Menu Monday – How to Brine a Turkey.

Like many of you, I will be making a turkey this year – and, admittedly, due to my work and family schedule, I am cheating on the brining as Trader Joe’s has free-range, organic, brined birds this year at $3.99 per pound.  Normally, I do like to brine my own turkey since a brined bird has the best flavor and yields the juiciest results.  If you are reading this today, you can start brining your turkey tomorrow, or even Wednesday – depending upon the size of your bird.  Basically, you want to brine it for one hour per pound.  But you can’t brine it too much – as long as you rinse it.

For recipes calling for a large container to put the turkey in during the brining process, that always proves difficult.  I have found that using heavy duty eco-friendly trash bags in double or triple layers works just fine.  And if you are lucky enough to live in a part of the country where it is chilly and you have a yard safe from any animals, you can use the great outdoors as your refrigeration.

There are many ways to brine a turkey, but basically, it’s all about immersion in a salty liquid, with some additives for depth of flavor.  Here is my favorite and easy way to brine a turkey:


  • 2 cups Kosher or sea salt – I use Baleine
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock (low sodium, organic is best)
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon allspice berries
  • 1/2 tablespoon candied ginger or 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 gallon ice water
Pour vegetable stock into a large stock pot over a high heat – the sort of pot you would use to boil lobsters or crabs – the biggest one you can find. Add salt, brown sugar, and spices (you can also thrown in some honey or maple syrup if you have it). Bring to a light boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Pour in ice water and stir to combine.Place turkey in a large plastic container (at least 4 gallon) – or, use my trash bag method. Pour brine over top. Refrigerate and brine for 1 hour per pound.Thoroughly rinse all the brine from the turkey before cooking. Otherwise there will be a salty flavor to the turkey.  And always remember to thoroughly dry the turkey before cooking – this is key.  Enjoy – and let us know your favorite way to season a turkey.  Or Tofurkey!

About lseccuro

As a mom, lifestyle expert, surfer and event planner, I love to discover the next uber-cool thing! Whether it's a shoe, a wine, a food, a photographer, a designer, a blog, a flower or a travel spot, you can find me trolling for it! I also like to blog about the kids and how running a household like this keeps me grounded. I love all things beautiful, but mostly Mr. F4 and the little ones, Ava and Leo. Things I love: sparkly anything, homecooked meals, snowy white sheets, holidays, photography, monograms, antique silver, reading everything I can get my hands on, Pilates, learning anything new, antiquing, gardening, collecting cookbooks and shoes, mixing slouchy sofas w/ sleek chairs, collecting china, the beach, Ruzzetti & Gow seashells, seersucker, Sharpies, Chanel lipgloss, counting my blessings. Drop me an email or a comment and I look forward to meeting you!

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