Mojo Cubano Brine

READY IN: 4hrs
Recipe by BigHeart

I have served this at Thanksgiving for the last two years, and each time the bird was gone in two days. This dish is so outstanding that there is no need to concern yourself with leftovers. Based on "Lacey's Mom" review and the fact that my last turkey took almost 4 hours to cook, I recommend increasing the cooking temperature to 300 degrees and strongly recommend the use of a meat thermometer. Obviously, cooking time increases with the weight of the turkey.

Top Review by Ellixstraz

I've used a lot of different brines over the years, but this is the one I stuck with. One thing I would recommend: I like to start my turkey off at a high temperature to crisp the skin up and seal in the juices--the problem with this recipe is that the sugar in the orange juice and grapefruit can cause the skin to burn prematurely. I have found this to be the case even when using bitter orange juice, which is traditional in Cuban cuisine. To avoid the excess browning, I simply use the peel of 10 oranges, instead of the juice. The orange essence is still infused into the brine, minus the sugar.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Thaw turkey in refrigerator for 3 days.
  2. Remove neck and giblets from cavity.
  3. Place the bird in a x-large cooking bag.
  4. Using your hands, thoroughly rub the marinade into the bird and fill the cavity.
  5. Secure cooking bag with twist tie.
  6. Allow bird to marinate in the refrigerator for at least one day in advance of cooking.
  7. Reserve the remaining half of the marinade.
  8. Preheat the oven to 500°F.
  9. Remove the bird from the marinade, reserving the marinade.
  10. Place the bird on a rack on a roasting pan.
  11. Fill the cavity with the limes, oranges, onion and cilantro& thyme sprigs.
  12. Put it in the hot oven.
  13. Caramelize the exterior of the bird, leaving the interior undone.
  14. Pour the used marinade over the bird and reduce the oven heat to 300, Roast real slowly for up to 3 hours or until interior reaches 160 degrees.
  15. Remove from oven and cover with foil until ready to carve.
  16. Don't let the meat get cold.
  17. Slice in 1/4 inch medallions, drizzled with reserved marinade.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a