Approx 36 hrs. till cook time.... time to brine!
So my basic brine is fairly simple then I add to it as I see fit or feel like I want to change the flavor profile:
1.5 Gallons of water
1/2 gallon of chicken broth (salt in the broth so don't need to go overboard on the kosher salt - taste as you go)
1/3 Cup kosher salt
2 Tbs. fresh ground pepper
3- Tbs. granulated garlic
3 Tbs. poultry seasoning
3 Tbs. dry Italian herbs or fresh herbs as you see fit
2 medium or small onions cut into 1/4's
1/4 Cup sugar or maple syrup
This year I wanted to add some citrus and cranberry flavors so I added:
3 mandarin oranges cut in half and squeezed
1 can cranberry juice concentrate
1 bag fresh cranberries lightly crushed (used a potato masher), or pulse in a food processor once or twice.
My secret weapon! 20 gallon Ziploc bags - you can find them in the big box stores in the storage section near the plastic bins. Heavy duty double zip seal at the top and a convenient carry handle for lifting the turkey out of the cooler!
18.5 lb. turkey goes into the bag with the brine.
Ice goes on the outside so you ice chest doesn't get dirty and the brine doesn't get diluted - best of both worlds!
.... and now begins the wait! The crowd is giddy with anticipation!
next up in 36 hours: Fabulous Turkey Step 2: The cook!