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Why You Should Brine Your Turkey (And How to Brine Your Turkey)

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This is the 4th post in our series titled “Twenty Two Thanksgiving Turkey Tips”.  Each day between now and Thanksgiving we’ll have a new tip for you.  Today’s tip is about Why You Should Brine Your Turkey (And How to Brine Your Turkey):

Have you ever bit into a turkey only to discover the bland, dry taste that is anything less than satisfying?  Lean meat – especially turkey – loses about 1/3 of its moisture during cooking.  There are many ways to add moisture to your bird for eating, but my favorite is definitely to brine.  Brining your turkey will bring back that flavor and juiciness lost with a typical roast.  A good brine will lock in moisture that will keep your turkey super juicy.

Let’s go ahead and start with the basics of how to brine a turkey, then we can get into specifically why you should brine your turkey.

How to brine your turkey:

Preparation:

  • Grab all of the supplies you need to brine.  A container large enough to hold your bird and the brine mixture.
  • To prepare your turkey, make sure it is cleaned out and thawed.  Make sure not to buy a Kosher or self-basting turkey because these turkeys are already too salty to be used with a brine.

Ingredients:

  • Mix your ingredients.  To start mix 1 cup table salt into 1 gallon of water.  Make sure all of the salt is dissolved before mixing in seasonings.
  • Now this is the fun part.  You can really make your brine with whatever seasonings you would like to use to achieve a certain flavor.  Seasonings can range from being hot with cayenne pepper, to savory with herbs and garlic, or sweet with molasses, brown sugar, or honey.
  • Here’s a couple of our favorite turkey brine recipes.

Set-Up:

  • Place your turkey in the container you have chosen and make sure to cover the entire turkey with your brine mixture.
  • Once your turkey is covered, then place it in a cold storage area and let it sit.
  • When you are ready to being cooking your turkey, rinse it off.  Rinse your turkey until all traces of salt are off the bird.

The science behind turkey brine is really pretty simple:

  • Turkey brining involves a mixture of a lot of salt and water. Many people are confused as to why this does not make the meat drier.  When in reality there is something called osmosis that a turkey goes through during the brining process.
  • (Osmosis is the diffusion of water through a semi-permeable membrane – in this case the meat cells of the turkey.)
  • During this process water flows out of the meat and the meat and begins to break down some of the proteins in the cells of your turkey (Allowing for room for that tasty brine you’ve prepared).
  • The salt and water within the meat cells balance with the salt and water in the surrounding brine which results in a higher concentration of this mixture in the meat and a much more juicy turkey!

If you need more help on brining your turkey, check out our instructional video here:

 

–For more tips and ideas on how to prepare your tastiest turkey ever, make sure you download (from Amazon.com) a copy of our book, titled: Turkey Fryers & Deep Fried Turkey: How To Deep Fry A Turkey- Complete Step By Step Instructions To Cooking Your Tastiest Turkey Ever!  As a special bonus for all book buyers, we’re including a complete step-by-step series of videos showing anyone exactly how to deep fry a turkey.  Get this book today!

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