Brining a Turkey
Brining involves soaking a turkey in a very salty solution for a certain length of time, long enough for the salt to infiltrate the turkey and actually alter the molecular structure of the meat. It doesn’t turn it into a salty mess, either. It just results in a juicy, fantastic turkey.
Making a brine is actually very easy to do. You basically need a bunch of salt and whatever other ingredients you want to throw in. I like to balance the saltiness with the sweetness of apple cider and brown sugar, but you can use whatever you’d like.
Note: Making gravy from the drippings of a brined turkey can result in a really salty gravy if you’re not careful.
By the way, you can thaw and brine a turkey at the same time!
• 3 cups Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
• 2 gallons Cold Water
• 4 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves
• 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
• 1-1/2 cup Kosher Salt
• 2 cups Brown Sugar
• 3 Tablespoons Peppercorns
• 5 whole Bay Leaves
• Peel Of Three Large Oranges
Combine all ingredients in a large pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve.
Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover.
Allow to cool completely, then pour into a large brining bag or pot. Place uncooked turkey in brine solution, then refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours.
When ready to roast turkey, remove turkey from brine. Submerge turkey in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in clean water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt from the outside.
Discard brine. Remove turkey from clean water, pat dry, and cook according to your normal roasting method.