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Brined and Smoked Turkey

No recipe image available.Whether you fry, roast, grill or smoke a turkey, the process of brining makes the meat more tender, moist and flavorful.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 (12 to 14-pound) Honeysuckle White® Fresh Whole Turkey

Flavored Brine Solution:
1/2 gallon water
3/4 cup Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, plus more as needed
1/2 gallon apple juice or cider
1 cup maple syrup, warmed
3 tablespoons finely ground black pepper
1/4 cup crumbled fresh or dried sage leaves
1 small tea towel
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

Cooking Directions:

Two days before meal:

  1. Select container to hold turkey comfortably, leaving at least 3 inches of space above bird. Be certain container fits in refrigerator; remove shelf if necessary.
  2. Remove neck and packet of innards and refrigerate if using for gravy, or discard. Place turkey in container.
  3. Mix water with kosher salt, apple juice, maple syrup, black pepper and sage. Stir until salt and syrup are dissolved. Pour brine over turkey.
  4. If turkey is not fully submerged, make additional brine -- 3 teaspoons kosher salt for each quart of water -- and add until turkey is completely covered. Cover container; transfer to refrigerator.

Evening before meal:

  1. Drain turkey thoroughly, cover loosely and refrigerate overnight.

Meal day:

  1. One hour before cooking, rinse turkey in cool water and pat dry with tea towel.
  2. Fill both cavities with dressing, being careful not to pack too tightly. Truss and set turkey, breast side up, on rack in roasting pan.
  3. Preheat oven to 450°F (130°C). Melt butter in medium saucepan. Soak tea towel in butter until completely absorbed. Cover entire breast area of turkey with towel. Be sure legs are exposed. Drape aluminum foil loosely over turkey.
  4. Place turkey in oven and immediately reduce heat to 325°F (160°C). Roast 20 minutes per pound, or until thickest part of leg reaches internal temperature of 150°F (65°C) About 1 1/2 hours before turkey is done, remove aluminum foil and tea towel so that breast skin can brown.
  5. Remove from oven and cover loosely with aluminum foil. Let rest 30 to 60 minutes.
  6. Carve and place on platter.

Makes 12 servings.

Recipe provided courtesy of Honeysuckle White, a division of Cargill, Incorporated. Used with permission.