t-566808 [how-to] Brined Turkey [Flat] - TribalWar Forums

[how-to] Brined Turkey

11-26-2008, 12:12 AM
Brining is my preferred method for Thanksgiving Turkey. I've tried every other method there is on the planet, including deep-fried, slow-cooked, smoked, pit, etc. There is no better turkey (personal opinion of course) than this:

<1> 10-12lb turkey, non-injected, preferable fresh, definitely defrosted
<12> cups of water (or enough to cover; read on)
<3> cups sea-salt
<1/2> cup brown sugar
<3> heads of chopped garlic
<2> cups of orange juice
<3> tbsp. dried tyme
<3> tbsp. dried rosemary

I boil all this together for 20mins until it foams a bit. Then I turn it off; let cool (preferable over-night). I then place my defrosted bird (remove the giblets bag and stuff) in a clean 5 gal. bucket, with the cavity placed up. I dump my mixture into the cavity, and it usually overflows a bit... I then top off the bird with cold water until its just covered.

In So.Cal, I had to add ice to keep the water temp below 40deg. In Minnesota, I just have to set it in my garage (its cold right now). I'm soaking the bird(s) (doing 2 this time) for 24-30hrs before cooking.

Notes about the broth: I put the majority of my concentrated broth inside the bird, and surround the rest of the bird with water. Eventually, it sort of mixes, but I'd rather have the absorbsion happen from the inside out...

The whole thing about brining a bird, is that poultry is one of the only meats that can gain weight by water absorbsion anyway, and we are driving in flavor. When you cook it at my recommended temperature, you'll have a fast finishing bird that retains TONS of juice, is easy to slice ( the breast), and the dark-meat will be completely finished.


pre-heat oven to 425deg

Tuck wings under body, and cover ends of legs with trimmed flap of skin from the neckhole.

Place a v-rack in a shallow baking pan, with 1in of water in bottom of pan

place turkey breast side down, and butter liberally

cover bird with cheese cloth (optional). I rebutter the cheese cloth with some more melted butter, to get the cheese cloth fully "stuck" to the bird at this point.

cook for 25mins, then baste with some melted butter (optional) Be sure and shut the oven door so you don't lose your heat while your basting.

Continue cooking for another 25mins, basting with butter once in between.

Flip bird over so its sitting breast-side up. I use apple juice in a spray bottle to loosen the cheesecloth from the skin, and baste the bird a bit. I also throw in a little cumin and some paprika into the the apple juice for a little color enhancement.

I rebutter liberally, then add some new cheese cloth.

Continue cooking for another hour to hour-1/2, until internal temperature reaches 165 deg. I used to baste every 10mins for an hour, but have dropped it down to 3 times in the 1st half-hour. This gets the skin crispier, and makes less mess, uses less butter, etc.

2st butter (on top)

3nd butter (on top)

Peel for last 45mins or so

Dont temp the breast, temp the darkmeat in the thigh, just below the leg.

Let the bird rest uncovered for 1/2hr before carving. Google "how to carve a turkey" if you need help with that. There are lots of good youtube vids on it.

11-26-2008, 01:12 AM
brining is not cooking a turkey, its preparation

I brine when I fry
I brine when I smoke and
I brine when I roast

I smoked a bird lat year for the family and the recipe I used is Whole Turkey - Apple Brine - The Virtual Weber Bullet (http://www.virtualweberbullet.co m/turkey6.html), I used a mixture of apple wood and pecan and it turned out fantastic, everyone raved how good it was and I am repeating it this week and along with a fried which is being brined in the same solution as we speak.

11-26-2008, 08:40 AM
Thanks for the clarification Juz...

Yes people, the turkey does not cook while brining. We'll get to that as I'm actually "cooking" the brined bird(s).

11-26-2008, 03:09 PM
i am making the brine right now

i used
1/3 cup cracked peppercorn
2 cups sea salt
half cup sugar
half cup brown sugar
1 orange cut in half
fresh tyme
bulb of garlic

its my first go at this so i'm somewhat experimenting

i am roasting it in the oven

my smoker is out of commission at the moment

11-26-2008, 06:02 PM
running a little late huh nap? or do you not air dry it after you brine?

I brine for 24 hours, then air dry it for 12 so the skin will get nice and crispy

11-26-2008, 07:22 PM
24hrs is a perfect number, but 18 yields very good results as well. Anything over 30 is really pushing it, and you'll end up with mushy meat.

I personally only air dry for an hour, as my oven temp is extremely hot for a bird (425deg.), and I use TONS of butter.

11-26-2008, 08:51 PM
running a little late huh nap? or do you not air dry it after you brine?

I brine for 24 hours, then air dry it for 12 so the skin will get nice and crispy

i'm only cooking a 9.5lb bird so i don't need to brine it as long, but yeah i'm running late as usual

quick question

when you guys brine do you just pour it on the inside of the bird and have cold water on the outside?

11-27-2008, 12:25 AM
I don't, I boil the apple juice mixed with the salt and sugar so it dissolves completely, cool it to room temp and then throw in the fridge for an hour or so. Then I add ice cold water, oranges, cloves, bay leaves and garlic, mix it well and put the turkey in there breast side down.


11-27-2008, 09:07 AM
i'm only cooking a 9.5lb bird so i don't need to brine it as long, but yeah i'm running late as usual

quick question

when you guys brine do you just pour it on the inside of the bird and have cold water on the outside?

Ya, but the brine is gonna run out the neckhole anyway. In a 5gal bucket, I usually add some ice around the turkey (cavity side up), then add the brine, then top with cold water. My brine is stronger than most peoples to start just for this reason.

This year, I had to make a WHOLE BUNCH more brine because I did them both in a large cooler.

11-27-2008, 12:03 PM
my wife brines our turkey for two days as well, followed by a vigoruos seasoning rub before it goes in the oven...

Score: this year we went to pick out the bird and noticed it did not have a size/price tag on it, so I asked the guy to get me one, and he gave me one that said 4.95....so I get home and weigh the bird-26 pound turkey for five dollars=nice :)

11-27-2008, 12:27 PM
weigh the bird-26 pound turkey

That is not a turkey that is an ostrich :hungry:

11-27-2008, 12:55 PM
I'd have a lot of trouble cooking a bird that big. wow.

Pics coming in an hour or so.

Juz, if you want to add yours, with any of your comments or variations, feel free.

11-27-2008, 01:58 PM
That is not a turkey that is an ostrich :hungry:

family friend just came over and busted out laughing after she looked into the oven.
If I can find the digital camera, I will try to snap a few photos of the bird.

11-27-2008, 03:27 PM
pictures are finally up.

The skinpatch over the legs broke, hence the aluminum foil. I also have an oven thats a bit over-temp (first bird in the oven since move) so its about done a smidge more than wanted, but these pics are the 1st bird anyway.

Dropped oven 5 degs, and will repeat the steps for the table bird.

Fire away with questions....

11-29-2008, 11:42 PM
u ever use a dry brine? i used one for the first time this year and it actually worked great, one of the moistest birds i've ever had, though i usually don't brine at all. I just used a cup or two of kosher salt, a bunch of pepper and some herbs to taste