Spend less time cooking, more time visiting!
I'm always looking for ways to make big family meals easier so I thought my easy turkey brine recipe would be perfect to share! I usually cook a 15-pound unstuffed turkey and it takes about 2.5 hours. What I like most about using a brine, besides the fast cooking time, is the turkey absorbs the flavors in the brine and it turns out nice and juicy!
Easy Turkey Brine Recipe
- 1 Gallon broth (I usually use homemade chicken broth)
- 1 cup of salt (I use sea salt but whatever you have will work)
- 1 Tblsp rosemary, sage, thyme, and garlic (I use fresh herbs so adjust accordingly)
- 1 Gallon ice water, or a bottle or two of homemade wine and half a gallon of water
- Apples, cored and cut in quarters, whatever you have on hand
- In a large pot, combine the broth, herbs, spices, and apples. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to be sure salt is dissolved. Remove from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
- When the broth mixture is cool, pour it into a clean 5 gallon bucket. Stir in the ice water.
- Prepare your THAWED turkey by removing the innards and clean the outside. Place the turkey, breast down, into the brine. Make sure that the cavity gets filled. Place the bucket in the refrigerator overnight. (It is usually cold enough to leave it in the garage so that's what I do with my bucket)
- Let soak 24 hours. Remove the turkey carefully draining off the excess brine, discarding the leftover brine. I never put more liquid into my roaster but feel free to if that's the way you cook it!
- Cook the turkey as desired reserving the drippings for gravy. I never baste my turkey either and it turns out perfect! Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook 20 to 30 minutes faster so watch the temperature gauge.
Finished Turkey using the Brine Method
And that's my simple way of doing turkey!
I use the time the turkey is in the oven to get all the rest of the dinner finished from mashed potatoes, fruit salad, creamed corn, candied sweet potatoes and even dessert! We don't need to be slaves to the kitchen we can spend time drinking wine and talking up a storm with friends and family too!
Don't forget to purchase a 3-tiered oven rack to make the most use of your oven!
Need more easy holiday prep ideas I have a few posts you might like:
- Thanksgiving prep checklist
- Quick and easy holiday planning (with printables)
- Simple baking substitutions (no eggs? no problem!)
- 20 quick and easy cooking hacks
What's your best holiday prep tip?