2 gallons Water
1 cup Salt
1/2 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Honey
2 tbs Chicken base or dry bullion
Herbs and spices (see notes)
Combine 1 gallon of the water with the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes. Cool. To this, add gallon of fresh cold water, to bring the total of the brine mixture to about 2 gallons.
(For the brining container, I used a new 5-gallon paint bucket (with lid) which I bought at Home Depot after washing it thoroughly with dish soap).
Drop the turkey, head first, into the bucket and pour in enough brine to submerge the turkey completely. (You may not use all 2 gallons, but in any case, reserve 3 cupsful to use as directed below. Soak the turkey overnight in the fridge (I have a 2nd refrigerator in the garage – I removed a couple of shelves and the 5-gallon bucket fit perfectly on the bottom shelf); or you can simply leave the bucket outside If it’s cold enough. but cover it well and secure it or you may discover that you have hungry wildlife you didn’t know about living under your deck or roaming your backyard.
When ready to cook, remove the turkey from the brine, place it in a foil oven roasting pan, breast up. Rub the entire bird with butter or bacon grease and then season the skin generously with your favorite rub. Place a cupful of the reserved brine into the big cavity and another couple of cups into the roasting pan.
Cook the turkey on a hot (about 350 F) Weber kettle, in a foil roasting pan, breast up, with indirect heat on both sides, using rails to separate the coals. Using an instant read thermometer inserted deep into the breast (but away from bone), pulled the turkey off when it reaches 165 F. The thighs will already be at 180 F since they are closer to the coals. A 14 pound turkey will be done in less than 3 hours and will be the juiciest, turkey you’ve ever eaten.