I love Turkey.
Honestly, at Thanksgiving there are never enough leftovers for me, so when I got an e-mail from Kikkoman offering me a gift card to buy a Turkey and some Kikkoman products (YUM) for a pre-Thanksgiving Turkey Brining experiment… I was in for two reasons. 1) I’ve never Brined a Turkey before and 2.) if I’m going to brine my first turkey, it might as well be on someone else’s dime.. (oh wait… same reason…oops 🙂 )
So the GIANT GALLON of soy sauce and a couple of other delicious sounding flavored sauces arrived in the mail PLUS soy milk (did not know Kikkoman made that) and um… Burgh.. what do I do with that and some Panko… I love me some Panko and an apron.
I read the directions and realized that I don’t own ANYTHING large enough to Brine a Turkey (13.5 lbs) until I went in our garage and unearthed our MASSIVE cast iron pot. It weighs 13 pounds on it’s own, even with that I had to turn the turkey halfway through the process to ensure that the breasts got proper coverage. Seriously, y’all should see this thing. The handle alone is, no kidding a foot and a half long and pure cast iron. (If you’ve brined and you have secrets, tips or INEXPENSIVE places you brine.. please share) If you’ve never brined a turkey and you have an amazon account >> this is my new favorite turkey brining bucket <<affiliate link
The Breakdown: The Turkey was amazingly moist and flavorful and delicious. This is (brace yourself) the first Turkey that I have ever cooked solo so, I can’t say that the brining was the definitive reason for it but, I kept having to smack Nathan’s hand while he was carving it because he was eating more than was making it to the plate… it was THAT good. The brining itself was easy other than the turning it halfway because half the brine spilled out, my wrist got caught between the fridge and the cast iron pot and I got soaked in brine. (once again.. there has to be an easier way :-)… I do have a side by side fridge.. SO large items are not that easily worked into it)
If you want to try brining…. I highly recommend this recipe:
- 2 gallons COLD water
- 10 oz Kikkoman Soy Sauce ( I used Low Sodium)
- 1/2 C kosher salt
- 1/2/ C sugar
- 2 Tbsp dried sage
- 2 Tbs dried celery seed
- 1 Tbsp dried Thyme
rachel’s note.. I wanted to dive into the brine.. it smelled SOOOOOOOO good
- The night before (or at least 8 hours prior to cooking) remove the giblets and neck from the turkey cavity; rinse turkey thoroughly inside and out.
- in a LARGE stock pot or 5-gallon bucket aka turkey brining bucket mix water, soy sauce and seasonings, blend well until salt is dissolved.
- Add Turkey
- cover with a lid and refrigerate at LEAST 8 hours ( I refrigerated about 17)
- Remove from brine, rinse well and follow your regular cooking regimen.