The Perfect Turkey

The Perfect Turkey

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Perfect Turkey


  • Author: Zach Johnston
  • Prep Time: 24 hrs
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: -26260644.75 minute

Description

We get it, the stress of cooking something once a year and trying to nail it can be tough. Let us help. We’re experts.


Ingredients

For the brine:

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 cups hot water
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 4 cups ice

 


Instructions

We are going to layout the instructions for an 8 lb. turkey.

Step 1 to any perfect turkey is to brine that baby for no less than 2 hours. You can do this overnight if you like, we generally do. If you’re crunched for time, the 2 hours will suffice.

How to brine – disolve brown sugar and kosher salt (1/2 cup of each) into hot water and stir in apple juice and add ice. In a large (preferably coverable) pot or bucket, allow brine to sit with turkey for anywhere from 2 to 24 hours.

Step two after brining your bird is to take it out of the brine bath, pat it dry and start the seasoning process. If you’re smart, you already have your PERFECT TURKEY SEASONING. If not, no worries, season that baby with paprika, citrus peels, salt, sugar, pepper, cayenne, and whatever herbs you have laying around.

You’re going to want to use a litte cooking oil or butter (mayonaisse for the adventerous ones) to get a nice layer so that your spices can stick to the skin of the bird. Lather her up and evenly cover her outside with a healthy layer of spice.

LETS COOK THIS THING! Remember: It takes about 15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees to cook the turkey…. However, this is truly an estimate. If you want to be precise and have some guarantee to what you are up to- YOU NEED TO USE A THERMOMETER.

People will argue about what temperature you want to cook the turkey. I have seen everything between 165 degrees to 185 degrees. We like to take chances in our house. We cook the turkey to 165 degress knowing that it will continue to cook a bit as we rest it. DO NOT FORGET TO REST THE TURKEY. Let is sit on the counter in open air for at least 25 minutes before cutting into it with your saws-all. This allows the moisture to come back into the meat, PLEASE FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS HOLY, DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP.

As your turkey is cooking you can feel free to baste the hell out if it. Using melted butter that you season with your spice mix you used on the turkey, just keep lathering it on there throughout the process. I usually do this about 1 time per hour.

There you have it. You’re in-laws can put that in their pipe and smoke it. (If you’re in Colorado, I hope you have an extra bedroom because they might be out for the night!)

Please, as always, have fun, post your photos and let us see them by using the hashtag #THESPICEGUY or tagging us with @thespiceguyco

Happy Holidays Friends!

 

Keywords: turkey, thanksgiving

5 DIY Spice Blends Using Common Ingredients

5 DIY Spice Blends Using Common Ingredients

We’re all guilty of buying large bottles of a single spice for a recipe, using it just a few times before we leave it to gather dust in the back of our cabinets.

When we decide to go on a cleaning spree, these spices—which we likely spent a pretty penny on—often get tossed into the trash. Not only is this wasteful from both an environmental and money-savvy standpoint, but it’s a missed opportunity to mix your own DIY spice blends.

Making your own DIY spice blends is easy as can be, too! Here’s a rundown on what you’ll need to make and store your own, followed by five do-it-yourself recipes you, likely, can make today.

Gather your supplies and spices. Below is a list of a few crucial items you’ll need:

● A tablespoon/teaspoon measuring set
● Zip-tight bags
● Spice jars
● (Optional) small funnel – rolled paper works well for this.

How to Start DIY-ing Your Spices
First, gather your spices and layout out your supplies. Then, referencing the recipes we’ll describe later, start measuring suggested amounts of each spice for the blend, pouring them into one of your plastic bags. After that, shake things up—literally. Make sure everything is homogenous, i.e., combined well, and then empty said created spice blend, using a funnel or not, into either one of your now empty spice bottles or a spice jar you bought. And finally, label your new spice blend, so you’re not second-guessing yourself about what it is later down the road.

DIY Spice Recipes
Now that you have the tools and instructions on how to DIY your spice blends, below are five popular recipes to reference. Remember, the world is your oyster here, if you don’t have a particular spice, try subbing out something that seems close to it! Maybe you’ll come up with something special your friends can’t stop talking about.

