      blueviolet said...

      I think my family would really like this, but I like my turkey really dry, so I probably shouldn't do it.

      yonca said...

      I love apple flavor and stuff the turkey with apples.Also smells good.
      Thanks for sharing Margaret, hugs!

      Scary Mommy said...

      This is a great tip-- I think I'm going to snag it!!

      Coupon Clippin' Mommy said...

      I don't think I will brave the turkey this year, maybe next.
      I'm popping over from mommy Bloggers Club. I am now following. Come check my blog out sometime.

      kys said...

      I brined my turkey this year. It was so good! I used Martha's recipe. Next year, I'll try yours.