Thursday, November 20, 2008

Turkey Brine

Brine literally means "water saturated or strongly impregnated with salt" and is the best way to increase the amount of liquid inside your turkey. The simple act of brining will produce the juiciest, best tasting turkey you have ever eaten. Be careful though...once you have brined, you will never go back to an unbrined turkey. I guarantee it. That because it produces an incomparably juicy turkey, with wonderful flavor and texture!

It does require a deep container so your entire turkey can be fully submerged in the brine. We have found over the years that the best container for brining is a cooler. We don't put the brine directly in the cooler though...first we place it in a garbage bag to try our best to eliminate a major germ-fest when we are done.

There are lots of brine recipes out there. This is a very simple variation. We have tried many of them, and I don't think you need a fancy brine to get a good result. Especially for a big meal, like Thanksgiving, there are so many other dishes and flavors to accompany the turkey, this recipe is just as good as any.


2 gallons water
2 cups salt
1/2 cup sugar
thyme, sage, rosemary sprigs


1. Mix cold water, salt, and sugar in container and stir to dissolve salt and sugar. We actually brine our turkey in a garbage bag. I would suggest two garage bags, one inside the other, to support the weight of the turkey. We place the garbage bay in our cooler, with ice under and around the garbage bag to keep it cool. We have found that this is the easiest way to brine plus eliminate the unsanitary mess from the turkey.

2. Immerse turkey in brine, seal, and keep cold. Leave turkey in brine for 8-24 hours.

3. Pat turkey dry and stuff with herbs or other ingredients before cooking.

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