● 1 tbsp of chili powder
● 1 tsp of garlic powder
● 1 tsp of onion powder
● 1 tsp of lime salt
● 1 tsp oregano
● 1 tsp red pepper flakes
● ½ tsp paprika
● ½ tsp of cayenne pepper

 

● 2 tbsp thyme
● 2 tbsp rosemary
● 2 tbsp sage
● 1 tsp marjoram
● 1 tsp of salt
● 1 tsp of ground black pepper
● 1 tsp of cumin
● ½ tsp celery seed
● ½ tsp nutmeg
● ¼ tsp of cinnamon

● 2 tsp of oregano
● 2 tsp of dried basil
● 1 tsp of dried parsley
● 1 tsp of thyme
● 1 tsp of sea salt
● 1 tsp of ground pepper
● ½ tsp of red pepper flakes
● ½ tsp of garlic powder

● 2 tbsp garlic powder
● 2 tbsp chili powder
● 1 tbsp smoked paprika
● ½ tbsp onion powder
● ½ tbsp of oregano
● ½ tbsp of cumin
● ½ tbsp smoked paprika
● 1 tsp of chipotle powder
● 1 tsp of red pepper flakes
● 1 tsp of lime salt
● ½ tsp of black pepper
● ½ tsp of paprika

● 2 tbsp turmeric
● 4 tsp coriander
● 3 tsp of paprika
● 1 tsp cumin
● 1 tsp of chili powder
● 1 tsp ground mustard
● ½ tsp cardamom
● ½ tsp of cayenne pepper
● ¼ tsp ground cloves
● ¼ tsp nutmeg
● ¼ tsp of cinnamon

So, what are you waiting for? Start (literally) spicing-up your life with these DIY spice recipes.

Trapani Sea Salt

Trapani Sea Salt

Hand harvested from salt beds along the famous “Salt Road” in Sicily, Trapani Sea Salt is pure, clean sea salt from the rich waters of the Mediterranean. This artisanal salt offers the crunchy texture, small, irregular grain sizes and moderate moisture of hand-harvested sea salt—an ideal finishing salt. Trapani also has the mild flavor characteristics of Mediterranean Sea salts, making it exceptionally versatile but with a texture that makes it undeniably gourmet. Solar evaporated by the sun & wind, Trapani Sea Salt is an unrefined, additive-free, completely natural salt that is at home in authentic Italian food, but also adaptable enough to work in any cuisine. Perfect in baking, spice rubs, herb blends and pasta for a crowd, Trapani Sea Salt is good in a pinch, but even better by the handful.

Each spring, the salt pans are filled with seawater, which is left to evaporate in the heat of the Sicilian summer sun and strong African winds. As the water evaporates and the salt starts to crystallize, the fiore del sale are the young salt crystals that form on the top. The salt is completely unrefined and untreated, unlike industrial salt, which is harvested by machines that pollute the salt; it then must be washed and stripped of its natural minerals, which are re-added with chemicals.

Winter Cooking Spices

Winter Cooking Spices

The (undeniable) best time of the year has arrived – the holidays! It’s time for stomachs to be filled with warm, comforting food, with loved ones close by. Here’s a short and sweet list of winter cooking spices to incorporate into this years holiday favorites:

  • 1. Allspice

Try it in Thanksgiving specialties, like in cranberry sauce (to give it that extra ‘wow’ factor), or even in seasoning for various meats, such as lamb chops.

  • 2. Nutmeg

Experiment with nutmeg by grating some of it into your homemade Gingerbread loaf and topping the loaf off with a sweet and creamy orange glaze.

  • 3. Ginger

This is a unique spice which can truly be used all year round! In addition to a classic gingersnap cookie recipe, try incorporating ginger into a carrot soup to construct a new element.

  • 4. Cloves

Cloves are perfect additions in curries, soups and rice dishes, as well as in meat marinade. Try adding ground cloves to your coffee cake for a unique twist!

  • 5. Cardamom

Infusing warm milk with a dash of ground cardamom and a drizzle of honey on top makes the perfect drink for a cold, rainy winter night.
Take a look at the dishes you commonly prepare, and see where you can add a twist by including any of these seasonal spices!

 

The Meaning Behind “Worth Your Weight in Salt”

The Meaning Behind “Worth Your Weight in Salt”

There are plenty of sayings and idioms that have solidified their spot in our language, but people often find that the phrase “worth one’s salt” or “worth your weight in salt” has an elusive meaning.

This saying actually dates back to ancient times when many roads and trade routes were developed by a market known as the salt trade. The salt trade was just what it sounds, a period in time before salt deposits were found to be readily available around the world, so merchants would travel far and wide selling salt to villages.

However, this salt wasn’t being carried such long distances just for because it was a tasty addition to just about every dish. Back then, salt was mainly used as a means for preservation, and it actually represented great power and value.

