Brining a turkey makes the meat moist and succulent.
It is a great deal of trouble to brine a turkey. You have to have a container large enough to hold the turkey and the brine and it has to be refrigerated. Most people don’t have a refrigerator big enough to hold a 5 gallon bucket. If you live in a cold area, you can put the bucket out in a sheltered area where animals cannot get to it, but it is much safer to keep it in a refrigerator. It also takes time to brine a turkey. About 8 to 20 hours is needed to do it right.
The cells of turkey are made of protein. Salt makes this protein relax a little enabling it to hold much more moisture.
The following is needed to brine a turkey:
- A clean 5 gallon bucket only used for brining
- 2 gallons cold water
- 10 ounces soy sauce
- ½ cup Kosher salt
- ½ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons dried sage
- 2 tablespoons dried celery seed
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
This is how to brine a turkey:
1. The day before cooking the turkey, prepare the brine. In a large pan place all the ingredients and bring it to a boil so that the salt dissolves. Let the brine come back to room temperature.
2. Remove the giblets and turkey neck from the turkey the night prior to roasting. Rinse the turkey inside and out and place it in a 5 gallon bucket.
3. Pour the brining liquid over top and cover the bucket with plastic wrap. Put it in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
4. When ready to roast, remove the turkey from the brine. Here is what most people forget to do. Rinse the brine off the turkey or you will have turkey that will require you to drink the equivalent of the Pacific Ocean. This is commonly called “Sahara Turkey”. The turkey will be overly salted if you do not rinse the brine off.
That is all there is to brining a turkey. Once the turkey is rinsed off and patted dry, you can proceed with your favorite method of cooking the bird. Coat it with butter and herbs, stuff it and cook it up for the Thanksgiving or Christmas holiday.