Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and if you want to make your turkey extra delicious, try out brining – a simple way to boost juiciness and flavor.
Why brine? Why not!
Brining is like giving your turkey a flavorful bath that not only keeps it moist but also adds tasty spices and herbs, making your Thanksgiving feast a hit with everyone. Plus, the best part? You don’t need to be a culinary expert; it’s an easy technique that guarantees a more flavorful and succulent turkey, even for kitchen beginners.
Pickle Juice Brined Turkey Perks!
Now, let’s talk about an interesting twist in this brining tale: pickle juice. It’s not your usual suspect, but it does wonders for your turkey. The tangy pickle juice not only gives your turkey a unique kick but also helps it cook up tender and juicy. Wondering how this unusual ingredient changes your holiday bird? Keep reading to find out! And hey, the dill and spice from the pickle brine? They add a special touch to make your turkey stand out.
Watch this video to see how to easily pickle juice brine your Thanksgiving turkey!
The Ultimate, Juiciest Pickle-Brined
Place the turkey in a big pot and add a mix of pickle brine, water, salt, brown sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, and celery seeds. Make sure the turkey is fully covered, then pop it in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 500˚F and get your roasting pan ready. Take the turkey out of its pickle bath, give it a good rinse, and pat it dry for that extra crispy skin. At this point I like to place my dried turkey on the roasting rack, but then place it back into the fridge to air dry. I let it dry for 12 hours but anytime at all will help the skin dry out more and get super crispy when baked!
Once dry, stuff quartered onion, lemons, garlic, and dill fill the cavity, infusing the turkey with layers of flavor. Tuck the wings, tie the legs, and liberally brush the entire turkey with melted butter, followed by a generous seasoning of salt and pepper.
Place in the oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes. This will brown your skin and crispy it up nicely. Then cover with foil, reduce the heat to 350˚F, and continue roasting until the turkey’s internal temperature hits a safe 165˚ in the thickest part of the breast. A wired meat thermometer is your trusty companion here. THIS is the one I use.
Once 165°F, remove from oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
What other delicious and easy dishes are on the Thanksgiving menu?
Pickle Juice Brined Turkey
- 15 lb turkey
- 6 cups pickle brine leftover brine from approx. 3 jars of Bubbies pickles – use either Kosher dill or bread and butter chips
- enough water to cover turkey completely
- 1 cup kosher sea salt
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp mustard seeds
- 1 tbsp peppercorns
- 2 tsp celery seeds
- 1 onion quartered
- 2 lemons quartered
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 bunch fresh dill
- 1/2 cup butter melted
- salt and pepper to taste
- Add turkey to a large pot or container big enough to hold it plus a good amount of room at the top. Add pickle brine, water (enough to cover the turkey completely – this varies depending on the size of the pot and turkey), salt, brown sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns and celery seeds. It’s important to make sure the turkey is fully submerged in the brine, so if you need to, set something heavy on top to keep it submerged. Cover and refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
- Preheat oven to 500˚F and prep a roasting pan. Remove turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towel (the drier, the crispier the skin). *SEE NOTES FOR CRISPIEST SKIN METHOD*
- Use your fingers or back of a wooden spoon to loosen and lift the skin on the breast. Stuff the cavity with quartered onion, lemons, garlic and dill. Tuck the wings under the bird and use twine to tie the legs together.
- Brush the entire turkey liberally with melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes at 500˚F, then cover turkey with aluminum foil (to prevent skin from burning) and reduce heat to 350˚F.
- Roast until the temperature reaches 165˚ in the thickest part of the turkey breast. (IMPORTANT NOTE: please use a wired meat thermometer! ; insert into the thickest part of the thigh, not touching the bone, and set the goal temp to 165F). Remove from oven and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Optional: brush with more melted butter before serving.
- At this point I like to place my dried turkey on the roasting rack, but then place it back into the fridge to air dry. I let it dry for 12 hours but anytime at all will help the skin dry out more and get super crispy when baked!
- THIS is the wired thermometer I use!