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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Brined Turkey

Today we are getting ready to dunk the turkey. For the last 5 years, we have brined our turkey for Thanksgiving. I have never had a better turkey. Moist and flavorful. Some have asked us if it's too salty, but we have not noticed a huge difference. The only drawback is that you can't make homemade gravy from the drippings. So save the gibblets for gravy. This recipe is a mixture of several that Steve has perfected over the years.


1 C Salt
1 C Brown Sugar
2 Oranges, quartered
2 Lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary

You will also need some type of large container.
We use a 5 gallon bucket lined with a garbage bag.
To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water (we do this right in the bucket). Squeeze the juice from the oranges and lemons into the water, and then throw the rinds in too. Then add the thyme, and rosemary. If you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water. Let the turkey sit in this brine for about 24 hrs. in the fridge or some other cold place. We leave ours in the garage - don't let it freeze though!

We Stuff the turkey with:

1 orange slice
1 yellow onion, cut into big chunks
1 stalk celery, cut into large pieces
1 carrot, cut into large pieces
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs of thyme
1/2 bunch sage
3 sprigs parsley

We Season the turkey this way:

1/4 of an orange
Room temperature butter
Salt and pepper

Rub the orange all over the turkey.
Rub butter all over the turkey - even under the skin too.
Season w/ salt and pepper as desired.

This is how we Cook the turkey:

You will need about 2-3 cups of chicken stock.

Cook at 325 degrees. Cook the turkey upside down (breasts down) for the first hour. Flip it over after that. Baste the turkey ever 45 min or so w/ a 1/2 Cup of chicken stock. As the turkey gets brown, tent it w/ aluminum foil. It took our 12lb. turkey about 3 hrs to cook.

We have cooked this in a bag before, and that works great too - it takes less time.


  1. That sounds fabulous! I've always wanted to try the brined turkey, but with both of our families being so close I haven't had a chance. But I will bookmark this for someday...

  2. I'm saving this for next year, it sounds great!

  3. I made it for Christmas and it was fantastic! I was worried it would be too salty since my turkey was "injected with a salt solution" but it wasn't. I cooked mine in a bag though cause I was too lazy to baste.