Chef Jonathan Krell's Turkey Brine

Photography By Aaron Snow | October 25, 2017

Ingredients

  • 16-18 pound turkey
  • 1½ quarts (6 cups) unsweetened apple cider
  • 1½ quarts (6 cups) water
  • 1 750 mL bottle of Riesling wine
  • ½ cup kosher salt or about ¼ cup table salt
  • 10 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 6 bay leaves
  • handful fresh sage
  • 2 yellow onions, rough chopped, skin on

Preparation

Find a brining container and make room in your refrigerator! Make sure your turkey has not been pre-treated. If the label reads “Kosher”, “enhanced”, or “self-basting,” that means it has had a salt solution injected in it already and you don’t want that. In a large pot, bring wine, salt, spices, and herbs to just below a simmer, just hot enough to dissolve the salt and steep the aromatics. Remove from the heat and let the solution cool down to just warm. Line the inside of a large food grade plastic bucket or pot with a brining bag or large roasting bag. Make sure the pot is large enough for the brining solution and the turkey. Pour in the brining solution followed by the apple cider and water. Holding your thawed or fresh turkey by the legs, gently lower the bird into the solution head-down. Make sure the bird is submerged. Place the bucket onto your refrigerator’s lowest shelf and let it brine no more than 24 hours.

To cook: remove from the solution and pat dry. For a crisper skin, let the turkey air dry in the fridge overnight before roasting. Season as you normally would without the salt and roast as you normally would, checking the doneness early.

Ingredients

  • 16-18 pound turkey
  • 1½ quarts (6 cups) unsweetened apple cider
  • 1½ quarts (6 cups) water
  • 1 750 mL bottle of Riesling wine
  • ½ cup kosher salt or about ¼ cup table salt
  • 10 star anise
  • 1 tablespoon juniper berries, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole green cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 6 bay leaves
  • handful fresh sage
  • 2 yellow onions, rough chopped, skin on
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