It’s Almost Turkey Time!!
We’ve been hosting our family Thanksgiving feast for over 7 years now. We usually host between 25-30 people. Luckily, everyone pitches in!
I always make the 2 turkeys, the stuffing (technically dressing as I don’t stuff the birds), the gravy and some other goodies. I know dry brining and spatchcock turkeys are all the rage, but our turkeys always turn out delicious and juicy with a wet brine method, so that’s what I’m going to continue with for now. I make one turkey earlier in the day and carve it, then the 2nd turkey I schedule to finish at our dinner time.
I buy 2, 18-20 pound turkeys at our local farmer’s market. You want to make sure any turkey you brine doesn’t already have a saline solution added – sometimes they’re labeled “pre-basted” or “pre-brined” – you could end up with a too salty turkey if you brine a turkey that already has added salt.
When brining you need to keep the turkey(s) submerged in the brining liquid for about 8-16 hours. You also need to keep the turkey(s) cold. I don’t have enough refrigerator space for 2 big turkeys so I use a cooler in the garage. I discovered that 5-gallon paint bucket liners from the paint store work great for submerging the turkey(s) in the brine and I can fit two in 1 large cooler. They’re inexpensive and flexible so you can nestle them into your cooler. You can line the bucket liners with a large oven or brining bag if you like. I buy several bags of ice and pour ice over and around the turkeys in their bucket liners. You’ll want to make sure to clean and disinfect your cooler really well afterward.
I always take notes and refer to them each year when it comes time to roast the bird, but I always like to double-check myself on timing, temperatures etc. There are great online resources available if you have questions: