Time: 30 minutes to prepare brine.
24-48 hours to brine the turkey (depending on size)
2-4 hours to cook (depending on size)
Beer: Full Sail’s Wassail or any Winter/Holiday beer
Serves: Depending on size of the Turkey. Between 8-20 guests
The one thing that I can not give up, though, is a traditional Thanksgiving. I am not sure why that is, but I can embrace that rural sentimentality just as much as I have warm sunny winters. So when I first discovered this beer brine it was one of those "ah, Ah, AHHHH" moments. Combining two of my favorite things, overeating on Thanksgiving and beer.
I will tell you that if you haven't made a brine before (I hadn't), follow this easy recipe step by step. It really does need 2 cups of kosher salt but most importantly plan ahead and make the cooked brine version.
I used Full Sail's Wassail Ale and I will be using that beer again this year. You can find this beer at almost any grocery store but I have found that Trader Joe's has the best pricing. It has a wonderful caramel-like malt sweetness and hoppy spiciness that will be absorbed by the turkey as it brines. The hop spices will resonate with the extra spices in the brine.
Modification Option: The first year I prepared this recipe, I didn't have a pan big enough for my turkey. You could say that my eyes were much bigger than my pan. So after 48 hours of brining I cut the meat off the turkey and put it in a slow cooker with all of the beer brine that would fit in the croc pot. It isn't nearly as pretty as the picture above but it was super moist and super tasty!
12 Wassail beers,
11 utensils used,
10 slices of bacon,
9 green onion stalks,
8 pounds of ice,
7 bay leaves steeping,
6 cups of coffee (not for the recipe but for the chef),
4 sticks of cinnamon,
3 stalks of celery,
2 cups of salt,
And One 18-22 pound turkey iiiinnn the briiiiiiiine!
Baking the Turkey
1. 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
2. Reduce heat to 350 degrees.
3. Wrap breast only with aluminum foil and bake until breast is 165 degrees.