I'm a big proponent of brining your turkey, as I make clear in this week's Thanksgiving episode of my food podcast, The Sporkful. (Here's a quick primer if you want to learn more about the basics of brining.) The most important thing about brining is that you do it. But there's a wide range of flavors you can choose to impart to your bird, and that choice can be crucial. So in honor of our First Annual Sporkful Thanksgiving Show, I've chosen to release the recipe for my Bacon Salt Brine. Bacon Salt, of course, is the amazing kosher and vegetarian seasoning that imparts a smokey, bacon-esque flavor to all your foods. Use this recipe correctly, and you'll be giving thanks for years to come.
12-16 pound turkey
2 1/2 gallons of water
2 cups Bacon Salt (I recommend Hickory or Natural)
1 1/4 cup kosher salt
1 cup garlic powder
1 cup onion powder
Heat one gallon of water, pour in all ingredients, and stir thoroughly until ingredients are mostly or completely dissolved. Refrigerate until cold. Pour brine into brining bag, then add another 1 1/2 gallons of water and gently mix up the liquid in the bag. Then put your turkey in the bag upside down, to ensure that the breast is fully submerged. (The entire bird must be submerged for the full brining period.) Seal the bag very carefully, I recommend multiple bags and duct tape.
Brine for roughly 24 hours, then remove turkey from the brine, rinse it off, and pat it dry. Coat lightly with olive oil, parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. I recommend roasting the bird upside down for the first two hours, a technique we discuss in more detail in this week's episode of The Sporkful. Even if you're not up for the flip, this brine recipe will give you the juiciest Thanksgiving turkey you've ever had.