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How To Make Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving Turkey Brine At Home

How To Make Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving Turkey Brine At Home

Drench your turkey in the festive flavors of Thanksgiving! Ever tried traditional brine for Thanksgiving turkey but with a star-chef twist? If not, try Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving turkey brine. It takes almost 3 days to have the turkey ready for the feat. But it’s worth it! It has a once-in-a-year turkey delight (perfectly suits the Thanksgiving vibe). So, why not try it now?

I like to try the traditional recipes reinvented by star chefs. For holiday feasts, Alton Brown is definitely the one whose recipes are spot on. Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving turkey brine has the turkey immersed in the brine.

The brine is loaded with the flavors of vegetable stock and spices. You can add some more spices to the brine to have more flavors in your Thanksgiving turkey. The turkey should be safely thawed before adding it to the brine.

For some extra herby edge, you can also use some poultry seasoning. If there’s no poultry seasoning available, you can simply use any of the poultry seasoning substitutes.

Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving turkey brine is a simple recipe. It’s a bit time-consuming but the result will be as delicious and delightful as described below. Read the lists of equipment and ingredients mentioned below and try this recipe for your family feast. 

What’s In The Post

What Equipment Will You Need For Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving Turkey Brine?

  • Bowl- Use a small microwave-safe bowl to make steeped aromatics for the turkey brine. You can use a large bowl. 
  • Stockpot-  To prep the brine solution, you need to heat the ingredients of brine in a large stockpot. 
  • Bucket- To brine the turkey, you’ll need a 5-gallon bucket. 
  • Oven- Roast the turkey in the oven. 
  • Aluminum Foil- Wrap the roast turkey with foil and let it rest for 15 minutes. Foil traps the moisture in the turkey skin and prevents it from drying out. 

How Much Time Do You Need To Make Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving Turkey Brine?

Preparation Time Cooking Time Additional Time Total Time
20 Minutes 2 Hours 25 Minutes 7 Hours 9 Hour 45 Minutes

What Ingredients Will You Need For Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving Turkey Brine?

  • Kosher salt- Add a cup of kosher salt to the brine. It adds the basic seasoning flavor to the turkey skin and also makes it tender. 
  • Sugar- Add a half cup of light brown sugar to add a sweet balancing flavor to the brine. 
  • Vegetable stock- Vegetable stock adds body to the brine and makes it denser. You need to use two containers of vegetable stock for this recipe. The vegetable stock also gives intensity to the flavors in the brine. 
  • Peppercorns- Add a tablespoon of black peppercorns to add some heat along with mild spiciness to the brine. 
  • Allspice berries- Add a few teaspoons of allspice berries to the brine to give a spicy lift to the brine and the turkey roast. 
  • Ginger- Ginger adds spiciness and flavor to the turkey brine. So, add one and a half teaspoons of chopped candied ginger to the brine. 
  • Iced water- Use a gallon full of heavily iced water to brine the turkey. It contributes to the safe thawing of the turkey. 

For The Aromatics:

  • Apple- Slice a red apple and use it to make the aromatics for the turkey brine. It adds a slightly sour-sweet flavor to the turkey. 
  • Onion- Peel and slice a half onion to add aroma and flavor to the turkey brine. 
  • Cinnamon stick- A cinnamon stick will add spicy seasoning flavor to the turkey brine. It’s used for steeped aromatics and flavors of turkey. 
  • Water- Add a cup of water to the bowl containing all these aromatics to make steeped aromatics for the turkey brine. 
  • Rosemary- Add four sprigs of rosemary to add more herbal and earthy to the turkey. 
  • Sage- Add about six leaves of sage with rosemary in the turkey cavity. Sage gives fresh herbal and earth flavors to the turkey. 
  • Canola oil- Coat the seasoned turkey with canola oil before you start roasting it. 
Thanksgiving turkey brine with lemons and rosemary

Steps To Make Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving Turkey Brine

1. Two Days Before Roasting

Two or about three days before roasting the turkey, place the turkey in the refrigerator at 38 F. 

2. Stir Up All Ingredients

To a large stockpot over medium-high heat, add vegetable stock, black peppercorns, brown sugar, candied ginger, salt, and allspice berries. Stir occasionally and bring it to a boil. Remove from the heat and let it cool. Then, refrigerate it until required. 

3. Brine Turkey

A night before roasting the turkey, take a 5-gallon bucket and combine water with brine and ice. Immerse the thawed turkey in this brine, cover it and refrigerate it for about 8 hours, turning this bird halfway through brining. Then remove this bird from the brine, rinse it and pat it dry. 

4. Roast It And serve

In a microwave-safe dish, add apple slices, a cup of water, and a cinnamon stick. Microwave it for about 5 minutes. Transfer these aromatics into the turkey cavity and also place rosemary sprigs and sage in it. Roast the turkey for about 30 minutes in a preheated oven (300 F). Then, reduce the temperature to 350 F and roast it for 2 to 2.5 hours. Let the turkey rest (wrapped in foil) for about 15 minutes before carving.  

Nutritional Information 

Calories 51 kcal
Carbohydrates 13 g
Protein 1 g
Fat 1 g
Saturated Fat 1 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat 1 g
Sodium 9452 mg
Potassium 56 mg
Fiber 1 g
Sugar 11 g
Vitamin A 18 IU
Vitamin C 1 mg
Calcium 37 mg
Iron 1 mg

How Will Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving Turkey Brine Look and Taste?

The delicious turkey brine is worth being a part of the Thanksgiving feast. Alton Brown’s turkey brine has spicy and aromatic brine. The turkey is immersed in this brine and is infused with the flavors of vegetable stock and amazing spices like cinnamon, ginger, salt, and pepper. Sugar in the brine balances all the flavors and provides a mild sweetness to the turkey. Try this recipe for Thanksgiving and enjoy the holiday feast. 

Recipe Card

Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving Turkey Brine Recipe

Alton Brown’s Thanksgiving turkey brine has turkey immersed in the brine. The brine for the Thanksgiving turkey is filled with vegetables and the flavors of spices like cinnamon, ginger, allspice berries, peppercorns, and salt. The steeped aromatics for this recipe has apples, onions, rosemary, sage, and cinnamon.

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  • Bowl
  • Oven
  • Stockpot
  • Spatula
  • Aluminum Foil
  • 5-Gallon Bucket
  • 1 cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 containers Vegetable Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Black Peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Allspice Berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Candied Ginger (chopped)
  • 1 gallon Water (heavily iced)

For the aromatics:

  • 1 Red Apple (sliced)
  • 1/2 Onion (sliced)
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 cup Water
  • 4 sprigs Rosemary
  • 6 leaves Sage
  • Canola Oil

Tell me in the comments below about your Thanksgiving turkey brine. Also, try our other holiday recipes for your Thanksgiving feast.

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