Prep 24 hrs
Cook 23 mins
For holiday turkeys. This keeps the breast meat moist and flavorful.
- 2⁄3 cup kosher salt
- 2⁄3 cup sugar
- 5 fresh sage leaves
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 6 whole cloves
- 1 teaspoon juniper berries, crushed (in mortar or spice mill)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed (in mortar or spice mill)
- 2 teaspoons allspice berries, crushed (in mortar or spice mill)
- 1 fresh or thawed turkey (10-25 pounds)
- 2 turkey-size oven cooking bags (Reynold's preferred)
- Put all the ingredients in a 3-4 quart saucepan.
- Add 8 cups of water and stir to combine; bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until salt and sugar dissolve.
- Boil for 3 minutes, then remove from heat.
- Add 4 cups of ice water, stir, then set aside to cool.
- Have a heavy roasting pan ready and place the 2 oven cooking bags inside which should be nested in a double-layer.
- Open the bags wide, and roll down the tops to form a collar (helps keep the bag open).
- Remove the turkey from its wrapper, remove the giblets (store separately), and rinse and prepare bird.
- Place the turkey upright inside the bags with the legs pointing up; and pour the juniper brine over the top, and add an additional 2 cups of cold water.
- Draw up the inner cooking bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, and secure it closed with the twist-tie; do the same for the outer bag.
- Place the turkey breast side down in the roasting pan and refrigerate for 12-24 hours, turning 3-4 times while it is brining.
- Just prior to roasting, remove the turkey from the brine.
- Discard the bags, all herbs and spices, and the used brine; rinse the bird under cold water and pat dry with paper toweling.
- Air-dry turkey for 4-6 hours under refrigeration (before cooking), for a crispier crust when roasting.
- The turkey is now ready to be roasted.
We brined our Thanksgiving bird in this and it was VERY moist. Thanks, Sue.
I love to brine turkeys periodically, not just at Thanksgiving. I've never worked with Juniper Berries before and can't wait to try them in this recipe. Great inspiraiton!