Brined Turkey

[From Liz and Jeanne]

How to Brine a Turkey [note amendments below]

  1. Cover thawed turkey in large stock pot with apple cider. Figure at least 1-2 gallons, depending on size of turkey. (If it helps, put the turkey in the pot first; cover with *water,* remove turkey, and measure amount of water used. Then go out and buy the cider...)
  2. For every gallon of apple cider, mix in 2 cups of *kosher salt* and immerse turkey in brine.
  3. Cover stock pot and refrigerate turkey and brine overnight. You may need to place a weight on the lid of stock pot to prevent turkey from buoying up.
  4. Pour off brine and rinse well, inside neck cavity and breast cavity. Be sure to rinse the wings, too.
  5. Pat it dry, inside and out, and, if time allows, return it to fridge to dry turkey thoroughly.
  6. Stuff turkey cavities if desired. Start to cook turkey at 350, covered, and be prepared to remove cover during last third of cooking time to brown breast. The turkey browns very fast because of the sugar in the apple-cider brine.



This is a humble correction from the person who actually cooked the turkey this year.

DO NOT cover the turkey with cider first. Create the brine with the Kosher salt and cider FIRST, being sure to completely dissolve the salt BEFORE you pour it over the turkey. Also, create at least two gallons of brine for a twelve pound turkey, three for a much larger turkey. We used 3 gallons for our 19 pound turkey this year, and last year just two gallons for our 12 pound turkey. The turkey must be completely submerged. This year we used a 22 quart stock pot.

Also, the drying time isn't completely necessary--I didn't dry the turkey this year and it came out fine (though the comment about the wings was because I neglected to rinse the wings and so they were particularly salty). The turkey cooks much faster being completely covered so use a meat thermometer to check done-ness, about 2/3 into the estimated cooking time.

And boy, is the gravy from a brined turkey super-nummy (if I do say so myself).

:-) Jeanne

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