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Topic Title: Your favorite turkey recipe
Created on November 17, 2010 at 11:25 PM


I've been through this entire blog getting idea for my first thanksgiving turkey.(Lots of great recipe)But which one is best? I would like input from people who have tried different recipes and found one that they like best. For example, to brine or not, smoke or not. etc.

Thanks, looking foward to this, don't want to let the inlaws down,..LOL


I love the turkey recipe in the cookbook Country Turkey & Apples follow it and you will not be disappointed I take the apples and run the mixer through it and taste great over the turkey

Jeff G

I always brine mine.

1 Gallon Water
1 1/2 Cups Kosher Salt
1/2 Cup Light Brown Sugar
1 TB Mexican Oregano
1 TB Garlic Powder
1 TB Whole Peppercorns
1/2 TB Onion Powder

In a sauce pan or stock pot, all seasonings and 1 quart of water. Bring to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar. Mix the remaining water and allow to cool completely before putting it in with the bird.

In my experience, it always takes more than 1 gallon of brine, normally 1.5-2 gallons for a Turkey. What I usually do is...

I get the Turkey Roasting bags(2 pack) from the grocery store, double them up, put in the turkey and brine in, try to get all of the air out, then twist and close with a zip tie. Lay some ice on the bottom of a cooler, put the bird in and fill the rest of the cooler with ice. This method takes a lot less brine than using a bucket or filling the whole cooler with brine.

Leave the bird in the brine for 1 hour per pound. Rinse the bird then put back in the fridge uncovered for at least a few hours, the skin will get more crispy.

@Jeff G

Jeff, what does "brining" actually do to the bird to make it better? I've never tried it. I've cooked plenty of turkeys on my Holland, but will brining really make a differenct? thanks

Jeff G

Brining adds moisture and flavor. The extra moisture content also makes it cook faster. You should not brine an "enhanced" bird, or one that states it has a "10-18% solution" injected. They have already been "sort of brined" by the company. If you brine an enhanced turkey or chicken it will be way too salty.

NOTE:that 10-18% stated above is just an example, just look for anything with any % of a solution.

In my experience it is best to get an organic free range turkey and brine it yourself. I have never bought one from the grocery store after my first one.

Jeff G

For more info on brining, use your search engine and search for "brining 101". You'll find all kinds of good information.

@Jeff G

Thanks jeff, what is you grilling procedure? Do you put it in foil, or smoke it or anything?
Thanks Darren

@ Darren

I take the turkey out of the fridge about an hour to an hour and a half before putting it on the grill. Put some ice in a gallon ziploc and place it on top of the breast. This keeps the breast cold while the darker meat is warming up some. The breast only needs to cook to 165 and the thigh about 175-180, the ice helps the breast cook a little slower so it doesn't dry out. Remove the Bag of ice from the breast and put it on the grill.
I personally prefer either Alder or Pecan for Poultry, one handful of flavobuds should do, poultry takes on smoke very easy.

@ Darren

Oh and another thing, I would advise against using a seasoning with much salt for seasoning the skin. It has already taken in salt from the brine. Something simple like garlic powder and pepper should suffice.

Jeff G


I'm having trouble finding mexican oregano, can I use regular? Dont want to ruin a good thing.

@ Darren

Mexican Oregano is more pungent, but you can use regular. I prefer the Mexican for everything. You can order it from Penzeys if you want to try it in the future.

Jeff G