Saturday, May 15, 2010


It became fashionable years ago to start brining meats. It has also become popular to deep fry your Thanksgiving turkey or create a turducken...which is turkey breast, duck and chicken...

While I have never tried the "turducken" or the deep frying method, I am a huge fan of brining my turkeys, pork chops and even chicken breasts before cooking. The brining process infuses so much moisture into the meats you will never have a dry turkey, chicken or pork chop again. And frankly, I have had a lot of very dry pork chops and no longer.

I live in a cold winter climate so when I brine my Thanksgiving turkey I leave it in a bucket in the garage (making sure the temperature outside overnight is lower than 40 degrees). If not, it goes in the refrigerator.


2 gallons of cold water
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 oranges halved
2 lemons halved
6-8 sprigs of fresh thyme
6-8 sprigs of fresh rosemary
10 cracks of your pepper mill
1 clean bucket

Mix all ingredients in a large non-reactive bucket or large plastic bag. Clean the turkey and remove the neck and giblet package. Rinse the turkey and soak in the brine for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

For a smaller meal like pork chops, adjust the measurements of ingredients to accommodate your portions.

When the brining is complete, rinse the meat off and pat dry and bake per your recipe. The meats are always juicier and full of flavor.


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