Attention California, Oregon & Washington! Plan Ahead When Brining Your Turkey!
Before you know it, turkey day will be here, and you'll be running around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to figure out how to cook the bird properly!
My wife and I were joking about this the other day, and she told me how the turkey turns out best when you properly "brine" it.
What the heck is "brine," and how do you properly "Brine A Turkey" for Thanksgiving?
If you're reading this article, you were in the same boat I was in. You hear the word "brining" and giggle to yourself, thinking it's something juvenile or illegal (well, at least I did). It's not. I did the research, so you don't have to.
What is "Turkey Brine"?
According to Wikipedia, it's for cooking uses to preserve or season food. When it comes to meat (like that turkey you're prepping), it is usually brined for a short period of time, kind of like marinating your meat. This will help the flavor and tenderness.
What is the best way to Brine A Turkey for Thanksgiving?
First thing first, I hope you're not reading this the day of the feast because it requires some prep time, close to 24 hours worth! Make sure you have room in your fridge, and only brine your turkeys if it has not been "pre-salted" (it should say on the label).
There are several ways to brine a turkey (as I just found). But for the simple chef, the easy, low-stress way (in my opinion) comes from TheKitchn.com. Put your bird in a large pot. Get about 4 cups of warm water, add a cup of sea salt, and stir until it is dissolved.
Pour that onto the turkey, followed by 12 cups of cold water. And then, cover and throw it in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
When the time comes to cook the bird, take the turkey out of the pot, rinse it in cold water, pat dry, rub whatever seasonings you were planning on using (I might skip the extra salt), and roast the bird as normal, but keep an eye on it since brined turkeys can cook faster.
Benefits of Brining Your Turkey
This will help the meat absorb extra moisture and keep it juicy. With all the kosher salt, it'll help season the meat and can break down the proteins, making the meat tenderer. And the best reason to brine your bird…
"Think of brining as insurance. A bird that has been wet-brined for just 12 hours will stay juicy even if you overshoot the cooking time a little. It's one less thing to worry about."
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