Brining is a process of marinating the turkey in a salt and spice solution. The process is designed to saturate the meat with the salt and thereby locking in moisture when cooked. There are a few keys to successful brine. Learn what they are in this article. First, you need to have the correct ratio of salt to water. Try to buy a turkey that has not already been seasoned with a salt solution. Second, the turkey has to be completely submerged in the brine for the whole set time. And finally, brining takes time. Depending on the size of the turkey you should marinate the bird overnight.
You will need a large container to hold the turkey in. A roaster that will fit in your refrigerator or a clean bucket or cooler that you can refrigerate or set in cold garage. Add the water and seasoning. Stir until dissolved. Place turkey in mixture. Remember to remove innards if they came with turkey. Turkey must be completely submerged. If you need to add more water, add 1 cup at a time plus 1 tablespoon of salt to keep the ratio. Refrigerate or keep at 32 to 40 degrees for at least 10 hours but better if closer to 24 hours. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry. Place in roaster and cook according to directions with turkey. Always make sure to cook your turkey to the recommended temperature and not a set time. This will ensure your turkey is done to perfection.
- 3/4 cup table salt or 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup brown sugar or molasses
- 2 gallons cool water
- 1 package Simply Organic Mulling Spice
- 1 cup hot water
- A 5-gallon tub, large stock pot or brining bag
- 1 14-16 lb. Organic Prairie Turkey
- Stir packet of mulling spice into 1 cup hot water. Let stand for 5 minutes.
- Add salt and sugar to 1 gallon of water, stirring until dissolved. Add mulling spice. Remove giblets from the turkey.
- Place turkey in brine, making sure it is completely submerged (you may need to weigh it down). Depending on the size of the turkey and container, you may need to add more water to completely submerge the bird.
- Brine the turkey for about one hour per pound of bird, or overnight. Ensure turkey is kept at a temperature below 40 degrees during the brining process.
- Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse with cool water.
- Cook the turkey.
If you have to travel, you can brine your bird on the road! Brining in a cooler is a great way to prepare the turkey while traveling.
Roasting the turkey
- Heat oven to 325 degrees. Place bird in roasting pan breast side up.
- Cover wings and top of the turkey breast with foil to prevent excess browning.
- Roast the turkey, basting it occasionally, until an instant thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh (but away from the bone) reaches 165 degrees. (This will take 3 to 4 1/4 hours, depending on the size of the turkey).
- Remove turkey from oven and allow it to rest 20 to 30 minutes before carving