Turkey can easily become dry and tasteless. I don’t care for that, so I decided to look for a new recipe. It wasn’t long before I found The Homebrew Chef– Sean Paxton had a beer brined turkey recipe. What could be better? Pick a beer and add it to my poultry? Hell yeah, sounds great! First I had to choose a beer to use for the brine. I chose the hometown Summit Winter Ale; it’s fresh on the shelves and has the perfect caramel, nut, and spicy hop flavors that should really perk up the bird.
This recipe basically called for the use of a 12 pack of beer. I couldn’t help myself; I used eleven of the beers and drank the last one while making this brine. Now, I’ve been known to put em back before, but this is the fastest I’ve ever gone through twelve beers.
4 Quarts Beer*
4 Quarts Ice or Water
2 Cup Kosher Salt
1 Cup Sugar
4 Each Bay Leaves
3 Bunch Thyme, fresh
3 Each Yellow Onion, peeled and chopped
3 Stocks Celery, sliced
3 Each Carrots, peeled and sliced
2 Each Lemon, quartered
4 Each Garlic Cloves, peeled and sliced
I don’t know the best way to say this, but simmer this brine early in the morning before you leave to run errands and turn on the scentsy or plug in the glade before you leave. This part stinks, it will smell your whole house up. It is not pleasant, maybe making this before bed was a bad choice, my wife spent the night sleeping with the sheets over her nose.
I know what I just wrote doesn’t sound appealing, but after it cooled down it became a lot better. A little bit of a spicy, earthy hop aroma and some great nutty notes really came out. I put the brine and turkey in a sanitized cooler for over 30 hours. When it was time to make the turkey, I pulled it out of the brine and dried it real well, so to help the skin crisp. Then I put the bird in the oven and roasted it for around 3 hours, keeping an eye on the meat thermometer. I never touched or basted the bird, I just let it cook. I then pulled the turkey out of the oven and let it rest on the counter for 30 minutes.
This turkey was amazing, easily the best bird I’ve ever made. It was extremely moist, tender and delicious. It tasted pretty strongly of the Summit Winter Ale, which really did compliment the bird. I really couldn’t believe how much the beer flavor stayed in that wonderful turkey. Go find this recipe and use it, you won’t be disappointed.