 

Without salt, armies wouldn’t be able to carry their rations for such long distances and explorers wouldn’t have been able to sail to new lands.

Salt really enabled society to expand. And, during those times when extraction methods were particularly tricky, salt was considered even more valuable. So, to say that someone is “worth one’s salt,” it’s a statement that acknowledges that they are competent, deserving, and–to put it simply–worthwhile. If a boss were to say it to an employee, it would be meant as a compliment, confirming that the employee is a valuable part of the team and they deserve their salary.

In fact, the phrase itself is thought to be rooted in Ancient Rome where soldiers were sometimes paid with salt or given an allowance to purchase salt. Similarly, if a person uses the phrase “worth its weight in salt,” to describe an object, they are expressing that they think the item is worth the price they paid or that it otherwise holds immense value to them.

 

Spices 101: The Ultimate Guide to Salt

Spices 101: The Ultimate Guide to Salt

Our new Spices 101 series will dive into everything you’ve ever wanted to know about spices, herbs and spice blends — starting with salt. Do you have a spice you’d like to know more about? Let us know what you’d like to see featured next in the comments. 

Let’s talk about salt, baby.

the-spice-guy-cypress-salt

When it comes to properly seasoning your food, there’s no ingredient more important than salt.

“One of the biggest secrets to restaurant cooking is salt and butter,” our founder Zach added. “But never salted butter.”

Generally, salt falls into two major categories: rock and sea salt. In the kitchen, you’re typically reaching for sea salts, which include everything from kosher salt to fancier versions we’ll detail below.

Once we make it to the kitchen, salts get further divided, starting with ingredient salt (incorporated into the cooking process) and finishing salt (added at the end while plating a dish). Because they don’t need to dissolve fully, finishing salts are larger and sometimes come in interesting colors to add a dimension beyond flavor to a dish.

But, that’s only the beginning. From there, you can go down a deep rabbit hole of more than 50 types. Today, we’re going to hit the major players.

Major Players

the-spice-guy-red-salt

Table Salt

Hello, Morton’s iodized salt. This is your typical, from-the-grocery store NaCl. You’ll find this in most salt shakers, and it typically has lots of chemical additives to keep it from clumping. (something we always avoid.)

Kosher Salt

This coarser variety is used by more serious home and professional chefs, with a saltier flavor that lasts longer than others on the tongue. It also tops soft pretzels and your margarita glass.

Sea Salt

Sea salt comes from evaporated sea water instead of sedimentary deposits. Depending on the commercialized process, most sea salts contain more minerals and flavors than your typical table salt varieties. From there, sea salt can branch further down into even more types, depending on the sea from which it came — from Hawaiin to French.

Artisan Salts

Gaining popularity in recent years, artisan salts come from various processes — from Himalayan pink salt (a rock salt from Pakistan) to Fleur de sel (which comes from scraping grey salt pools).

The Spice Guy Favorites

sriracha-salt

Here are a few of our favorite salts that we sell to restaurants and online. All of our retail blends only contain Pacific Ocean sea salt from Washington. Zach’s rule is — “If my 7-year-old niece can’t pronounce it, we don’t include it in our blends.”

Rocky Mountain Red Salt 

We don’t like to pick favorites, but this is probably it. While many salts have anti-caking agents and sometimes even sugar added, this salt (often called “Redmond Real Salt”) is perfect for replacing your kosher or table varieties. This comes from the salt flats in Utah, and as it moves along the ground it picks up more than 60 minerals along the way. Not only does it look beautiful with a brick-speckled hue, it also has nutritious properties you can’t find in other salts. Add it to literally anything.

Sriracha Salt 

To add a spicy zing to your everyday salt, try our Sriracha Salt. We turn Sriracha into a paste and mix it into the salt for a rich, spicy flavor. It’s great for adding spice in extra dishes, marinades or even over popcorn. Some restaurants in Denver (like Lola and Work & Class) use it to rim their margarita glasses.

Smoke Salt

This Alderwood smoked salt adds a deep, dark flavor to anything it meets. Great for apartment dwellers, smoke salt allows you to gain that natural smoke taste without the hassle of a smoker. This would also kill it on a margarita glass. Coming online soon!

Cypress Sea Salt

Our favorite finishing salt, Cypress salt is known for its pyramid shape. It comes from the Mediterranean Sea. Top your steak or fish fillets with a few flakes of this magical mineral. Coming online soon!

… and that’s just the beginning! Taste the difference in our salts found in our other blends like seasoning salt and French fry seasoning.