Brines are concentrated solutions of salt water or salt and sugar-water, brines are used to cure, preserve and flavor a variety of foods. To include olives, pickles, cheeses, meats and fish. Homemade brining solutions are one of the best ways to enhance the flavor and texture of meats that ten to be dry like turkey and lean cut pork. Brining actually makes meat juicier by increasing the amount of liquid inside the meat cells.
To brine meat choose a large container made from a nonreactive material like porcelain, stoneware, or enameled cast iron. The container needs to be large enough that the meat is completely submerged in the brine. Submerge the meat in the brine and prevent it from floating to the surface by putting a plate on the top of it. Weight the plate with a water-filled jar or other heavy object. So not use metal weights which can react with the brine. If the cut of meat is particularly thick, such as a pork shoulder or fresh ham, pierce it several times with sharp skewer to help brine penetrate the meat. Cover and refrigerate for 3 – 7 days depending on the thickness of the meat. The flavor will be stronger the longer the meat stays in the brine.
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My Favorite Turkey Brine Recipe
- 3 1/2 cups Apple Juice Or Apple Cider
- 2 gallons Cold Water
- 5 Tablespoons Fresh Rosemary Leaves
- 6 cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 1/2 cup Kosher Salt
- 2 1/2 cups Brown Sugar
- 3 1/2 Tablespoons Peppercorns
- 1 Tablespoon whole Cloves
- 1 stick of Cinnamon
- 6 whole Bay Leaves
- Peel Of Three Large Oranges and Juices of all Three Oranges
Place all ingredients in a large pot. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and cover.
Allow to cool completely, then pour into a large brining bag or pot. Place uncooked turkey in brine solution, then refrigerate for 2 to 4 days.
Prior to cooking turkey remove it from brine. Submerge it in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in clean water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt from the outside. Pat turkey dry and it is now prepared to cook.