Sunday, November 28, 2010

Beer Brined Turkey

We discovered this Emeril Lagasse Recipe a few years ago, and we’ve repeated it every year since. It’s THAT good. I don’t think I could make a turkey any other way. This recipe makes for one juicy, tender turkey. SO SO good – totally worth all the brining hassle!!

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Beer Brined Turkey

Source: Emeril Lagasse


2 quarts apple cider
2 cups packed dark brown sugar
2 cups kosher salt
1/4 cup black peppercorns
4 bay leaves
Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole cloves
4 quarts dark beer
One 10-15 pound turkey (We used a 22 pounder)

3 cups chopped yellow onions
1 1/2 cups chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chopped carrots
6 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
8 tablespoons (1 stick) plus 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Emeril's Original Essence
4 cups chicken stock
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
1 TBS cornstarch mixed with 2 TBS water
(Optional: Only if your gravy needs thickening)


Combine the apple cider, brown sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cloves in a large pot or bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Combine the mixture with the beer in a 40-quart cooler, or large plastic container. Place the turkey in the brine and, if necessary, weigh down with heavy dinner plates to completely submerge. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 24 hours. (Ours brined for 36 hours).

Spread the onions, celery, carrots, and garlic in the bottom of a large roasting pan. Preheat the oven to 400° F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels and place on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan.

Combine 1 stick of the butter and the Essence in a small pan and melt over medium heat. Remove from the heat. With a pastry brush, baste the top and sides of the turkey with half of the butter. Roast for 30 minutes.

Baste the turkey with the remaining seasoned butter, reduce the oven temperature to 300° F. and roast for 30 minutes.

Baste the turkey with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock. Return to the oven and roast until golden and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165° F, basting 2-3 times with 1/2 cup of the chicken stock & juices in pan.

Remove the turkey from the oven and transfer to a platter or cutting board. Tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before carving.

Melt the remaining tablespoon butter with the olive oil in a medium heavy pot over medium-high heat.

Add half of the vegetables from the roasting pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes.

Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the white wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Add the remaining 3 cups chicken stock and any juices accumulated in the roasting pan and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat, add the sage, and simmer briskly until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

In batches, pulse the liquid and solids in a food processor into a thick liquid (I skipped this step and just strained the mixture). Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl, pressing against the solids with a spoon to extract as much liquid as possible. If gravy is too thin, return to the pan and add bring to a boil, add the Cornstarch mixture and allow to thicken.

Remove from heat and transfer to a gravy boat. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

To serve, carve the turkey and serve with the gravy.

Recipes courtesy of Emeril Lagasse, copyright © 2003.

Note: If you can’t find the Essence of Emeril, you can make your own with This Recipe.

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10 Responses to “Beer Brined Turkey”

  1. 1

    Nancy~The Wife of a Dairyman — November 29, 2010 @ 2:22 pm

    Hi Tina! Great to hear from you! I just picked up a 12 pound turkey, post Thanksgiving and I’m going to try this recipe! Thanks! And thanks for visiting my blog as well:)

  2. 2

    Georgie @ Georgie Goes Healthy — November 29, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    Looks like you and your family had a great time – and your Turkey looks delicious! So glad you had a nice Thanksgiving 🙂

  3. 3

    Happy Thanksgiving! « mommysmenu — November 21, 2011 @ 10:10 pm

    […] Beer Brined Turkey […]

  4. 4

    Jackie — April 29, 2012 @ 10:58 am


    What brand of dark beer did you for this recipe.

    • Tina replied: — May 1st, 2012 @ 8:43 am

      we used Yuengling (technically NOT a dark beer but works great!)… you can really use any sort of beer you like 🙂

  5. 5

    Tumba — December 3, 2013 @ 5:46 am

    This is the best turkey recipe ever…..EVER….you didnt hear me….BEST EVER….I will not use another ever again <3

  6. 6

    Mandy Anderson — November 25, 2014 @ 7:44 am

    I found this recipe years ago and have used it several times. It is AMAZING!! I used a 6-pk of Guiness for mine. I still hear compliments about the turkey to this day!! I would recommend this to everyone!!

  7. 7

    Esther — October 25, 2015 @ 1:54 pm

    This is the recipe we always use too! Best heavy ever! If you want juicer breast roast the bird breast side down ?

    • Esther replied: — October 25th, 2015 @ 1:55 pm

      *Best gravy

  8. 8

    Claire — November 23, 2015 @ 9:17 pm

    Can you please tell me if you doubled the ingredients for a 22 lb turkey


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