I will be brining my turkey tomorrow night (Wed), so expect pictures shortly after.
What is "brining"?
Brining is a procedure that moves moisture into the turkey.
Freezing, drying or refrigerating the turkey takes out the moisture. Brining puts it back.
A bird is much tastier and juicier than an bird that is just dry-rubbed with salt prior to roasting.
How much brine is needed?
For most birds, approximately 2 gallons of brine is needed or at most 3 gallons for a large bird. You want to make sure the bird is fully submerged in the brine. If not, then be sure to turn your bird over frequently.
How much salt do I use?
The proportion of salt for a four hour brine is:
- 1 cup for table salt per gallon of water
- 2 cups Diamond Crystal Salt
- 1 ½ cups Morton Kosher Salt per gallon of water.
For an over night brine, halve the amount of salt.
How to brine:
You want to find a pot or bucket big enough to fit a 15 pound bird, submerged in the brine. And you also want to make sure this pot/bucket fits in your refrigerator.
Another technique that could work, if your refridgerator cripser is large enough, is to line your cripser with a clean garbage bag, place your turkey into the crisper, and pour the brine in.
The brining turkey's temperature cannot be above 40F. So if you live somewhere cold (below 40F), you can place the bird+brine in a bucket, wrap the bucket in a garbage bag, and set the bucket outside over night, or in your basement.
However, I live in Los Angeles where the coldest winter day is about, oh 60F, and basements are nonexistent, so expect to find my bird in the fridge.
Below is the recipe for the brine I will be soaking my Thanksgiving turkey in!
How To Brine a Turkey
- 1 cup table salt (Kosher salt is recommended but I'm going down the cheap route here).
- 1 cup brown sugar (yay sweets!)
- 2 gallons of cold water
- 2 apples (quartered)
- 2 oranges (quartered).
1. Make sure the bird is fully thawed, washed, and giblets are removed.
2. Save the giblets for gravy stock (palce giblets back in the refrigerator).
3. Prepare enough brine to submerge turkey entirely. I may double my recipe if I do not have enough brine.
4. Place your turkey in the bucket, pot, or plastic bag, and set in the refrigerator (or outdoors or in the basement) overnight.
the next day....
5. When you are ready to roast the turkey, remove the turkey from brine and discard the brine.
6. Rinse the turkey thoroughly in cold water and pat dry with a clean towel.
7. Loosen the skin under the turkey and rub butter under and over the skin.
8. Your turkey is now ready for brining!
Good luck everyone!