I use Rogue Hazelnut Brown Nectar for several reasons. This is a beer with the perfect flavor profile to brine a turkey, and it is also a beer that is becoming available at more and more locations while still maintaining its Craft Beer status. Making it the perfect beer to recommend for this recipe. If you live in a land where Rogue isn’t available (how sad), look for another malty brown ale that isn’t too hoppy instead.
Why brine with beer? This beer brine does two things: First, alcohol is a natural meat tenderizer. Second, the brown ale gives a beautiful but faint flavor of the hazelnut and malt that Rogue took so much time crafting. Turkey cooking is tricky, while the dark meat should be cooked to 175, the white meat is done at 165. Giving you only two basic options when cooking the whole bird: overcook the white meat, or undercook the dark meat. The beer brine infuses the meat, making it possible to get that dark meat up to the temperature it needs to be without drying the white meat out. This gives you the coveted juicy bird. But what about the skin? Brine can make it soggy. Follow the steps to dry the skin in a roasting rack in the fridge and you’ll have that crispy skin.
Crispy skin: check. Juicy bird: check. Follow these steps and you will impress both the men and the women at your next holiday table.
More tips throwing a Craft Beer Thanksgiving
Beer Brined Turkey
How To Truss A Turkey, Alton Brown.
|Weight Total||Roasting Time|
|8-12 pounds||2 to 3.5 hours|
|12-16 pounds||3 to 4 hours|
|16-20 pounds||4 to 5 hours|
|20-25 pounds||5 to 6 hours|
|25-30 pounds||6+ hours|
Chart via WholeFoodsMarket.com