Tag Archives: Turkey Brine

Thanksgiving Turkey 101 – On the Grill Or In The Oven!

Everything you need to cook Thanksgiving Turkey

Everything you need to cook Thanksgiving Turkey

How will you cook your Thanksgiving Turkey this year? Is the plan to just pop it in the oven and go, or are you looking for something a little more out of the ordinary? If you are cooking it in the oven the GrillFriends Turkey Lifter is no longer sold seperately as it has been discontinued so your best bet is to make the investment in the GrillFriends Turkey 101 kit which includes a GrillFriends Glow in the Dark Thermometer, Super Silicone Angled Basting Brush, and the hard to find Turkey Lifter. The kit also includes a bonus Comprehensive Turkey Guide, written by Elizabeth Karmel on How to Cook a Turkey in the oven or on the grill.

Every year Gretchen and I cook ours on the grill and we do one on the gas grill using a GrillFriends Turkey Sitter and another on the Weber Kettle in a roasting rack where we cook it on the coals smoking it with Oak for a unique taste.  It is also critical to brine a Turkey, whether it is on the grill or in the oven as it makes the Turkey tender and is sure to please your guests every time. We did a You Tube video on How to Barbecue a Turkey which is a quick overview but really helpful.

To Brine or Not To Brine?

An interesting article on the Science of BBQ was published as Better BBQ Through Chemistry and it talks about how brining and marinading meat helps keep it moist. We are firm believers in brining, especially our Turkey on Thanksgiving. We find that people just go on and on about the moist and flavorful turkey that we always grill, never bake in an oven. Here are some interesting comments on the science behind a good brine.

To maintain meat’s moisture, grillers can marinate it in a mildly salty solution, said Corriher. One reliable recipe for brine — good for barbecue but also good for presoaking a Thanksgiving turkey — includes 1 cup of salt for each gallon of water. Chemical reactions between the salt and some proteins in meat cause the proteins to unfold and absorb water more effectively. While unbrined meat may lose up to 30 percent of its moisture during cooking, meat marinated in brine can lose as little as 15 percent. “Just be sure to rinse the meat before you cook it,” she warned.

We encourage you to try to brine or marinade your meat prior to cooking, we have been doing it for years and make some of the best skirt steaks, chicken and turkey than you can imagine. It is as simple as using a Grill Friends Everyday brining bag or even a good old fashioned zip-loc bag for smaller jobs and leaving it in over night. The results on the grill the next day are the best.

We brine, therefore we are.