Brining adds moistness and the perfect brown skin color to your holiday turkey. And it’s easy to do. Basic recipes call for water, Kosher salt, pepper and aromatics. We’ve experimented with several brines and really enjoy this recipe made with Pipers Scotch Ale in place of water because it adds a nice hint of smokiness, more so if you cook your turkey in a smoker.
2 Yellow onions – quartered
3 Carrots – coarsely chopped
3 Celery stalks – coarsely chopped
6 Garlic cloves smashed
3 Thyme sprigs
1 Tbsp each whole peppercorns, clove, juniper berries
2 Bay leaves
2 gallons Pipers Scotch Ale (plus some for the chef & dinner guests)
2 cups Kosher salt
1 Large pot or cooler to hold the turkey and brine.
1. Place turkey and everything but the Pipers and Kosher salt in the pot or cooler. Hint: you might want to use a trash liner to make clean up easier.
2. Place one quart Pipers in the microwave (or heat on stove) until it is warm enough to dissolve the salt.
3. Dissolve the salt in the quart of Pipers Scotch Ale, pour the brine solution over the turkey, then pour the remaining beer over the turkey,
4. Make sure the turkey is totally submerged. If you need more brine, repeat Steps 2 & 3.
5. If brining in a pot, cover and refrigerate (or store in a cool place such as a garage) 24-48 hours. If using a cooler, cover and store in a cool place.
6. Remove your turkey, pat dry (or rinse), allow to come to room temperature.
7. Heat oven or smoker as you usually would, or as instructed on turkey package.
8. Brined turkeys generally cook more quickly. Check an hour before recommended time. Use your meat thermometer to confirm doneness.
9. Remove turkey from cooking unit and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving.
10. Serve and enjoy!