Turkey Brine Recipes.

November 25, 2009 by  

Thanksgiving day is coming and turkey recipes are everywhere. Here I am going to offer you a great turkey brine recipe and help you understand the recipe so that you may make some turkey recipes yourselves for your next Thanksgiving day.

First, to make a turkey brine solution, you need some water, which serves as a medium in which you mix all types ingredients you want to use. Water serves also as a carrier to deliver all the ingredients onto the turkey meat. Basically there are three types of ingredients you need to make some attractive aroma.

The first ingredient is protein which can come from vegetable stock or any other protein source. This is not essential because turkey is high in protein. However, protein here is not just for the roasting and help you get brown color. It can give you some taste.

The second ingredient is sugar, which can be brown sugar, or honey, high fructose corn syrup, maltose, and fructose. You can use one or two or a combination of more sugars. Different combinations will have different impacts on the turkey roast flavor note and color. Please note that you should not use too much of any sugar.

The roasting process will induce a reaction called browning reaction or Maillard reaction, which in this case will create some roast flavor note and brown color.

The third ingredient is spices or flavorings. The commonly used include black peppercorns, allspice berries, chopped ginger among others. Obviously these are to give you some unique flavor to your turkey. These are very important and can be as important as salt.

The last, maybe the most important ingredient is salt, which is the major ingredient that delivers the taste or saltiness without which meat does not taste much as meat. Table salt here can also enhance the browning reaction and play a role in the roasting process. Some turkey brine recipes use kosher salt, which is not necessarily a better choice.

One example of turkey brine recipe formulated for 15 pounds of turkey is given below. You can adjust it if you feel comfortable enough to do so.

Light brown sugar – 1 cup or honey 2 cups;
Apple juice – 2 teaspoons
Vegetable stock – 1 gallon
Black pepper or peppercorns – 1 tablespoon
Allspice or allspice berries – 1.5 teaspoons
Chopped ginger, powder or fresh – 1.5 teaspoons
Salt – 1 cup
Iced water – 1 gallon

With this turkey brine recipe, you combine all ingredients in a large stockpot and heat all the content to the boiling point of water. Then remove the turkey brine from the heat, cool to room temperature and refrigerate. Please note that you should never use the warm or hot brine for your turkey. That is not the way you brine your turkey.

Before you use your turkey brine solution, the turkey needs to be thawed in a refrigerator or a cooler kept at under 40 degree F. Please note that the process may take a couple of days. Before cooking a turkey, you need to thaw it a couple of days prior to roasting.

When do you brine your turkey? You should brine your turkey early enough to allow the ingredients to work their way into the turkey. It is recommended that you should brine your turkey 12 to 24 hours prior to roasting your bird.

To brine your turkey, simply combine the brine, water and ice in a 5-gallon bucket and place your thawed turkey with all innards removed in the brine solution. Make sure the whole bird is fully immersed, covered and refrigerated or set in a cool place for at least at least 8 hours.

While you wait for the bringing to be finished, prepare your flavorings using a turkey stuffing recipe. This is to give your turkey a boost of flavor inside out. One example of a turkey stuffing recipe (okay, this may not be really a stuffing recipe). Let us call it a flavor booster which can consist of the following:

1 apple sliced, red, green or whatever
0.5 an onion, sliced
4 sprigs rosemary
1 cinnamon stick
6 dried leaves of sage
1 cup of water
Some canola oil

Assume you have already brined your turkey. Now take your bird out of the brine solution, rinse inside and out with water, and place it on a roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and use cheesecloth to pat dry the turkey. But don’t use paper towels, which are not necessarily food graded.

Now mix the apple, onion, cinnamon, and water and microwave it on high for five minutes. Then add steeped booster to your turkey’s cavity and also the sage and rosemary. Tuck the wings underneath the turkey and coat the skin with canola oil. Please note that the oil is important as it can minimize the loss of moisture and help keep the meat tender and juicy. Now it is time to place the bird to an oven preheated to 500 oF.

Cooking a turkey

Keep your turkey in the preheated oven for 30 minutes and then insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and lower the temperature to 350 oF. Make sure to monitor the inner temperature is no higher than 160 to 170 oF. For a bird with about 15 pounds, it may need 2 to 2.5 hours of roasting. After you finish cooking your turkey, let it stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set so the turkey will carve more easily.

Good luck and have a great Thanksgiving day. If the turkey recipe works for you, come back to visit us again.

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