How To Brine A Turkey

A couple years ago we raised a bunch of free range organic turkeys and chickens for the freezer. When we took them to the butcher, I know I could have done it myself- I actually have before once with the help of a very dear friend and another time Mr. Cottage and I took on a very large turkey. It took about 6 hours in a January sleet storm. But I am a wimp so you will have to cut me some slack I did raise these guys after all. The people at the place we took them were stunned.

I think we took six all at one time all weighed over 20 lbs. The biggest broke their record at 50 lbs. I'm not exactly sure what the four of us are going to do with a 50 lbs bird...

We decided to brine and then smoke one of the turkeys for thanksgiving. We picked the smallest (hey there are only so many meals you can make out of turkey!) and looked around on the internet for a good recipe. After looking at a couple we finally decided to just come up with our own.

1/2 Onion chopped
4 Bay leaves
1/2 Tablespoon Sage
1/2 Tablespoon Thyme
1/3 Cup Raw Sugar
1/2 Cup Of Salt
1 Gallon of Water
1/2 Tablespoon Pepper

Dissolve salt and sugar in water, add onions and seasonings. We used our canning stock pot because we couldn't find anything large enough to hold the turkey. Covered the top of the pot with plastic wrap then stuck the whole thing in the refrigerator for 72 hours. When it was time to cook it we rinsed the bird before cooking.


  1. yummy!!! Brining really does make all the difference!!! I think we shall try your recipe tomorrow :) Thanks!

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