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December 27, 2012
by Erin B

I love Alton Brown’s Brined turkey.  In fact it’s the only way I make it these days.  I have managed to convert my mother in law.

Step 1: make the brine

Step 2: unwrap and wash the turkey.  This is more complicated than it sounds. You have to untruss the legs


Take out the giblets


Take out the neck


Wash out the cavity

IMG_1119 IMG_1120

Pull out the plastic thing


Wash the whole thing inside and out


Step 3: put the neck and giblets in a pot for soup



Step 4: Start quartering the turkey.  It is a lot like carving a chicken except bigger.  Here are some step by steps. Use care but you will be fine

IMG_1128Gravity is your friend




It is going to take  a little more muscle to dislocate the hips and shoulders



Once the hip is dislocated it is fairly easy to completely remove the quarter



Repete with the other side

The legs and back are the easiest. For the breast quarters, you have to cut along the keel bone

IMG_1138Then angle along the ribs

IMG_1139Here come the harder part.  You can just cut the breast meat off or you can go through the shoulder and make an entire quarter.  The shoulder is quite a bit more challenging, but still doable.


IMG_1142At the end of all of this you will have four quarters.

Step 5:  Add to a food safe bucket and top up with the brine



Alternately – buy a ready to go turkey breast and make a 1/4 batch of brine to soak it in.

Brine for 24 hours.

At that point, I will bag three of the four quarters in freezer bags and put them in the freezer.   I will roast the last quarter for supper tomorrow night.

The rest of the bones and the neck are currently making two big stock pots of soup.  I added 1/2 onion to each and a stalk or two of celery.

So… my $23 turkey will make four roast turkey dinners and likely four soup night dinners with left overs.  Best deal on home cooking you will see all year.

A word of warning though.  You are brining then freezing raw meat, so this only works on fresh turkeys.  Previously frozen ones you have to roast the whole bird then freeze the quarter after they are cooked.  It is still good, but not quiet as nice.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. LAT permalink
    January 1, 2013 1:51 pm

    That is absolutely brilliant!!! Was Costco nuts when you went?

    • Erin B permalink
      January 3, 2013 8:23 am

      It wasn’t too bad. No worse than any other day

  2. January 22, 2013 12:03 am

    My brother also always brines his turkey a la Alton Brown. Good Eats was one of my favourite shows when I still watched TV.


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