Recipe by SUDEMERS
"Best brine for smoked turkey around. This recipe was given to me by my uncle. He is always smoking meat. EDITOR'S NOTE: This recipe uses canning or kosher salt, not table salt. Using table salt in this amount will make the brine too salty."
Watch video tips and tricks
1 1/2 cups
ground black pepper
Helpful tip: Use a turkey roasting bag (i.e. Reynolds) to hold your turkey in the brine and then put into roasting pan for stability and then put in the refrigerator to soak in all the good flavor. When draining brine put turkey in a strainer and cut bag, drain liquid, then lift bag out and drain bird. Easy and worth it...Yumm!
If you really want to kick it up...add apple juice, whole cloves, lemon juice, ground sage, rosemary, and thyme. Then (and this is key) stuff turkey with apples, oranges, lemons, and onions...and cook it BREAST SIDE DOWN
My first attempt at doing a brine and I will NEVER prepare a turkey any other way from now on. This definitely was out of this world, moist and tasty. It was very easy to do also. I just bought a new 5 gallon pail, mixed up the brine and plopped the bird down inside. Covered it and put it in the garage overnight, then roasted using Alton Brown's method (from Food Network) which was to start it in the oven at 500 degrees for the first 30 minutes, then turned it down to 350 degrees for the remainder. Awesome, phenomenal....best turkey I ever put in my mouth!!!
I had never cooked a turkey before and decided to add the extra step in brining it. It was an 18lb turkey so I emptied the bottom drawer from my fridge and brined it overnight in there. I was only able to put about 3/4 of the water that the recipe called for and was worried that it would be salty but it wasn't. Also, it would have helped dissolve the salt in hot water and then add the rest of the water. I added salt and it kind of just sat at the bottom.
I made two turkeys this week (they were on sale). I did what Secret Agent suggested and used a washed out cooler to brine the two. The first turkey I soaked for only about 5 hours and it was just ok (cooked in a bag). However, the second one - OUT OF THIS WORLD is right. It was the very BEST turkey that I have ever ever made... EXCELLENT. The flavor was wonderful !! Thank you so much, I will never cook another turkey without brining it like this again.
(I used fresh garlic and Rock Salt since I didn't have any other kind of salt)
Excellent brine! Added a sliced onion to give more depth to the meat and left the peppercorns whole! Helpful Hint: 1.) For those concerned about keeping your "bird" cool, clear out your crisper drawer to submerge your bird. Steady, even temperature with no danger of spoiling! 2.) Brined turkeys cook faster ~ monitor your bird closely so it will not overcook!!! Enjoy!
this was the first turkey I put in brine. I let it set two days, used a frozen turkey, about 20 lbs. I added an extra half of this recipe to cover it completely.I put it in a large clean pail/bucket, covered it and put it in the garage(34-35 degrees F. in the garage,) the weather was perfect. when cooked, it was flavorful and really nice.
my husband even commented on the difference. will try with chicken sometime. A+++++
This is the perfect base for killer smoked, deep fried or even oven roasted turkey. I just bought a new 5-gallon bucket with lid that I could put in a cold corner of my garage for 3 days. Just remember to drain and dry your turkey extremely well before cooking by any methods. Even the breast meat comes out as tender and as juicy as dark meat!
Get the season’s best recipes for holiday feasting.
Holiday cookies, cakes, pies, and breads. Get recipes and inspiration.
Get time-saving recipes to save your busy life.
Brining your turkey preps it perfectly for smoking or roasting.
See a great trick for making truly delicious low-fat turkey burgers.
See how to make thick, spicy, blue-ribbon BBQ sauce.