I never used to brine my turkey (thinking it just took too much time and hassle), but I’m officially hooked on brine. There’s no better investment in your bird than marinating it for two days and infusing the meat with flavor. And it’s actually not a big deal, in fact, it’s pretty easy. Get some turkey bags or garbage bags and try my mom’s recipe here. Your guests will ooh and ahh with praise and your taste buds will tickle with delight.
The Best Brine For Your Thanksgiving Turkey
- 1 ½ cups maple syrup
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 6 fresh sage leaves
- 4 thyme sprigs
- 3 bay leaves
- 8 cloves
- 1 teaspoon dried juniper berries, crushed
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns, crushed
- 1 tablespoon allspice
- 8 cups water
- 4 cups ice cubes
- 1 cup maple syrup for basting, optional
Prepare brine by combining all ingredients, except ice, in a large non-reactive stockpot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Cook brine for 3 minutes.
Remove from heat, add ice, then set aside to cool to room temperature.
The easiest way to brine your turkey is to place it in a large garbage bag, or special turkey bag, and let marinate for 1-3 days. I find 2 days to be the magic number.