What do beer and bourbon have in common? Well, quite a bit, but turkey is not the first thing that comes to mind. I have done this recipe twice and am pleased with the results, so I decided to share it there.

This blog has been focusing on technology, with a few exceptions. This post is one of those exceptions. Of course, I never wrote a recipe, but isn’t a recipe like a process? I did write quite a few in my career, so let’s take a stab at the exercise.

I will first describe the brine’s making and then prepare and cook the turkey. The entire process takes about 40 hours. But there are many “being patient” parts; plan accordingly.

Brine recipe


  • 1 cup of Bourbon
  • 4 Yuengling Black & Tan (12 oz bottle)
  • 2 Guinness (16 oz cans)
  • 1 cup fine sea salt
  • 0.5 (½) cup of sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 sliced orange
  • 10 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 brining bag
  • About a gallon of water
It’s ok if your bag is higher than your pot, you just want to make sure that the brining bag is stable and, just in case, make sure that some of the liquid stays in the pot if it leaks a bit.
It does look a little gross, I admit it…


  1. Wash the oranges.
  2. Slice the orange.
  3. Use a pot where you can put the turkey in, it does not have to close.
  4. Line the pot with the brining bag.
  5. Put the beer and bourbon in the bag.
  6. Put the ingredients (except the water) in the bag. Keep half of the orange slices and half of the parsley.
  7. Stir well, make sure you don’t break the bag.
  8. Add some of the water to fill the pot about halfway.
  9. Rinse your turkey.
  10. Dry the turkey with a paper towel.
  11. Put the turkey in the brine.
  12. Add water until you barely cover the turkey.
  13. Add the rest of the orange slices and parsley.
  14. Close the bag.
  15. Massage the bag to make sure that the liquid is well uniform.
  16. Leave in the fridge for 36 hours.

Preparing & cooking the turkey


  • 0.25 (¼) stick of better.
  • 2 oranges.
  • 1 onion.
  • 2 Tbs of salt.
  • 1 cup of bourbon.
  • 2 Guinness (16 oz cans).


  1. Preheat the grill. The goal is to reach 400ºF / 200ºC.
  2. Get the turkey out of the brine. Make sure all the liquid stays in the brine bag.
  3. Get rid of the brine liquid. It should smell pretty good, and you think you could reuse it. Forget this idea. This is toxic. The whole thing is.
  4. Massage the turkey with the butter. Some people put butter between the skin and the meat. I don’t. Just massage. It’s a bit disgusting,
  5. I suggest washing your hand thoroughly here (at least once more, hoping you did before). Wash the oranges.
  6. Peel the onion.
  7. Cut the oranges in two and the onion in two.
  8. Put the onion and oranges in the turkey.
  9. Put the turkey on the grill.
You can sparkle a little paprika on top as you put it on your grill.

Cooking directions

  1. Mix the beer, the bourbon, and the salt.
  2. Pour a quarter of the mixture every 20 to 25 minutes starting now.
  3. Obviously, you’ll run out before the turkey is fully cooked, so reuse the juice in the pan.
  4. Check the meat temperature regularly. I won’t advise you on the temperature, but the consensus seems to be around 160ºF / 70ºC.
You should get nice brown skin pretty quickly.


Cover the turkey for 10 to 15 minutes with foil. It’s enough time to get everybody together. I suggested carving the beast with an electric knife and cutting only what you need now.

Enjoy! Tell me in the comments if you tried it and how it turned out.

After dinner or the day after, carve the rest of the turkey.

Photo courtesy of my dad.