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Try our favorite brining recipes

Posted on November 16, 2015 | 0 comments

To brine or not to brine? That's always the question at Thanksgiving. Brining can enhance both taste and texture by using either seasoning or salted/flavored water to increase moisture in your bird. Properly done, it can add a delicious dimension to your holiday dinner.

Here are some of our favorite recipes. Let us know if you give one a go. Better yet, post or Tweet a pic! 


DRY BRINES

Maple Chipotle Dry Brine 
6 star anise pods
1 tbsp. thyme leaf
¼ c. maple sugar (or 3 tbsp. brown sugar)
1 tbsp. chipotle powder
½ c. kosher salt

Blend ingredients together in food processor, then rub onto turkey.
 

Citrus and Spice Dry Brine

3 tbsp. rainbow peppercorn blend
6 bay leaves
2 tbsp. Meyer lemon peel
2 tbsp.  orange peel
¼ tbsp. nutmeg
¼ tbsp. clove powder
½ c. kosher salt
2 tbsp. brown sugar

Toast bay leaves and peppercorns. Let cool.
Mix with other ingredients and blend in food processor.
Rub onto turkey.

 

WET BRINES

Standard Wet Brine
(for 15-20 lb. turkey)

1 gal. hot water
1 lb. kosher salt
2 qt. chicken or vegetable broth
1 lb. honey
1 bag ice 

Dissolve salt in hot water.
Stir in broth and honey. Add ice.
Cover turkey in brine and seal lid. Let sit overnight.

 

Citrus Wet Brine
(for 10-12 lb. turkey)

2 gal. cold water
1 c. kosher salt
1 c. brown sugar
2 oranges, quartered
2  lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme

Mix all ingredients together
Cover turkey with brine and seal lid.
Let sit for 4-24 hours.

 

7 Spice Turkey Wet Brine
(18-24 lb. turkey)

2/3 cup kosher salt                                                
1 tsp. dried sage
2/3 cup sugar                                                            
½ tsp. dried thyme
6 whole cloves                                                       
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. juniper berries, crushed                           
8 cups hot water
½ tsp. black peppercorns, crushed               
4 cups ice water
½ tsp. white peppercorns, crushed              
brining bag
2 tsp. whole allspice, crushed                         
2 cups cold water

In a large saucepan, mix bag 1 — kosher salt, cloves & sugar, with bag 2 — crushed juniper berries, peppercorns, and allspice berries. When well blended, add bag 3 — dried sage, dried thyme, bay leaves and hot water.

Bring brine mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring frequently until salt and sugar have completely dissolved. Remove from heat, add ice water and stir to cool mixture. Set pan aside and cool to room temperature.

Place turkey inside brine bag, and add brine mix and 2 cups cold water.

Cover entire bird with brine mixture. Turkey should be breast side down in the bag/in your bucket or pan. Refrigerate 12 -24 hours depending on size of bird. Turn turkey 3-4 times while brining.

When done with brine, remove turkey from brine and discard bag & brine.

Rinse turkey under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey back in the roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, for 6-10 hours. This allows the skin of the turkey to dry further so it is crisp when roasted. Bird is now ready for roasting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture calls for the internal temperature of the bird to be 160 – 165 F. This temperature kills contaminants, including salmonella.

The internal temperature of the bird will continue to rise several degrees after you remove it from the oven. Let it sit 20-30 minutes before carving.

 

Peppercorn Wet Brine

1 ¼ cup kosher or sea salt                                 
½ cup brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable or chicken stock          
2 tbsp. black peppercorns
1 tbsp. white peppercorns                                 
1 tbsp. allspice whole
1/8 tsp. dried ginger 

In large pot blend salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice.

Add stock and ginger, then turn heat to high and bring to a boil while stirring frequently until sugar and salt are completely dissolved. Remove from heat, and mix in ice water. Set to the side, and let cool to room temperature.

Place turkey in a large brining bag, and pour brine into the bag. Close bag.

Place turkey/brine bag breast-side down in cooler, and cover with ziploc bags of ice to keep 40 degrees or cooler.

Brine for 12 - 24 hours. Turn the brine bag 3 - 4 times during the brining process and replace ice as necessary.

Remove bird from brine bag, rinse off with cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Discard brine and brine bag.

Place turkey back into a roasting pan and refrigerate, uncovered, for 6 -10 hours. This settling period allows the skin to dry so it browns better in the oven.

Bird is now ready for roasting.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture calls for the internal temperature of the bird to be 160 – 165 F. This temperature kills contaminants, including salmonella.

The internal temperature of the bird will continue to rise several degrees after you remove it from the oven. Let it sit 20 - 30 minutes before carving.

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