Why brine a turkey? Because it will be the most flavorful and moist turkey you ever bake if you do. Normally, meat loses about 30 percent of its weight during cooking. But if you soak the meat in a brine first, you can reduce this moisture loss during cooking to as little as 15 percent. Brining enhances juiciness in several ways. First of all, muscle fibers simply absorb liquid during the brining period. Some of this liquid gets lost during cooking, but since the meat is in a sense more juicy at the start of cooking, it ends up juicier.Another way that brining increases juiciness is by dissolving some proteins. A mild salt solution can actually dissolve some of the proteins in muscle fibers, turning them from solid to liquid. I have used this bring for the last three years and my family loves it! I double the recipe. Depending on the size of your turkey and the container you have you may need to do the same thing. If the brine doesn’t cover the whole turkey just make sure you turn it to get all sides.
This brine can be used on any kind of poultry or pork.
Prep time:15 minutes
- 2 quarts water
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 1 cup soy sauce
- 1 cup maple syrup
- 3/4 cup sea salt
- 8-10 whole cloves garlic, peeled
- 6-8 whole bay leaves
- 3 large sprigs of thyme
- 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
- 2 quarts of ice water (for after you take off the heat to help cool the brine) You will use a total of 4 quarts.
Place all ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil, dissolving sugar and maple syrup. Remove from heat and add the ice cubes and allow brine to cool completely before placing the meat into it. For a turkey brine overnight. For smaller pieces of meat brine for only a few hours. Fish and shrimp about 30 minutes.