How to Brine a Turkey

Nov 10th, 2021

Thanksgiving time is just around the corner and there are many ways to cook your turkey. Turkey farmer and brine expert, Becker Farms, brings this delicious recipe to you just in time for the holiday. 

Ingredients (for a whole turkey, around 16 lbs; decrease quantities if preparing brine for a smaller size)

  • 2 c sugar
  • 2 c salt (we like to use Redman's sea salt but kosher salt will do just fine)
  • the juice from 2 oranges or lemons
  • 2 bottles/cans of your favorite lager/ale/beer
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • few sprigs of your favorite herbs (rosemary and thyme)
  • few bay leaves
  • a tablespoon or two of whole peppercorns
  • cold water or ice (enough to cover the bird once in the bucket)

Instructions:

  1. Fill a 6-quart stockpot with ~4 quarts of water; bring to a boil and add the salt, sugar, and garlic.  Stir and continue heating until the sugar and salt are dissolved. 
  2. Transfer this mixture to a clean 5-gallon bucket, a cooler, or another container large and sturdy enough to hold the turkey. 
  3. Add in the beer, orange/lemon juice, and herbs and allow to cool before adding the turkey. 
  4. Add the fresh or thawed turkey to the bucket and add enough cold water and/or ice to cover the bird. Cover the top of the bucket with a lid or plastic wrap and place in a refrigerator for a minimum of 24 hours and up to several days (this is when that spare fridge in the garage comes in handy!).
  5. After the recommended time has passed, remove the turkey from the brine and pat dry. Discard brine.
  6.  Allow the turkey to rest for ~30 minutes and then rub olive oil on the skin and sprinkle with pepper.
  7. Bake at 325F for around 3 to 4 hours (or until the thermometer reads 170-175F in the thickest part of the turkey).