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Want a More Tender, Tasty Turkey in Less Time?

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Want a More Tender, Tasty Turkey in Less Time?

Try Brining! A Great Thanksgiving Turkey Hack.

Brining works on a variety of meats, but poultry best. And with brining, there’s very little prep!

How does it work? Osmosis: Meat already has salts in it’s juices. By immersing meats into a liquid with a higher concentration of salt, the brine is absorbed into the meat. Soaking your turkey in a solution of salts, citrus, herbs and other spices brings in a lot of moisture and flavor.

The purpose of brining meats used to be preservation, used on a long journey overseas or to feed the military by the masses, before the advent of refrigeration. Today, brining has a new purpose. Brining can permeate meat with flavor, make it more juicy and tender, and reduce cooking times. Below you’ll find the brining recipe of a great cook who has taught me a few things in the kitchen. He brined a Thanksgiving turkey for our friends and family for years and it was always a huge pleaser.

First, You’ll Need to Have These Things:

~ Turkey; Go to a local farm and get yourself a free-range, local turkey! I promise you you’ll taste the difference, and so will your guests.

~ Meat thermometer!

~ Large bucket- try a 5 gallon, cleaned well and dried- try a hardware/home improvement store!

~ Ingredients, accessories and cooking pan for brine (see below)

Turkey Brine: duration min 24 hrs max 48 hrs

recipe for 16-22lb turkey

  • 5 gal plastic bucket w/lid
  • plastic wrap
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4-6 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 limes
  • various herbs (chef's choice) sage, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, etc

Place turkey in bucket, cavity opening facing up. Submerge in water.

Add kosher salt, sugar.

Slice fruits in rounds,  place fruit and herbs (stems and all) in the solution.

Cover with plastic wrap, and lid, store in cool, dry place.  *For food safety, make room in refrigerator.


Prep for oven:

Remove from water,  rinse well, including cavity.  Use paper towel, to pat dry.

Place in roasting  pan, pour a lager into pan for added flavor.

Tent turkey with aluminum foil.

Roast on middle rack at 500 degrees for 30 min.

Remove foil, lower temp to 325 till middle of breast reaches internal temp of 165.

Let rest at room temp for 15-20 min.

If legs aren't fully cooked, you can cut them from the bird and put back in oven.

Happy Holidays!!



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