Prep 48 hrs
Cook 13 hrs
Every bit as good as any fancy meat store. We always buy an extra turkey when they're on sale, for this purpose. Makes great snacky food for when company's over, for sandwiches, game day--whatever. It will be a pretty pink color when done cooking. YUM! Note: Don't pay much attention to the nutritional info. Yes, the sodium will still be high, but this isn't taking into account that you're not actually eating all of this stuff.
- 1 (12 lb) whole turkey
- 1 cup pickling salt
- 2 cups morton's tender quick
- 10 tablespoons liquid smoke (about five ounces)
- 2 gallons water
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1st Day: Remove turkey from freezer.
- 2nd Day: Clean turkey and soak in marinade.
- 3rd Day: Start baking.
- While turkey is thawing out, prepare marinade. Add salt, tender quick and liquid smoke to a large, clean bucket. (A new mop-bucket or Rubbermaid container works well. DO NOT use metal!) Add water to bucket, and whisk well until granules are dissolved. Keep cool until turkey is ready.
- The turkey must soak in the brine, completely submerged, for 24-36 hours.
- When done marinating, rinse brine completely off under cold water. Dry completely with paper towels.
- Spread skin with salad oil, covering all lightly. (Do not use butter!) Place breast side down in large roasting pan; do not cover.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for one hour, then at 250 degrees F for 12 hours, or one hour per pound for smaller bird.
- When done, cool 3-4 hours before cutting (it will be hard!), to let breast juices rest.
This did not work at many levels. First, it took two days to defrost the turkey in the refrigerator. Second, while I faithfully brined the turkey for 48 hours, there was NO smokey flavor at all. Having cooked with liquid smoke before, I probably should have gone with my instinct and cooked the turkey in the liquid smoke (covered, perhaps, to prevent fluid reduction?) Third, the cooking time was simply too long - while the meat pretty much fell off the bones, most of the dark meat was overcooked and, hence, dried out. Well, my dog enjoyed that!