Thanksgiving is approaching this week and it’s time to elevate your turkey game with a simple yet completely game-changing technique: brining. Brining is the secret sauce that turns just a good turkey into a spectacular one. If you have a Traeger or Big Green Egg grill, we’ve got some key tips to take your turkey to smoky perfection.
First, let’s talk about turkey brine. A basic brine consists of water, salt, sugar, and various spices. The magic happens when your turkey soaks all of this in, allowing the flavors to penetrate into the meat and tenderize it beautifully. For a ~12-15 pound turkey, you’ll want to prepare a brine solution with roughly 1 cup of kosher salt, a 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and a blend of herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary, and bay leaves, or whatever you like most.
Patience is a virtue, especially when it comes to brining. Allow your turkey to bathe in the brine for at least 12-24 hours. This not only imparts incredible flavor but also ensures that the meat stays moist during the cooking process. Trust us; the extra time is well worth the wait.
When it comes to the actual grill, Traeger and Big Green Egg grills are both champions in their own right, so it’s up to you depending on your grilling needs. If you’re in the market to purchase one for hosting this year, take a look at our available Grills and compare models.
For the Traeger die-hards out there, we recommend setting your grill to smoke for the first 45 minutes to an hour, allowing that delicious, smoky essence to invigorate the turkey. After that, crank the heat up to 325°F and roast your turkey until the internal temperature reaches 165°F, the safe temperature. You’ll end up with a perfectly balanced smoky and juicy turkey.
And for the Big Green Egg aficionados, to begin, set your Egg for indirect cooking at 325°F. Include a handful of apple or cherry wood chips for an extra dose of flavor, too. The ceramic walls of the Egg provide consistent heat, giving you a wonderfully cooked turkey with both crispy skin and succulent meat.
Whether you choose to go with a Traeger or Big Green Egg grill, the ultimate key is to monitor the internal temperature using a high-quality meat thermometer. Once it hits that optimal 165°F temp, your masterpiece is ready for enjoyment.
Brining your Thanksgiving turkey is a game-changer. Get ready to fire up that grill, soak your turkey, and enjoy the day with your Thanksgiving guests. Happy Thanksgiving!