How to Brine Your Thanksgiving Turkey Using Victoria Taylor’s Brining Blends

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How to Brine Your Thanksgiving Turkey Using Victoria Taylor’s Brining Blends

Brines work their magic in two ways: 1) over time, the salt actually unwinds the complex proteins in the muscle tissues of the meat, making it tender; and 2) the salt solution, infused with flavor from the addition of whole herbs, spices and aromatics, penetrates the cells of the meat, plumping them with moisture and flavor.  As a result, brined meat weighs more at the end of the brining process than at the start. My formulas use a clean-tasting sea salt from California, combined with Demerara sugar, and whole herbs and spices infused with aromatics such as rosemary and citrus oil.  The result of brining with these blends is amazing - moist and tender meat with layers of added flavor. For this recipe you will need:

In a bowl, combine Brining Blend with boiling water.  Stir to dissolve salt and infuse water with flavor. Add ice cubes; stir to cool mixture. Rinse turkey under cold water and place in a container large enough to hold turkey with brine.  Pour brine mixture over turkey and add enough cold water to completely cover bird.  Tightly cover the container and place in refrigerator to brine for 1-2 days. When brining is complete, remove turkey from liquid and pat dry.  (Do not rinse!) Follow these additional tips ensure that you have brined the perfect Turkey.

  • Ensure that brine mixture is completely cooled before adding turkey.
  • The turkey and brine solution must be kept refrigerated at 40° or below at all times.
  • Pick a container with enough room.  Turkeys may require a cooler or plastic bucket.  For this example I used a 5 gallon bucket which can be found in any hardware store.
  • If using a plastic cooler to brine turkey, replace about one third of the water with ice or ice packs.
  • Do not salt brined turkey while cooking.  Salt the finished turkey to taste.
  • We do not recommend brining “self-basting” turkeys, which are injected with a salt preservation solution.  Brining them may create an overly salt bird.
  • Turkeys may cook faster when brined.  Start checking the internal temperature early.  Turkey is done when the temperature reaches 170°F in the breast or 180°F in the thigh.
  • 1 cup of brining blend is generally enough for 1 gallon of water.

Best, Victoria