The Best Paleo Turkey Brine Recipe For All Your Holiday Meals
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For our first Thanksgiving as a married couple my husband and I decided to host Thanksgiving... problem is neither of us had ever cooked a turkey before! Well after a trip to our local Williams Sonoma we came away with a turkey brine, turkey rub and turkey glaze and ended up having a delicious turkey to share with our families. Ever since then we always use a turkey brine year after year as my husband swears that it is what makes all the difference between a plain Thanksgiving turkey and a gourmet Thanksgiving turkey. Well this year I decided to try my hand at making our own turkey brine as I have been really into making spice mixes of my own lately (and well, everything for that matter). It was so easy to put together and cost a fraction of what we typically pay for our store bought brine. Best of all I was able to tailor my recipe to include only ingredients that fit into our way of eating (aka mostly Paleo and low sugar). So if you are looking for a juicy, flavorful turkey this holiday season go on ahead and give this brine recipe a try and let me know how it turns out!
Paleo Turkey Brine Recipe
*Ingredient amounts based on a 10-15 pound turkey, for larger or smaller turkeys adjust proportionally.
1/4 Cup of Honey
1/4 Cup of Coconut Sugar
1/4 Cup of Peppercorns
1/2 Cup of Dried or Freshly Diced Apples
Leaves From 2 Sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
Leaves from 2 stems of fresh Sage
1/4 Cup of Juniper Berries
1/4 Cup of Dried or Fresh Orange Peel
1 Gallon of Water (Use 2 gallons for turkeys over 18 pounds but also be sure to adjust spice ratio as mentioned above.)
Large Stock Pot
1. Be sure that your turkey is completely thawed and cleaned out prior to moving onto step 2.
2. Pour 1 gallon of water into the stock pot (2 gallons for larger turkeys as mentioned above).
3. Add Your Sea Salt, Honey, and Sugar to the pot next. Stir to dissolve and disperse ingredients.
4. Add remaining food ingredients to the pot.
5. Bring water to a boil.
6. Turn off heat and cover pot immediately.
7. Allow mixture in pot to completely cool, returning to room temperature. This takes patience my friends! If you are pressed for time you can cool the mixture down in the refrigerator once the initial heat has dissipated.
8. Once mixture has completely cooled, you will want to have someone assist you with the following: place your turkey in the bottom of your brining bag and pour the cooled mixture into the bag. Be sure the turkey is completely submerged. If your turkey is not fully covered you may add more water without it effecting the taste (unless you have larger turkey as mentioned above in "Ingredients").
9. Seal the brining bag completely and place into the refrigerator (turkey must be kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times) for 12-16 hours for a 10-15 pound turkey and approximately 24 hours for a turkey 18-25 pounds. A good rule of thumb is to brine at least 1 hour per pound of turkey.
10. Flip/rotate the turkey in the brining bag halfway through the brining time.
11. After brining time has completed and you are ready to cook your turkey be sure to thoroughly submerge the turkey for a short period of time in a sink or basin of fresh water to remove any excess brine and saltiness attached to the outside of the turkey. Once it is throughly rinsed pat the skin dry and place breast side up into your roasting dish.
12. Be sure to not add any additional seasoning containing salt to your turkey after brining or you may end up with a very salty turkey!
13. Cook your turkey and enjoy your Thanksgiving!
Getting Ready For Thanksgiving? Check Out These Other Posts Below For Recipes and Inspiration!