Brining a Turkey

I can’t stand to eat turkey; more specifically, I can’t stand the dry, sawdust like white turkey meat that is all too often served up at the traditional family gatherings like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I don’t mind the dark meat so much.

As a result of my dislike for turkey, I have been searching for ways to make turkey meat more palatable. Deep-frying is one of the ways that I have heard of to make great, moist turkey. However, I do not yet have the tools to make that magic happen – yet.

Turkey Ready for Brine
Turkey Ready to be Brined

The alternative to deep-frying is brining a turkey; soaking it overnight in a brine of salt water and aromatic herbs. You do not really need a recipe to brine a turkey, all you really need are “guidelines” to keep you on track.

In a stock pot we warmed about half a pot of water and then added somewhere between 1 1/2 to 2 cups of coarse salt, a few bay leaves, some coriander, black peppercorns, a couple of very thinly sliced onions , a couple tablespoons of mustard seed, and a bunch of thyme from the plant on our balcony.

Turkey Brine

We let this mixture warm just enough to get the salt dissolved in the warm water and to give the herbs and onions some time to release their magic potions. Then, we poured it over the turkey in the specially designed turkey-brining receptacle that I picked up earlier in the day from Home Depot.

Turkey in the Brine
Turkey in the Brine

Once the brine was poured over the turkey I added a bag of ice cubes to the bucket and then topped the bucket up with cold water. It is important to keep the mixture cool all the time while you are brining a turkey, and if you are like the other 99% of people, you do not have room in your fridge for a massive bucket full of turkey and brine.

So like me, you can keep the bucket of brining turkey locked securely in your garage. If it is not cold in your garage be sure to add a bag of ice now and then so that your turkey does not get above 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to note that the turkey must be kept cold so even if your garage is cool, the bucket of turkey and brine must be able to keep your brining a turkey below that magical 40 degrees F.

We plan to leave Butch (our  turkey) in the brine overnight and tomorrow morning some time after the gifts have all been ripped open we will remove Butch from the brine bucket, pat him dry, and place him in the elegant tin foil roasting pan that we have specially selected to coordinate with  the rest of Christmas dinner. That’s it.

I will report back later with the results of this brining a turkey experiment.


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