My original post on brining a turkey has be used over and over, well now it’s five years later and time for a reboot!
Brining is and always will be my method of choice. It is the best way to get a moist, savory turkey on your Thanksgiving table. It’s amazingly easy it just requires a little fridge space…
2 gallons cold water
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup brown sugar
5 cloves garlic
2 Tablespoons dried thyme
1/2 Tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 Tablespoon allspice berries
3 slices fresh ginger
10 cloves garlic
1 Tablespoon thyme
3 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons pepper
6 Tablespoons butter
There is no cooking involved for this brine, just mixing, still you’ll need a very large pot to combine the water, salt, brown sugar, garlic, thyme, peppercorns, allspice berries and ginger. Stir well.
Your turkey is going to sit in the brine over night so for this you’ll need a large CLEAN bucket. I have a bucket that I designate just for this once a year activity and NOTHING else. Even then, to avoid catastrophe (i.e. spillage) I liked to use a super large brining bag. You can get these at most markets. Put the brining bag IN the bucket and carefully pour in half of brine. Only half because the weight of the turkey will make the water level rise.
Lower the washed and cleaned out turkey into the bucket, then pour in the rest of the brine, just until you cover the turkey as best you can. Tie up the brining bag and place the entire bucket in the fridge overnight. Approx. 8 hours.
In the morning, remove the bird from the brine and rinse and pat the turkey dry.
Mix up the rub of garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and rub it on the outside AND the inside too! Adding the rub on the inside will add lots of flavor!
Cut the apple in half and place it inside the turkey cavity. This also adds aromatics. You can use an orange or an onion just as well. Dot the bird with butter then cook the turkey according to weight.
Cover with foil and roast the turkey for the first hour, then remove the foil and start basting the turkey every 20 minutes until done.
The best way to test to see if a turkey is done is to use a probe thermometer. When it reaches 165 in the center or 180 in the thigh, the turkey is ready. Another way to test is to pull the turkey legs back and forth. If they are loose, your turkey is pretty good to go!
After pulling it out of the oven, let the turkey rest for at least 20 minutes before you carve it, so it will stay moist.