When it comes to serving up a flavorful turkey on Thanksgiving, using smoked sea salt to brine your turkey is a good way to start. The smoked sea salt adds a subtle layer of smokiness to the meat without overwhelming it, leaving it succulent and tender.
What Is Brining (and Why You Should Do It)
Brining is not just limited to turkey, of course, as any meat can be brined to tenderize it and make it moist and flavorful. Turkey and other cuts of meat can be brined using either a wet or dry brining process.
Smoked sea salt breaks down the protein in the meat and plumps up the muscle tissue, capturing the liquid inside. What liquid doesn’t evaporate while cooking the meat keeps it juicy and resistant to overcooking, which can happen on a bustling Thanksgiving.
No one wants to serve up flavorless, dry turkey to their guests (and they don’t want to eat it, either). Poultry of all kinds is leaner than ribs, steak, or pork, so brining with sea salt is a very good option.
Go Wet or Go Dry?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. Both brining processes have their pros and cons. Let’s examine them.
The Wet Brine
“A wet brine is a more traditional method of brining,” states the seasoning expert at Oregano Spices. You simply add smoked sea salt to water or another liquid, e.g., cider, broth, or even honey, and submerge your turkey in the mixture to absorb it for several hours or days.
The disadvantage of a wet brine is that you will need to clear the space in your refrigerator to accommodate the soaking bird. That can be iffy — or downright impossible — in the days leading up to a big meal like Thanksgiving dinner.
The Dry Brine
If you like your turkey crispy on the outside, this is the way to go. The same principles with the smoked sea salt apply, but there is no need for extra refrigerator space. The tricky part here is getting the ratio of smoked sea salt to turkey accurate so the meat is not too salty when cooked.
Up Your Turkey Game this Year with a Smoked Sea Salt Brine
Whether you opt to go with a wet or a dry brine this Thanksgiving holiday, you will likely impress your family and friends when you serve up a succulently seasoned turkey for the big dinner.