Yes. You need to brine your turkey before you put that bird into the oven. You do not want a dry, bland tasting meal – you want people to ooh and ahh over how moist and full of flavor the meat is. Here is my tried and true brining mixture. What exactly is bringing you may ask? The process of brining or soaking meat in a solution of water and salt, before cooking. Yes – it really is that simple. As it soaks, the meat absorbs the brine, then retains it during cooking.
Don’t forget to make sure your turkey is defrosted (remember it can take up to two days to defrost!) before you begin.
|Turkey 12-17 lbs||2 gallons||1 cups table salt or
1.5 cups Kosher salt
|Turkey 18-24 lbs||3 gallons||1.5 cups table salt or
2.25 cups Kosher salt
*Important to remember, cup for cup, table salt is stronger than Kosher salt. If you use Kosher salt in a brine, multiply the amount of salt called for by 1.5 times.
Mix these additional ingredients together until they are fully dissolved into the water:
- 1 cup sugar or brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
- 2 Bay leaves
- 2 cups vegetable stock, optional
- 1 onion, quartered
- 4 garlic gloves
- 1 tsp allspice
- 1 tsp cloves
Heat one gallon of water, pour in all of the ingredients including the salt, and stir thoroughly until the ingredients are completely dissolved. Refrigerate until the brine is cold. In the largest stock pot that you have or 5 gal pail, fill it with the brine mixture water. Put your turkey into your pot gently and add the rest of the water. Ensure that the breast it is fully submerged. The entire bird must be submerged for the full brining period. Refrigerate the bird for the recommended time.
Once the turkey has brined overnight, remove it from the brine, rinse it off, and pat it dry. You are now ready to prep your turkey for the oven. Need help getting it into the oven and onto the table? Check out My Famous Drunken Turkey Recipe that has two videos on how to make the perfect turkey your guests will love.