Buttermilk Brined Turkey

Recipes

Perfectly crispy, golden brown skin and tender, flavorful turkey are what you get with this easy buttermilk brine. We love this recipe because it’s so simple – just a few ingredients yield big taste! Try spatchcocking your turkey for a quicker, more even cook on the grill. Your whole crew will be gobblin’ for seconds of this delicious turkey.

Servings: 10

Source: National Turkey Federation

Ingredients

  • 2 quarts cold water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1 small fresh garlic clove, lightly smashed
  • 12-14 pound whole turkey, fresh or thawed if frozen
  • 4 quarts cold buttermilk

Directions

Savory Brine Mixture

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large (3+ quart) saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Let the mixture cool completely before proceeding.

Brining Turkey

  1. Remove giblets and neck from the turkey cavities.
  2. In a large container, such as a seal-able brine bag or 5-gallon food-safe grade bucket with lid, add cold Savory Brine Mixture and buttermilk. Stir well. Add turkey to the brine and submerge it. If using a bucket, place an ice-filled bowl on top of the turkey to keep the turkey submerged.
  3. Brine turkey no longer than 24 hours, remembering to keep it under 40 degrees F for the entire brining time.
  4. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Discard brine.

Cooking Methods

  • For grilling: Prepare grill for indirect medium-high heat. Place turkey on grill and cook for 1-1/2-2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. The outside should be crisp and golden brown. Remove turkey from the roasting pan and let set for 15-20 minutes before carving.
  • For oven roasting: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a 2-inch roasting pan and roast about 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. The outside should be crisp and golden brown. Remove turkey from the roasting pan and let set for 15-20 minutes before carving.

Optional: Feel free to add your favorite glaze or baste your turkey during the cooking process. Either way, you’ll have a tender, juicy turkey.

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