With the holiday season upon us, one of the many things I hear my friends always saying is how they cannot cook a turkey for their holiday dinner. It saddens me to hear this because honestly guys, roasting a turkey is one of the easiest things!
One of the main reasons you might find that your turkey is a fail is because you cut it open and shove it right into the oven with no preparation at all.
The secret to the BEST Thanksgiving turkey? Brining!
We have been brining our turkey for many years now and it is always a win!
How to Brine Turkey
You will notice 2 “ingredients” on my list that seem odd: a 5 gallon bucket and oven roasting bags for turkey. I use the bucket to hold the turkey and started using the roasting bags only recently since they are food safe and the bucket is not.
Brining the turkey allow moisture to stay in the bird while you cook it, which means you will have a nice juicy turkey! Just what everyone loves, right?
Also, did you know that a brined turkey cooks a lot faster? Yes! It’s true! I love that I do not have my oven space completely taken up all day with this giant bird! This recipe gets your bird in and out of the oven within 2- 2 1/2 hours depending on the size.
If you are finding yourself thinking outside of the box, be sure to check out these unique ways to cook your Thanksgiving turkey.
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1 gallon Vegetable Stock (16 cups)
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 gallon ice water
- Turkey sized oven bags
- Place 1 oven bag inside of a large 5 gallon bucket.
- Rinse your turkey off in cold water and place into the bucket.
- Add all of the ingredients into the bucket. Making sure the turkey is immersed in liquid.
- Place another oven bag on top of the bucket. Store your turkey in a cool, dry place for 12-24 hours before cooking time.
When ready to roast, remove from the brine. Rinse off in cold water and pat dry. Place in a roasting pan. Discard brine. To roast the turkey, roast at 500 degrees for 30 minutes and then lower heat to 350 until the bird reaches 160 degrees. This takes about 2-2 1/2 hours for a 14-16lb bird. Let rest about 15-20 minutes before carving.
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