Brining the Turkey

Brining the Turkey

Spruce up the family turkey this year.

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For those interested in sprucing up the family turkey, consider brining the big bird so that it arrives at the table moister and more flavorful than ever. Brining involves immersing the poultry in a simple preparation of salt, spices, vegetables, and water. The salt in the brine pulls moisture out of the meat, which makes the flesh absorbent. Over a matter of hours, the bird then reabsorbs moisture in the form of the flavorful brine, permeating the flesh down to the bone.

How to Brine a Turkey


Things you will need

5-gallon bucket
Pickling spice
Room in the refrigerator
Plenty of ice

Ingredients to make 2 gallons of brine

1 gallon water
1 gallon of ice
2 cups salt
1 cup pickling spice
2 onions, peeled and sliced
6 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed


Combine water, salt, pickling spice, onion, and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Add ice to chill down liquid.

Remove all plastic wrap and turkey parts from the cavity of the bird and rinse inside and out with cool water. Reattach plastic tie to help immerse turkey in the bucket.

Once the brine is completely cooled to about 35 to 40 degrees, immerse the bird in the brine. Put the bird in the refrigerator or other cold place, and brine for at least one hour per pound of meat. Afterward, remove the turkey from the brine and allow it to air dry in the refrigerator for one to two hours before cooking.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Tie or truss the bird.

Roast the bird. Place the bird on a rack and sear the surface of the bird breast-side up in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the surface is golden brown.

Reduce the heat to 325, invert the bird and cook it breast-side down. The entire cooking time should be approximately 8 minutes per pound. The bird is done when a thermometer inserted at the thickest part of the breast as well as the middle of the thigh reads 165 to 170 degrees.

Let the meat rest for a third of the overall cooking time. If steam visibly rises out of the bird as it is being carved, that is moisture leaving the lean meat. It cannot be both hot and moist. Let the meat rest and it will be moister and more flavorful when served.

Remove the legs, slice the dark meat and place it on the platter. To carve the turkey, remove the breasts from the bird and slice the boneless breasts.


Use the right size container.
A large stock pot or a 5-gallon bucket from the hardware store will hold the brine liquid and the bird. Remove all plastic wrap and turkey parts from the cavity and rinse bird inside and out.

Immerse the turkey.
in the cooled brine liquid and place in the refrigerator or a large air-tight cooler, filled with ice for at least one hour per pound (18 hours for 18-lb. bird).

Tie the bird.
Tie up legs with butcher’s string to keep its shape while roasting. Remember that brined meat does not need any more seasoning, especially salt!

After the bird cools (about an hour), remove the wings, legs and breasts. Slice breasts and dark meat for platter serving.

Corn Bread (adapted from The American Bounty Pastry Book)


1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons milk powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/3 cup bread flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
6 tablespoons corn oil
1 ear of corn


Roast the ear of corn in a 350-degree oven for 15 minutes.

Remove the kernels and chop fine in a food processor.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Put all the ingredients in a mixer with a whip. Whip for 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides, then whip again for one minute.

Butter and flour 9-by-12-inch pan or spray with vegelean spray.

Fill pan with batter ¾ of the way.

Bake 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Turn out onto a rack and cool.

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