Honey-brined Turkey

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Thanksgiving
Keyword: brine, Ground turkey, thanksgiving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Brining time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 10
Calories:
Whether you smoke your turkey or oven-roast, this brine will add flavor, and keep your turkey juicy and delicious.
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Ingredients

  • 1 lb kosher salt
  • 1 lb honey
  • 1 cup peeled garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup black peppercorns
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 carrot roughly chopped
  • 2 ribs celery with greens, roughly chopped
  • 1 onion roughly chopped
  • 1 18-22lb Turkey Giblets removed
  • 4-8 lbs ice

Instructions

For the brine

  • Bring 2 quarts water to a low simmer. Add the salt and honey, simmer until clear as glass. Remove from heat.
  • Bring 1 gallon water to a boil. Add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme, rosemary, peppercorns, onion, carrot, and celery. Reduce heat, simmer on low for 1 hour.
  • Pour both solutions into a 5 gallon bucket. Add 4 lbs ice. Wait for ice to melt, then place Turkey in bucket. Add more ice, to brim of bucket. Refrigerate and brine for 12 hours, rotating the turkey halfway through.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine. DO NOT dry, leave it good and wet, as the smoke flavor takes better to moist surfaces.

For smoking

  • Set the smoker to 225°
  • Place the turkey in a roasting pan with rack, so the smoke can circulate freely all around the turkey.
  • Smoke for 30 min per pound, or until internal temp reaches 160°
  • Remove from smoker, cover loosely with foil, and let rest for 30 minutes before carving

For oven-roasting

  • Preheat the oven to 500°
  • Place the turkey in a roasting pan with rack, and pat dry
  • Coat the skin liberally with canola oil
  • Roast at 500° for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350 and continue roasting for another 2 ½-3 hours, or until internal temp reaches 160°
  • Remove the turkey from the oven, cover loosely in foil, and let rest for 30 minutes before carving