Turkey is a great meat to serve for a variety of occasions. After all, what would Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holidays be like if it wasn’t for a deliciously smoked turkey?
Turkey is a fantastic meat to smoke as it is super simple to cook and it is easy to make it taste exciting. But like other meats, turkey needs to be seasoned in order to bring out its wonderful flavor and complement its natural juices. That is why this article has been prepared, to give you a recipe that will do just that.
Turkey brine is a superb and easy peasy way of infusing flavor into a smoked turkey. There is no better way of getting a succulent cut of turkey that is oozing with flavor, than by making up the most awesome brine to soak it in.
In this article, we will go on to discuss the best turkey brine recipe, and answer some of those burning turkey brine recipe questions of yours such as, “How long you should brine turkey?”. We will also answer the question: “Do brined turkeys cook faster?”. All of this and more are coming up in this article. Make sure you do not miss out!
How Long Should You Brine Turkey?
Let’s start off by answering some of the most important questions that you must know the answers to before you brine a turkey.
So, how long should you brine a turkey?
For the turkey to really soak in the flavor, it is worth resting it in brine for between 8 and 18 hours, or one hour per pound of turkey. Over soaking the turkey will begin to make the meat too salty, and resting it in brine for too little a time will have no effect on the flavor of the turkey, so it is important that you begin preparing to brine the day before cooking.
Although this is a long process, it is definitely worth the time as the results are irresistibly scrumptious. Are you ready to find out for yourself? Then jump straight to the recipe listed below!
Do Brined Turkeys Cook Faster?
Another question that often pops up about turkey brine is, do brined turkeys cook faster?
The answer is yes, they do, as they have been soaking for hours and the flesh of the meat is more tender. In order to keep an eye on the cooking process, you should measure the internal temperature of your turkey with a meat probe. Cook your turkey until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure you stick the probe into the thickest part of the turkey thigh to ensure it has cooked through properly.
Turkey Brine Recipe
So that’s enough chatting about it, it is time to get stuck in! If you are ready to get your hands dirty and prepare a show stopping turkey brine for the family to enjoy this weekend, then pay close attention to the following turkey brine recipe.
Don’t worry, there is plenty to go round, as this turkey brine recipe serves 8!
- 6 ½ cups of water
- 6 ½ cups of pure apple juice
- 1 cup of salt
- ¾ cup of packed brown sugar
- 1 ½ tbsp of nutmeg
- 1 ½ tbsp of freshly ground pepper
- 2 tbsp of freshly grated ginger
- 1 ½ ears of minced garlic
- 1 sprig of rosemary
- 1 sprig of thyme
After brine ingredients
- 10 cups of ice cubes
- 6 ½ cups of pure apple juice
- Add the water, apple juice, salt, brown sugar, nutmeg, black pepper, ginger, and garlic to a large pot and bring to a boil.
- Once boiled, remove the brine from the hob and stir in the remaining apple juice and the ice cubes to chill the liquid completely.
- Place the turkey in the brine and keep it completely submerged during the process. Brine the turkey for between 8 and 18 hours or at a rate of 1 hour per pound of turkey.
- Once the turkey has finished brining, remove it from the brine and rinse the turkey under cold water. Pat the bird dry and add a little oil before smoking.
- While your turkey rests in brine, keep it chilled, below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure it is at a safe level.
- If you wish to intensify the flavors, stuff your turkey with onion and lemon rind when smoking it in order to enhance the slightly acidic apple and lemony fall tones in this brine recipe.
- A turkey that has been resting in brine cooks faster than your average turkey, so it is important that you keep an eye on the internal temperature of your turkey as it cooks using a probe to ensure that it does not dry out. Remember, that once your turkey has reached 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be removed from the smoker.