Quick and Easy Thanksgiving Herb Brine

Ok……I’ll make this simple. If you like dry poultry and don’t like flavor, then this article may not be for you. If flavorless and dry food is the bane of your existence, then keep reading because I’ve got the answer to all your prayers.  No, I’m not a levitating higher power but this brine will have you calling one.  It’s super simple and uses most of the ingredients that are already around your kitchen this time of year.  But first…..

What is a brine?

A brine kind of like a marinade, except instead of just adding flavor to the meat, you’re adding moisture to replace the natural moisture and flavor that leaves the meat via the cooking process. The brine also dissolves certain proteins, which keeps the muscle fibers from contract as tight as they normally would. All of this results in juicier meat, especially poultry.

If you’re making a turkey or a chicken this thangsgiving do yourself a huge favor and brine it for at least 8 hours. It doesn’t matter if you are roasting, frying, grilling, or smoking. The result is far better when you brine than when you don’t.  This brine uses the quintessential thanksgiving stars from the herb world so give it a try.

Ingredients

  • Large bowl or bucket big enough to hold the brine and whatever youre brining
  • 2 gallons of water
  • 1.5 Cups of Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Cup of White Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup of Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tbsp Black Peppercorns
  • 1 head of garlic (top cut off)
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 1-2 Sprigs of fresh Thyme
  • 1 Sprig of Fresh Rosemary
  • 6-7 leaves of Fresh Sage
Herb Spread

Step 1

Take about a quarter of your water and put it in a pot an bring it to a rolling boil.

Step 2

Once the water starts boiling, turn the heat off and add the salt and sugar. *Note – stir while adding these ingredients to help them dissolve quicker*

Step 3

Add the herbs, garlic, and peppercorns and let them steep for 5-6 minutes

Step 4

Add the concentrate to the rest of the water and stir to combine evenly.

Step 5

Cool overnight or until 40 degrees fahrenheit before adding your protein. You can use ice to cool it if you want to use immediately. You just dont want to start the cooking process and introduce bacteria. Brine whole meats for 8 Hours or more. Cut up meat pieces need to be brined anywhere from 2 -8 hours depending on size.

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