How to Brine a Turkey November 21 2015
Brining meat is letting it soak in salt water before cooking. You may add optional flavorings and get as fancy as you like, but this simple step will make your turkey (or any meat, really) much more moist, juicy, and delicious.
1. Our go-to source for brining is this guide from Cooks Illustrated.
We brine all of our chicken, pork, and turkey according to their guidelines - with salt only. You need enough brine to make sure the whole bird is submerged. We use fine sea salt and no flavorings. One of the reasons you love our chicken dishes is the brining.
Especially if you've gotten yourself a carefully raised, already flavorful high quality bird you're not going to need much more to have super satisfying turkey.
2. An easy way to add flavor to your brine is to use Savory Spice Shop's brining kit. Especially if you're already picking up our Thanksgiving meals at their Boulder location, this is a super convenient and delicious option.
If you want to take it to the next level and knock people's socks off, here is a more involved option:
3. Cider Brined Turkey with Maple Glaze from Rachel Ray.
You may omit the sugar in the brine if you wish. She suggests breaking the turkey into thighs/legs and breasts, which will allow you to cook both the white and dark meat appropriately. White meat often drys out because it is cooked longer than needed in order to ensure the dark meat is fully done.
This has the added advantage of being much easier to fit in your fridge. If you are brining your turkey whole, make sure you've cleared out a space for a big pot or container in your fridge for overnight.
Here'a video on breaking down a turkey (like a chicken!). Please use a very SHARP knife - this is safer. If you don't want to tackle that, you can always make more brine and leave your turkey whole.
4. And if that just got too much, here's a similar and delicious option with no changes needed to brine a whole turkey in apple cider. Again, sugar is optional as far as we're concerned.