The best way to Brine a Turkey Earlier than Roasting (for the Greatest Thanksgiving Meal Ever)

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I really like Thanksgiving and the way it offers us a day collectively as a household to pause and mirror on all of the issues we’re grateful for every year. In actual fact, it’s not lengthy into the Fall earlier than I begin eager about Thanksgiving and begin engaged on my meal plan for the massive day.

I don’t begin this far upfront simply because I’m into planning (okay, possibly I’m a little bit) but additionally as a result of I need to have time to brine my turkey earlier than roasting it.

If you happen to’ve by no means heard of brining a turkey or skipped this step up to now, make this the yr to strive it! This one easy step makes the standard turkey meal at the very least twice as scrumptious.

Why Brine a Turkey Earlier than Roasting?

Brining includes soaking a turkey in a salt and liquid answer for at the very least a day previous to roasting, grilling, or frying. Brining provides taste and moisture and helps the turkey retain taste throughout cooking.

That is particularly useful in the event you use a pastured natural turkey from a neighborhood farm (extra on that beneath) since they don’t seem to be pre-brined like a traditional store-bought turkeys. (With a soy vegetable protein answer … no thanks!)

Brining takes a little bit planning forward however actually little or no hands-on time, and the result’s so value it!

Components for Brining a Turkey

The important parts of brining a turkey are:

  • Liquid of some sort: Water works however I like so as to add apple cider and bone broth for added taste.
  • Salt: The widespread quantity is half of to three/four of a cup per gallon of water. I personally like to make use of 2 gallons of liquid and 1.5 cups of salt.
  • Spices: Add any spices of selection. I like so as to add minced garlic, cracked pepper, and thyme. I additionally like so as to add two lemons and one orange, each zested and sliced.

You’ll be able to customise these parts to fit your personal style and in a pinch, simply use water, salt and any spices you want.

The best way to Make Turkey Excellent (By Giving It a Bathtub!)

Nice information … it takes much less effort to brine a turkey than to roast one! It’s the reality!

In actual fact brining makes the roasting course of sooner and leads to a juicy, moist turkey with an entire lot of taste … not just like the dry, bland turkey so many people grew up consuming at holidays.

There are a number of methods to perform the sensible steps of brining however the principle factor is to make use of a sufficiently big air-tight container that maintains a chilly sufficient temperature. The 2 methods I’ve completed this are:

  1. In a big inventory pot within the fridge – This solely works in case you have room within the fridge, and I usually don’t this near Thanksgiving. The very best and easiest method I’ve ever performed this was the yr I did have room within the fridge and I put a frozen turkey within the brine within the fridge two days earlier than Thanksgiving in a 5-gallon meals grade bucket. It defrosted and brined in these two days and the outcomes had been nice.
  2. In a big cooler with replenished ice – A bit of extra work refilling with ice however offers the identical outcomes in the event you don’t have fridge area. Principally, put the turkey in a big air-tight bag or container of some sort and pack ice round it. Test it to make it possible for it’s sustaining a temperature above freezing however beneath 40 levels.

The opposite wonderful thing about brining is that you are able to do this in case you have solely a day or two till Thanksgiving and haven’t defrosted the turkey but. The brine can defrost the turkey extra shortly and infuse taste because it does.

My Favourite Turkey Brine Recipe

That is my go-to recipe and the one I’m prepping for this yr…


2 votes


The best way to Brine a Turkey (and Why You Ought to)



Yield 2 gallons

Make this easy and flavorful brine to your turkey this yr and be amazed at how a lot taste and moisture it provides to the completed meal!


  • 1 gallon of heat water
  • 1.5 cups of salt
  • three quarts apple cider
  • 1 quart bone broth (or extra apple cider)
  • 6 sprigs of thyme or 1 tablespoon dried
  • eight cloves of garlic minced
  • 2 lemons, zest and slice
  • 1 orange, zest and slice
  • 1 teaspoon entire cloves, elective


  1. Dissolve the salt within the heat water.
  2. Add the apple cider, broth, thyme, garlic, lemons and orange and stir to mix.
  3. Place the turkey in no matter container you’ll use for brining (stockpot, 5-gallon bucket, or bag) and add brine.
  4. Cowl or seal tightly and depart at the very least 24 hours however not more than 48 earlier than your deliberate prepare dinner time. TIP: Place breast aspect down and ensure brine is touching all sides, if potential.
  5. Earlier than cooking, rinse nicely and pat dry. I like to recommend rubbing pores and skin with butter and including spices earlier than roasting.
  6. TIP: Roast breast aspect down and stuff with 1 apple, 1 lemon, 1 orange and 1 onion (all quartered). I roast uncovered at 450 for 45 minutes after which cowl and scale back to 325 till performed.

Like this recipe? Take a look at my new cookbook, or get all my recipes (over 500!) in a personalised weekly meal planner right here!

where to find organic and free range turkeys for thanksgiving

The place to Discover Natural Free Vary Turkeys

I’ve gotten a number of questions asking one of the best place to seek out natural, free-range turkeys for Thanksgiving. There are a number of choices and I’m itemizing them so as of my choice:

Discover a Native One from a Farmer

That is by far my favourite choice and what we do at any time when potential. The one drawback is that it’s usually tough to discover a farmer with really free vary turkeys and so they usually have already pre-sold them by this time of yr. Additionally, most farmers ask clients to pre-order within the spring once they hatch the turkeys so for many, it’s too late to purchase one. If you will discover one this fashion, it’s positively preferable although.

Purchase One From a Native Grocery Retailer

If you happen to can’t get one from a neighborhood farmer  in your space, generally common grocery shops carry them. I’ve seen a pair right here at completely different occasions, although the costs can generally be extremely excessive. That is most likely the second best choice in case your retailer has them. The one warning right here is that many natural turkeys labeled natural have simply been fed natural feed however aren’t really free vary. Nonetheless a greater choice, however no the place close to the vitamins of really free vary turkeys.

Order One On-line

I’ve performed this up to now from corporations I belief and have been impressed with them. Butcher Field often has some nice high quality turkeys and U.S. Wellness Meats at the moment has some in inventory as nicely.

Are you excited for Thanksgiving this yr? Have you ever ever brined your turkey? Share your favourite recipes or Thanksgiving recollections beneath!

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