Brined turkey


$100 Site Donor 2023
Nov 28, 2014
Steilacoom, WA
Trying a brined turkey (again) this year. Did it once before, and did not notice any difference.

This year I made the brine rather than a store bought packaged brine.

Wifey always brined the turkey with an herb brine. One year was over the top good. Then we bought brined turkeys from Costco.
Now it's Whole Paycheck turkey kits...
I went old school and healthy this year. No salt, no butter, no oil, no seasonings. Only onion, lemon, orange, apple, celery, cloves and some beer. Slow cooked at 250-275F until done (stuck it in at 6am and cooked 8 hrs). We'll be eating shortly, so we'll see if it's any good.
The key to a successful brining, is preferating the skin and flesh as much and as deep as possible.
This way, the brine solution should make it into each and every bite.
Did that last Thanksgiving and turned out to be "the best Turkey I've ever had" - the missus
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We use this recipe
2 gallons water
1 ½ cups canning salt
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
⅓ cup brown sugar

It’s very good. I can smoke it or roast it. This year roasted was the request.

Just my $0.02
Has anyone ever tried using that brining bucket? It is new to me. I recently saw it on a YouTube video. It has notches where you can put a "stopper" on the inside so that the turkey (or other meats) do not float above the brine.
I brined in a bag with sams club bought kinder's turkey brine kit.

Then dried it really good at 8am.. slathered it with abit of olive oil and the "buttery herb mix" which looked like pesto after combining with the oil.

Then I bagged it cut 5 1/2" slits so it didnt explode and baked at 350 for 3.25hours..

came out great but slightly overdone which only meant it was falling apart ( the legs esp) and when I was peeling the meat it came apart like a giant rotisserie chicken.
was very moist and tasty.. If guests hadnt been 35min late it likely would have been near perfectly done vs slightly overdone.

Called "yep we are leaving now" So I prep everything since they live 15min away... showed up 50min later... ugh.

This is going to sound like tooting my own horn but I was pretty impressed with how it came out..

my second turkey in 15 years.. so .. not much practice. Definitely recommend the bag method for oven..
IF I wanted home made gravy the drippings in the bag were perfect for that too.
Been brining for many years now. I didn't get to go to the store for my usual ingredients, so this year it was pretty basic. Kosher salt, brown sugar, some cajun seasoning, peppercorns, and bay leaves. I usually make the brine up a few days before to let everything meld together and then brine for 24-48 hours. I don't puncture the bird though, 24-48 hours is enough for everything to work through the meat without poking it full of holes.

We used to fry every year, but for about 5 years now I've been using the CharBroil 'big easy' infrared cooker. Not 100% the same as frying, but we actually like it more. Keeps from tying up the single oven with a big bird as well. This is the first year I didn't time it since I got a nifty remote temp monitor last year. Just cooked it to 165 internal temp and took it out.

One thing we don't do is cook any form of 'stuffing' in the bird (Pulls the moisture out that you put in with the brining). When I moved to GA I was introduced to cornbread 'dressing' and that gets made instead of the more traditional stuffing, although the wife does make a small amount of it since she prefers it.
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As a counter-point, I "dry-brined" this year. I won't go back to wet brining as much as I was a fan.

Basically you salt the skin 2 hours before cooking. I also injected the meat a bit during cooking. Definitely best moisure/texture to the meat of a turkey ever.

Here's an article on it:

This is the turkey grilling expert on it who convinced me to try it, and he discusses it (long article). He got my attention when he said that dry-brining was pushed by the chef behind the famous Zuni Cafe. That got my attention: