How to Prepare your Turkey
Learn how to properly brine your Turkey for next week and impress your guests.
What is Brine?
In it's simplest form, it's just salt and water - a ratio of 1 cup salt per 1 gallon of water. You have to start a couple days before beginning to cook, or longer if the bird is frozen.
Where to Brine?
Don't use a garbage bag, because they're not meant for contact with food. Use a lobster pot, or a cooler, or a 5-gallon bucket. The important part is to keep the bird submerged at all times.
Defrost the Bird
It's safest to defrost in the fridge. This will also take a couple days to do, so make sure you're planning around 4 days before you start cooking. Two for thawing, two for brining.
Remove the Innards
Once the turkey is defrosted, wash it and remove the innards (heart, liver, gizzards, and the neck)
Prepare the Brine
The base is 1 cup salt per 1 gallon of water. The rest is based on what you want. For spicy add peppers and cayenne. Savory, add herbs and garlic. Sweet, add molasses honey and brown sugar. I recommend adding up to 1 cup sugar per gallon of water to preserve the taste of the turkey (so it's not too salty)
Submerge the Bird
Place the bird with the brine, and make sure it's completely covering the bird with an inch or two to spare. Then place in the refrigerator for a day or two.
Prepare the Main Course
Now that the brine is finished, rinse if off, season it how you usually do, then cook it how you usually do. Roasting or deep-frying both work well. Cook the bird until the internal temperature is 165°F, or until the legs move freely.