BB Recipe: Roasted Barley Turkey Brine


Malted Barley Turkey Brine
Brent Young of The Meat Hook

100 Frost Street, Williamsburg, 718-349-5033

Meat Hook Butcher Brent Young says, “During the brewing process barley is steeped to release the grain’s natural sugars and the same happens when making brine with the added bonus of rich malt flavor in the meat and giving the skin a gorgeous mahogany skin to the roasted bird. It looks like a turkey that would make Norman Rockwell shout at his shoes.”

Bring 2 gallons of cold water almost to a boil, approximately 150-170*, if you boil the grain, it will release its tannins, giving a bit of bitterness to the brine.


1lb. Kosher salt
1 cup brown sugar
1 cinnamon stick
1 star anise
1 cup black peppercorns
2 cups crushed malted barley
Take the brine off the heat, and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Place in the fridge to cool. Once cool, strain out the barley, pepper, cinnamon, and star anise. Alternately, this can also be done in a large bundle of cheesecloth.

Add the turkey and brine to either a brine bag, 5 gallon bucket, or large industrial trash bag. Yes, this is as easy as pouring salt water in a trash bag.
I recommend brining at least overnight, or up to 48 hours. The longer the brine, the stronger the salinity of your bird.

Take the turkey out of the brine 2-24 hours before roasting. Letting the skin dry out after the brining process will help ensure maximum outside crispiness.

Roast. Rest. Carve. Destroy.

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