Brining your meat before cooking imparts flavor, helps meat retain its juices and creates the most flavorful, crispy “skin candy” known to man. Brine your bird once and you’ll brine forever!
- Boil a gallon of water in a large stock pot. Meanwhile, rinse your turkey and remove the neck and gizzards and set aside (it’s embarrassing when these get cooked in the bird…I’m not proud.).
- Add salt and sugar to boiling water, stir to dissolve.
- Remove pot from heat and add garlic, worcestershire and hot sauce.
- Allow the brine to cool to room temperature, then add the turkey.
- Brine for 12-24 hours.
- After meat has brined, remove it from brining liquid and rinse well. Discard brine.
- Pat meat dry and rub generously with butter (lots of butter). Season with pepper (you won’t need additional salt, the brine did the salting for you) and your bird is now ready to cook!
- Arrange oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 325℉ (use convection if you have it). We roast our turkey breast side down. Why? Because we did on accident once and we had the juiciest, most moist meat we’ve ever had from a turkey, so we don’t question a good thing and keep on roasting “upside-down”.
- The rule of thumb is to roast your turkey for 15 minutes per pound. So a 15 pound bird needs to be roasted approximately 3 hours and 45 minutes. However, because we use our convection setting, our bird ALWAYS cooks much faster than this. In fact, depending on the size, our turkey has been cooked to temp in just over two hours. Therefore, my recommendation is to use a thermometer that is oven safe, and go with the internal temp of 155-160℉.
- Remove the turkey and allow it to rest until the internal temp reaches 165℉. Carve and serve (and be sure to sneak a few pieces of “turkey candy” before it’s all gone!)
- Sub brown sugar If you don’t have coconut sugar on hand, or you can make homemade brown sugar by following this brown sugar recipe.
- We recommend a full 24 hour brine, the longer you brine, the more flavor you’ll impart.
- Choose the right brining vessel. This will be determined by the size of your bird. A smaller bird may fit into a large, 3-gallon stock pot (I’ve fit a 13 lb. turkey in mine). But a larger bird may require something bigger, such as a cooler and some kitchen trash bags (it goes without saying, but make sure your vessel is clean!).
- Be sure to keep your bird cold while it brines.
- If using garbage bags to brine your bird in a cooler, be sure to use the unscented variety! 😉
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