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Three Ways to Cook A Brined Turkey

Chef Char Morse shared three different ways to cook a delicious, brined turkey with us this week.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Raw turkey and the ingredients used to make a brine and gravy with it

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Thanksgiving is here and if you're cooking a turkey on your own and unsure of what to do, no worries!

Chef Char Morse shared three different ways to cook a delicious, brined turkey with us this week.

Three Ways to Cook A Brined Turkey

Turkey Brine Ingredients
1 ½ gallons hot water
1 ½ cups sea salt or kosher salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 fresh lemons, squeezed
1 ½ gallons cold water
5 to 9 pound turkey breast, thawed (bone in and skin on) OR Up to 20 pounds thawed whole turkey

Turkey Brine Directions 
In a 5 large kettle, bring 1 ½ gallons water to a boil.  Dissolve the sea salt, sugar and fresh lemon juice in the hot water.  Shut off heat.  Add 1 ½ gallons cold water to the hot water.  Allow brine to cool to room temperature before adding thawed turkey breast.  Cover pan and allow turkey to soak in brine and in refrigerator for 6 - 24 hours before cooking.

Roasting
2 Tablespoons ground poultry seasoning (or your favorite combination of dried herbs)
1 Tablespoon paprika
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon ground pepper
1 pound thick sliced bacon

Remove turkey from brine and pat dry.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Place turkey in a large roasting pan.  Generously coat bird with herbs, salt and pepper.  Layer thick sliced bacon over breast of turkey and place a lid or foil over bird before placing in oven.  Cook for one hour.  Remove lid from pan and allow turkey to continue to cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F and until bacon gets crispy (plan on at least 30 minutes to an hour, depending on size of bird).  Allow bird to rest 10-15 minutes before carving.

Frying 
4 Tablespoons seasoned salt
4 gallons cooking oil (peanut oil or vegetable oil)

Remove turkey from brine and pat dry.  Preheat oil to 350 degrees.  Generously coat bird inside and out with seasoned salt.  Carefully lower bird into hot oil and cover with a lid.  Cook for 3 minutes per pound of bird.  Check to assure internal temperatures have reached 165 F.  Allow bird to rest 10-15 minutes before carving.

Smoking
Remove turkey from brine and dry with a paper towel.  Load smoker with apple wood chips and preheat to 225 degrees F.  Place turkey breast above wood smoke and allow to cook until turkey reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 2 hours or more.  Allow turkey to rest for 10-15 minutes before carving to retain juices in poultry. 

For more recipes and to watch videos, follow Chef Char on Facebook and YouTube www.facebook.com/chefcharmorse or www.youtube.com/c/CharMorse

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