culinary review

How To Make a Turkey Brine

Sun Oct 28, 2007 10:47 pm
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Comments: 3 Views: 6933

Once your turkey has thawed you can begin to think about a brine.

Brines are basically salt solutions with herbs and spices added for flavor.


  • 2 cups regular table salt (with or without iodine)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 large pot (we used a 24 quart stock pot)
  • 1 7 pound bag of ice


spices brinesalt brine


turkey brineMethod

To start the brine boil about a half gallon of water on the stove. Once the water has boiled add the salt and sugar and whisk to dissovle.

Chill the solution, then add another gallon of cold water to the pot.

Place the turkey in the pot and add enough cold water to cover the turkey. Add all of the ice. Because the pot was so large you must add the ice since you cannot put the pot in the refrigerator.

This method will work for any size turkey really since it is a very large pot.

Keep the turkey in the brine for at least two hours, check to see if you need to use more ice. You do not want the turkey coming to room temperature. Remember the danger zone is from 40 degrees to 140 degrees f.


ice brine turkeyWhat a Brine Does

A brine is basically a way to move salt into a body. If you keep something like a turkey in such a salt solution you allow, over time the salt to penetrate the cells of the bird. Over a period of time, such as two hours or more the salt and water will move in and out of the bird, distributing flavors and salinity.



Wed Nov 12, 2008 6:01 am
Name: Trudy | Comment: Rather than go through all the trouble and expense of making the brine, I butter the bird well & season the cavity with Mrs. Dash table seasoning salt. I then teepee foil over the top of the bird . Fiinally add 1 cup of water to the pan. After placing the bird in the oven, I place a small baking pan of water on the shelf beneath the bird. Add water to the pan as needed... remove foil when ready to brown your bird. (The steam from the water will adhere to the foil slowly dripping onto the bird.)

Wed Nov 12, 2008 9:13 pmWe have cooked turkeys both ways, with and without a brine. Even though there is a little more work to it our guests agree that the taste is better with brining the turkey.

The cost is very low (salt, sugar, water), although some cooks may use many different spices to enhance the flavor. Basically you want to bring water and flavor into the bird. Having a pan alongside the turkey in the oven with 1 cup of water would not bring moisture into the turkey.

Wed Jun 10, 2009 2:44 pm
Name: Captain | Comment: BRINE ?? Kafoowee !!
I remove the wings (which just dry out anyway) & use them to make a stock. I use a few bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander seed, onion, celery, carrot, a little garlic & some sage.
Measure how much water you need by dumping the bird your soaking container that you are planning to use & measure enough water to cover the bird then use that water for your stock. Up here in the north I use an icing bucket with lid that I bought from the cake dept of my store for $1 & leave it on my patio with a probe thermometer in the water.
Strain the stock then add salt to taste. For a quicker cool down time, remove about 2 quarts of water from your measurement & add about 4 pounds of ice to your stock (before you add salt to taste).
Soak the bird for 2 to 4 days before cooking & you won't believe the taste & the moisture.
Cheers,... Captain

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