How to Brine a Perfect Turkey

Many folks have asked me what my secret recipe is to “brine” a perfect turkey.

How to Brine a perfect turkey

How to Brine a perfect turkey

The first step in having a perfectly brined turkey is to make sure the turkey is completely thawed out before you start the brine on.

I recommend taking the turkey out on the Monday morning before Thanksgiving to thaw depending on how big your turkey is.  After the turkey has thawed… I line a cooler with a garbage sack and then fill it full of water (enough water so that the turkey is completely submerged).

I then add my spices (see recipe below) and allow the bird to brine for 24 hours.  After the turkey has brined for 24 hours, I stick the turkey into the oven in a large pot that will catch all the drippings.

Bake at 350 degrees for the amount of hours recommended by the weight of the bird.  Most turkeys have a meat thermometer that will pop out when the turkey is done. I have found that a turkey brined will not be as attractive visually on the thanksgiving table and it’s best to just carve it up.

Damon Tucker’s “Perfect Turkey Brine” Recipe (Ingredients based on an 18 lb turkey)

  • De-thaw turkey
  • Line cooler with garbage bag and fill with water half way
  • Insert thawed turkey and add more water so that the turkey is completely covered
  • Add salt (I typically use 1/8th cup Hawaiian Salt)  I myself like to add 8oz of liquid smoke and a bit of Hawaiian Huli Huli Sauce into the mixture
  • Let soak for 24 hours prior to putting turkey in the oven
  • Cook according to weight and always make sure for the meat thermometer to pop out of the turkey before removing from oven
  • Let stand for 1 hour before carving
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