Basic Turkey Brine Recipe!
This simple turkey brine is infused with citrus, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, crushed garlic, brown sugar and herbs. With this turkey brine recipe, you are promised a perfectly moist turkey that won’t only just be good for Thanksgiving or Christmas, but at any needed time. This brined turkey remained moist even for leftover recipes.
Today's post is a quick one, as I recently shared my quick chicken brine recipe at thanksgiving. In order to put things in perspective for you, I thought its best to share with you how I brine my turkey for any occasion or holiday as well. Also, with this quick turkey brine recipe, I hope it would answer all your brining questions.
Should I Brine Turkey
There has been a debate whether to wet brine or dry brine a turkey, Also, there is also a school of thought that believes you won’t get the best roast bird with brined turkey. Well, in my opinion, nothing beats brined turkey, trust me no one wants to eat bland bird especially the turkey breast.
Brining is another extra step that guarantees you a moist and delicious turkey at all times. Remember turkey is lean meat and it can dry out quickly during the cooking process. If you have been asking the question “to brine or not to brine”, then my answer is yes. Give this simple brining a chance and you will never look back, although there might be a fight of what gets the fridge space during this process.
What Does Brining Do To Turkey?
I will keep this simple, this is what you get with brined turkey; moist, tender and juicy meat. It is important not to overdo it as well. Do not brine for more than necessary to avoid mushy and salty bird. I explained all about it hereJump to Recipe
Basic Ingredients to Brine Turkey
Brining is the process of submerging meat or poultry in a saltwater solution for some few hours or up to 24 hours or longer in order to enhance the flavours and tenderness of the bird or meat. For this simple turkey brine recipe, I used the following
Cooking salt: please note; this is different from table salt. Kosher salt is popularly used to brine chicken although, I mostly use cooking salt or crystal sea salt or any other coarse salt. These two types of salt are not as concentrated/dense as table salt and should never be treated or measured as same.
Fresh thyme and rosemary
Orange and lemon: for the citrusy taste
Brown sugar: this is optional, but I love how it balances out the salt and it also reduces the chance of over-salting the bird. you can also use honey or caster sugar.
Ground black pepper
Fresh garlic cloves crushed
Water: You would also need between 2 to 3 litres (3 quart which is less than a gallon) of water or more to fully soak the turkey depending on the size.
Large pot: the size of your bird would determine how big your pot would be, my turkey crown was 1.7kg and it fits well in my instant pot 5.7lt inner pot. Alternatively, use a cooler but ensure you add enough ice to keep the bird cold and in the right temperature until ready to cook.
How to make basic turkey brine
Place the salt, sugar, citrus, crushed garlic and herbs into a pan cover with 500l of water and simmer on medium heat stirring continuously until salt and sugar totally dissolve.
Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool completely. Transfer the brine mixture to a larger pot then add another 1.5 litres of cold water (total of 2 litres of water) mix to combine.
Place the turkey in the brine solution cover the pan with its lid or cling film and store in the fridge between 6 to 24 hours.
Things To Remember
- Check your turkey is not pre-salted before brining.
- Don’t over brine, depending on the size of the bird, you can brine the turkey between 12 to 72 hours, in my opinion, I think 72 hours is a long time to leave the turkey soaked in the brine solution. Also, to be on a safe side, keep it between 6 to 24 hours.
- Let the size of the turkey guide you, if using small turkey brine for a shorter time than you would with a bigger bird.
Turkey Marinade For Roasting
Try this trusted roasted garlic herb butter recipe on your bird. Add any fresh herbs of choice to the roasted garlic butter and generously cover the turkey in it before roasting.
How To Cook Brined Turkey
Brined turkey can be seasoned before cooking but not with additional salt. Take the bird out of the brine, pat dry or leave to dry in the fridge for some few minutes before roasting.
Roast Turkey in a preheated oven of 190C/385F in the centre of the oven. My turkey crown was 1.7kg so I allowed 20 minutes per 500g or pound or cook until the juice runs clear. To know if your turkey is done or well-cooked, insert a thermometer to the thickest part of the bird or in-between the thigh and breast and the temperature should read 165C
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Basic Turkey Brine
- large pot
- ½ cup cooking salt substitute for kosher salt or any other coarse salt
- Few thyme springs
- 4 rosemary springs
- 2 Bay leaves
- 1 large orange sliced
- 2 lemons sliced
- ½ cup brown sugar substitute with honey or caster sugar.
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- Water 2 litre or more
- Place the salt, sugar, citrus, crushed garlic and herbs into a pan cover with 500l of water and simmer on medium heat stirring continuously until salt and sugar totally dissolve.
- Take the pan off the heat and leave to cool completely. Transfer the brine mixture to a larger pot then add another 1.5 litres of cold water (total of 2 litres of water) mix to combine.
- Place the turkey in the brine solution cover the pan with its lid or cling film and store in the fridge between 6 to 24 hours.
Tips for best brined turkey ever
- Check that your turkey is not pre salted before brining.
- Don’t over brine, depending on the size of the bird, you can brine the turkey between 12 to 72 hours, in my opinion, I think 72 hours is a long time to leave the turkey soaked in brine solution. Also, to be on a safe side, keep it between 6 to 24 hours.
- Let the size of the turkey guide you, if using small turkey brine for a shorter time than you would with bigger bird.
Nutritional data: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients and brands you use. Under no circumstances will thedinnerbite.com be responsible for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information.
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