Toby Jermain's Note:
I have been playing with this recipe for awhile, and I know it's is too late for the holidays this year, but there's always next year, and it's good for fried or smoked or barbecued turkey at any time of year. It's also good for chicken or a pork loin... just divide in half, or make a full batch and refrigerate half for next time. Prep time does not include 24+ hours brining time or cooking time.
My Private Note
Units: US | Metric
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 cups boiling water
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 -4 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar (so called)
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons white wine worcestershire sauce
- 1 head garlic, finely chopped or 1 tablespoon garlic granules, to taste
- 1 medium onions, finely chopped or 2 teaspoons onion powder, to taste
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme, lightly crushed
- 2 teaspoons whole allspice
- 1 tablespoon dried basil, lightly crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, lightly crushed
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 teaspoons creole seasoning (we use Tony Chachere’s or Paul Prudhomme’s, usually Tony’s)
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes or 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (at least a couple tablespoons is highly recommended) (optional)
- 1 (12 lb) turkey, thawed completely if frozen
- 2 (7 lb) bags ice cubes (or equivalent from your freezer)
- 1You will also need 1 Ice chest just large enough to hold the bird, brine, and ice (not too big, bird must be submerged) and 1 Brine injector (preferred), or a large (50+cc) hydodermic with large diameter needle.
- 2Stir salt and sugar into boiling water until completely dissolved.
- 3Add remaining ingredients, except olive oil, and allow to set for at least 30 minutes for flavors to develop.
- 4Taste; brine will be very salty; thats why it is called brine.
- 5Adjust any or all ingredients to your taste, keeping in mind that tastes should be quite assertive.
- 6Thoroughly blend everything in a food processor or blender.
- 7Whisk or blend in olive oil, and strain about half into a cup or bowl for injecting, returning all strained solids to the half to be used for brining.
- 8Thaw your turkey completely, if frozen.
- 9Better yet, get a fresh turkey that hasnt been injected with all of the artificial quote butter unquote stuff, so the only thing in the bird is what YOU put inside the bird!
- 10Remove and reserve the neck and innards for gravy making, or discard them if you are not a gravy freak.
- 11Wash the bird thoroughly inside and out, drain well, and pat dry with paper towels.
- 12Use a 2 ounce (about) brining injector or a BIG (50+ cc) hypodeemic nerdle to inject the bird with the strained brine.
- 13Inject in at least 3-4 sites on each side of the breast, 2-3 in each thigh, and 2-3 into the meaty part of each drumsticks, pushing the needle in deep and injecting about 1/3 of the brine deep, pulling the needle back about a third, injecting another third of the brine, and repeating after pulling the needle back another third of its length.
- 14Pour any remaining injection-brine with the half to be used for brining.
- 15Place 1 bag of ice in the bottom of the ice chest, place the turkey on top, and pour all of the brine over the turkey.
- 16Dump the remaining bag of ice over the turkey, and add enough very cold water to just cover the bird.
- 17Slosh things around enough to combine the brine with the additional water, ice, and the turkey, and make sure the brine gets into the turkey cavity.
- 18Close the ice chest, and set in a cool place to marinate.
- 19After about 7-8 hours, turn the turkey over, top to bottom, and do it again after another 7-8 hours.
- 20Add more ice only if everything melts; dont bother otherwise.
- 21After a total of at least 24 hours, you are ready to cook your bird any way you desire, stuffed or not stuffed, roasted, fried, nuked, whatever.
- 22Just be sure to drain the turkey well and pat it dry before cooking by your desired method.
- 23Throw away all of the brine, remaining ice, etc.
- 24,and thoroughly wash your ice chest before using it for more legitimate purposes, such as storing beer and wine to go with your wonnerful turkey dinner.
- 25Notes: This marinade/brine can also be used for chicken or pork-- just half the recipe, and follow the general instructions using smaller amounts-- or make a full recipe of the brine/marinade and save half in the fridge for next time.
- 26If you are lucky enough to actually have a fridge large enough and empty enough to hold a turkey for a day or so, forget the ice chest and most of the ice, and brine your bird in a plastic bag large enough to hold the bird and brine, squeezing out all of the air, and just turn it over every 7-8 hours so things marinate evenly.
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Nutritional Facts for Turkey Brine and Injection Marinade
Serving Size: 1 (1165 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 10
- Amount Per Serving
- % Daily Value
- Calories 936.4
- Calories from Fat 394
- Total Fat 43.8 g
- Saturated Fat 12.3 g
- Cholesterol 370.4 mg
- Sodium 11717.0 mg
- Total Carbohydrate 16.0 g
- Dietary Fiber 0.8 g
- Sugars 11.9 g
- Protein 112.0 g
The following items or measurements are not included:
white balsamic vinegar
white wine worcestershire sauce