how to brine a turkey in ten easy steps

I have loved cooking Thanksgiving dinner for as long as I was legitimately allowed to help with the process. Even when I was in college, I would host a full Thanksgiving dinner for my closest friends. Let's be honest, I never knew what I was doing (and only started eating meat when I was 18), but I always had fun experimenting. It wasn't until four years ago, when I started to brine my turkey the day before, that I felt I had a handle on the situation.

I use Alton Brown's recipe because come on, it is fail proof. This guy knows the science behind food and when it comes to the iconic turkey, I trust him hand over heart. And really there has not been a year where I executed everything according to the recipe. You know how it is, mistakes happen, but with this base it doesn't really matter. This year I added the rosemary to the brine by mistake. Worrying about all the details is a fun buster.

Here is how I brine in ten easy steps:
  • step one: thaw out the bird or buy fresh and call it good
  • step two: rinse out the bird and don't forget to remove the neck, the pouch that is hidden in the front, and whatever else butterball decided to store in there (this year there was a pack of gravy...)
  • step three: boil your ingredients and then let cool
  • step four: place the bird in a bucket, large pot, or whatever floats your boat - one year I used a cooler
  • step five: pour the brine on top of the bird and cover with icy water - make sure that the entire turkey is covered with liquid and put it in the fridge overnight
  • step six: rinse the brine off your bird, place in your cooking dish, and pat dry
  • step seven: add the aromatics to the cavity
  • step eight: cover with cooking oil
  • step nine: cook until the internal temp at the thickest point is at least 180o F
  • step ten: eat
It really is so simple and takes hardly any time or effort and always turns out tasty and beautiful. I don't use fancy equipment or make a tent out of tin foil, I just follow Alton's guide and so should you.

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