How to Perfectly Brine a Thanksgiving Turkey

by Old Town Spice Shop on November 13, 2023

Turkey is one of the most popular dishes on Thanksgiving, and everyone loves a juicy and savory turkey that is cooked to perfection. The secret to achieving a turkey bursting with flavor and moistness is brining.

Brining is the process of soaking the bird in a salted water solution along with different herbs and spices before cooking. This technique allows the flavor to permeate the meat deeply, keeping it juicy and tender throughout the cooking process. In this blog, we'll show you how to perfectly brine your Thanksgiving turkey with our custom-made turkey brine blends from Old Town Spice Shop.

Old Town Spice Shop Savory and Sweet Turkey Brine Blends

Step 1: Choose Your Turkey Brine Blend

At Old Town Spice Shop, we have perfected our turkey brine blends to ensure exceptional flavor that hits the spot every time. Our Savory Turkey Brine blend, for instance, is an exceptional blend of salt, thyme, rosemary, and sage that makes for an irresistible savory turkey. On the other hand, our Sweet Turkey Brine blend is a perfect blend of salt, black peppercorn, allspice, crystallized ginger, and brown sugar for a delightfully sweet twist. Choose a blend that you like the most and suits your taste.

Prefer to make the brine yourself? We offer a selection of high-quality gourmet spices, flavored salt, herbs, peppers and chilis, and seasoning blends you need to create the perfect flavor of your choice!

Stock pot containing turkey brine spices, herbs, and seasonings

Step 2: Prepare the Brine Solution

Before adding the turkey, prepare the brine solution in a large stock pot by mixing our turkey brine blend with a gallon of vegetable broth. Bring the brine to a boil until all the salt is dissolved. Once dissolved, allow the broth to cool to room temperature. Next, prepare a five-gallon bucket that will house the turkey during the brining process. To do this, combine the brine mixture with one gallon of ice water to ensure the water stays cold throughout the brining process.

Step 3: Brine the Turkey

Once you have your brine mixture ready, it's time to brine the turkey. Remove the neck and any giblets from the bird's cavity. Rinse the turkey with cold water and pat dry with a paper towel. Then, carefully submerge the turkey in the five-gallon bucket with the prepared brine solution, ensuring it's fully submerged. Soak the turkey in the brine for an hour per pound of turkey. Keep it in the fridge during the brining process.

Step 4: Dry and Cool the Turkey

Keep in mind that, while the brine will moisten the turkey, the turkey needs to dry out before cooking to get that perfectly crispy, golden finish. Once the turkey has finished brining, remove it from the brine solution, thoroughly drain the cavity, and pat the turkey dry with a paper towel. Let the turkey dry for at least 1-2 hours before you start cooking it. Larger turkeys may need more time to dry. This is vital to ensure the skin turns crispy when cooked.

Tip: Transfer the turkey to a baking sheet (rimmed, if possible) and place it in the refrigerator to dry for up to 24 hours. This will help the bird retain its internal moisture while allowing the uncovered skin to air out.

Golden roasted turkey in a pan

Step 5: Cook the Turkey and Enjoy!

Once the bird is dry, it’s ready to cook! Whether you smoke, roast, or fry your turkey, the brining process will help ensure a juicy, tender bird that is bursting with flavor.

Make This Thanksgiving Turkey Your Best Yet!

And there you have it! The perfect turkey brining experience to make your Thanksgiving feast a success! Don't forget to grab our Savory or Sweet Turkey Brine blends to save yourself time and achieve the perfect brine every time. And if you’re looking for the must-have Thanksgiving ingredients to create all your festive culinary creations, check out our recent blog to explore the 8 Essential Spices and Seasonings You Need for Thanksgiving.

At Old Town Spice Shop, we're all about giving our customers the best taste and quality possible. Stop by and see us at our spice shop in Old Town Fort Collins or order online, and you'll be one step closer to the perfect Thanksgiving turkey!

Be sure to tag us in your social media posts at #OldTownSpiceShop when you use one of our turkey brine blends so we can see how awesome your bird turned out. From all of us at Old Town Spice Shop, we wish you a happy and healthy Thanksgiving! Cheers!


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