turkey brine mix

Basic Gluten-Free Turkey Brine Mix – Save Time & Make it Ahead!

The secret to the perfect juicy Thanksgiving or Christmas turkey is the turkey brine. Brining seasons the meat all the way through and helps the turkey take in extra moisture leaving it tender and juicy.

turkey brine mix pin

Turkey Brine That Saves Time

Making your turkey brine ahead of time will save you time when it comes time to prepare your holiday meal without sacrificing flavor or risking cross-contamination. Not only is this mix completely gluten-free, the act of brining actually cuts down on the time the turkey needs to spend in the oven.

Let’s face it, we’re all busy at this time of the year. So if you don’t want to read all about turkey brine and its benefits and just get to it, you can jump to the recipe down below.

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Why bother Brining the Turkey? What are the Benefits?

The salt in the brine mixture breaks down some of the muscle proteins, which results in a more tender and less chewy turkey. By brining the turkey you are seasoning the turkey.

The flavors of your brine mix are absorbed and affect the flavor of the end product. The sugar in the brine mixture adds flavor and promotes the browning of the skin. And as mentioned above, brining shortens the amount of time it takes to roast your turkey.

A Few Words of Caution

It is important to remember a few simple rules to make sure that your turkey turns out great and is enjoyed by your dinner guests.

Once you make the brine liquid, it is imperative that you keep it cold. It should stay 40F (4C) the entire time that you are bringing the turkey. You can brine your turkey in a refrigerator to ensure optimal temperatures, but if you don’t have space in the fridge a cooler or food-safe container must be kept somewhere cool enough.

Even though you want to make sure your bird stays cold, you will want to completely thaw your turkey before adding the turkey brine. It is always best to thaw your turkey a couple of days ahead of the day you plan on brining your turkey just to be safe.

We use a 5-gallon food-safe bucket or a cooler to brine our turkeys. Depending on the outdoor temperatures, we’ve kept it in a garage or in a cold storage room in the basement. We make sure to check it often and add ice as necessary.

If you plan on seasoning your turkey prior to roasting, you will want to be mindful of the amount of salt you add. There is already a significant amount of salt in the brine. The juices released during roasting will also be saltier than without brine and will affect the flavor of your gravy as well.

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Basic Gluten-Free Turkey Brine Mix

Combine the following ingredients in a bowl and pour into a pint-sized mason jar until you are ready to use:

turkey brine mix dry ingredients

To brine the Turkey…

Bring On the day before you plan on roasting the turkey, bring a quart of water to boil, add the brine mixture to the pot and let it boil for 5 minutes until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Let cool.

Place the turkey which has been thawed and cleaned into a food-safe bucket or cooler. Next add ice cubes, ice-cold apple juice, wine (if using), fresh citrus slices, herbs, and cooled brine mixture.

The turkey needs to be completely submerged in the brine. If it is not, just add enough water until it is.

Keep the turkey brine below 40F (4C) for 12-24 hours. Do NOT rinse your turkey before roasting. Season and roast for 13 minutes per pound of turkey at 350F or using your preferred method.

turkey in a brine

Optional: Use a food sealer attachment that fits your jar and vacuum seal. This will keep the ingredients fresher for a longer period of time. 

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turkey brine mix

Basic Gluten-Free Turkey Brine Mix – Save Time & Make it Ahead!

Under Three Acres
Prep Time 5 mins
Brining Time 18 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American

Ingredients
  

  • ½ cup cane sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp dried apple or oranges chopped
  • 2 tbsp peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp dried rosemary
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp dried sage
  • 2 bay leaves

To add to the Brine Mix when you brine your turkey…

  • 1 quart water
  • 1 quart apple juice ice cold
  • ½ bottle dry white wine optional
  • 1 orange or lemon cut in slices
  • 1 bunch fresh herbs
  • ice cubes
  • more water as needed

Instructions
 

  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix the ingredients together. Pour the mixture into a pint-sized mason jar. Place in a dark, cool place until you are ready to use it. See note below.
    turkey brine mix dry ingredients

To Brine Turkey

  • On the day before you plan on roasting the turkey, bring a quart of water to boil, add the brine mixture to the pot and let it boil for 5 minutes until the salt and sugar have disolved. Let cool.
  • Place the turkey which has been thawed and cleaned into a food-safe bucket or cooler. Next add ice cubes, ice-cold apple juice, wine (if using), fresh citrus slices, herbs, and cooled brine mixture.
  • The turkey needs to be completely submerged in the brine. If it is not, just add enough water until it is.
    turkey in a brine
  • Keep the turkey brine below 40F (4C) for 12-24 hours. Do NOT rinse your turkey before roasting. Season and roast for 13 minutes per pound of turkey at 350F or using your preferred method.

Notes

Optional: Use a food sealer attachment that fits your jar and vacuum seal. This will keep the ingredients fresher for a longer period of time. 
Keyword Christmas, gluten-free, Holiday, Make-Ahead, seasoning, Thanksgiving

Check out these other holiday recipes:

Fall Favorite Recipes

Auntie’s Pumpkin Pie Recipe

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