How to Brine a Turkey

To make sure your Thanksgiving menu is perfect, you have to get the main course right! Brining is the perfect way to ensure your turkey is flavorful and moist. It may seem like a lot of work, but it takes few ingredients and trust us, it makes a huge difference. Sabrina Baksh and Derrick Riches share tons of brining tips, tricks, and recipes in The Rotisserie Grilling Cookbook. Check out the brining process and two recipes below.

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1. The basic brine ingredients: water, salt, and sugar.

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2. Spices can also be added to the brine.

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3. Place the turkey in a large plastic bag and cover with brine.

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4. Secure the bag and allow the turkey to brine for 24 hours.

Basic Brine

This is the basic recipe or formula for making a brining solution. It has the proper proportion of salt and sugar to water to balance the flavors. Depending on what is being brined and the container used to hold both the meat and brine, the recipe may need to be adjusted. It is best to have too much brine than not enough and the total volume of brine should be double that of what is being brined. For example, a whole chicken will require that this recipe be doubled.

Yield: 1 quart (1 L)

¼ cup (72 g) table salt or
1/3 cup (95 g) kosher salt
¼ cup (50 g) sugar
1 quart (1 L) cold water

Combine all the ingredients in a large glass or plastic container and stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved. Keeping the solution as cold as possible, place it in a large, nonmetal container. Add the food being brined and make sure it is completely submerged. Refrigerate for the total brining time.

Spiced Poultry Brine

Use this brine for any kind of poultry, including turkey, chicken, and even Cornish game hens. Halve the recipe for smaller items.

Yield: 1 gallon (3.7 L)

1 gallon (3.7 L) ice cold water
1½ cups (432 g) kosher salt
½ cup (120 ml) white vinegar
1/3 cup (75 g) packed brown sugar
4 cloves garlic, smashed
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon (6 g) pickling spice
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried tarragon

In a large glass or plastic container, stir together all the ingredients until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Submerge the poultry completely in the brine, cover, and store in the refrigerator or a large ice-packed cooler.Brine turkey for 24 hours, chicken for 4 hours, and Cornish game hens  for 2 hours.

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The Rotisserie Grilling CookbookWhile you can grill a burger or steak without a cookbook, rotisserie grilling is tricky. With everyday grilling, most people cook things with roughly even thickness and they can tell when the meats are done just by looking at them. Try something bigger, like a leg of lamb, a whole turkey, or a full pork shoulder, and they have a problem–most grills will completely char the outside long before the inside is cooked to a safe temperature. The solution, of course, is a rotisserie. The Rotisserie Grilling Cookbook shows how to set up, maintain, use and troubleshoot a rotisserie spit. It includes 105 recipes will expand your outdoor cooking repertoire, including a dry-brined Thanksgiving turkey, a whole country ham for other holidays, a whole chicken, duck, game hens, and big cuts like a beef ribeye roast or a leg of lamb. Beyond the meat recipes that are the core of the book, it includes rubs, glazes, and mops that are specifically crafted for long, slow cooking over a rotisserie, and even some ideas, like a spit-roasted whole pineapple, from beyond the world of poultry and meats.