Thanksgiving is the holiday I look forward to the most every year, and that’s mostly because it’s such a low-stress holiday and revolves around two of my very favorite things in life — a unified spirit of gratitude and food, food, food!
But I’ll admit, traditionally I’ve relied on the kindness and kitchen savvy of my elders to prepare the staple dishes of Thanksgiving when our family congregates for the holiday, including the almighty turkey. This year I’ve vowed to step it up and lend a helping hand on the Thanksgiving dinner front. Of course, I can’t just step into Granny’s kitchen and take matters into my own hands without bringing my A game, which is why I decided to do my research and test out five different ways to cook that beautiful bird. And I must say, all five options were positively delicious (and surprisingly not that difficult to master!).
So watch as I show you how to brine a turkey, smoke a turkey (a personal favorite), butterfly a turkey, cook a turkey breast roll-up and how to carefully, cleanly and easily fry a turkey. It’s a tough job, but hey, someone’s got to do it.
1. How to brine a turkey
- 1 (12 pound) turkey, neck and giblets removed
- 1 heavy-duty brining bag
- 1 (5 gallon) bucket
- 4 cups boiling water
- 4 cups ice
- 1 cup sea salt
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 6 sage leafs
- 1 sprig thyme
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges
- 1 whole garlic head, top cut off
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the salt, maple syrup, garlic, lemon, apple cider vinegar, rosemary, sage and thyme.
- Add the boiling water, and stir until the maple syrup and salt have dissolved.
- Add the ice to the hot mixture to chill it.
- Place the thawed turkey into the bucket.
- Pour the cooled mixture into the bucket, and top with a gallon of water, until the turkey is just covered.
- Tie the bag shut, and let sit for up to 18 hours, keeping the turkey in the fridge.
- Remove the turkey from the brine, and dry it thoroughly.
- Use your preferred roasting method to cook.