Make your turkey turn out moist and delicious by seasoning the entire turkey, not just the skin, with a process called brining. When brining, a raw turkey is soaked in salted water for a number of hours while refrigerated to help it retain moisture during the cooking process. Some brines can also add flavor to the turkey. Check out our recipe below!
Guidelines to Get You Started:
- Use a fresh turkey to eliminate the need for thawing. Brining is ineffective on a frozen turkey.
- Use 1 cup kosher salt per gallon (4 quarts) of water. If you must substitute table salt, use 1/2 to 3/4 cup per gallon of water.
- Add herbs if desired. You could add a combination of 6 to 8 bay leaves, 1/2 cup dried rosemary, 3 cloves peeled garlic, 2 teaspoons peppercorns, and 1/2 cup dried thyme leaves. Try adding some brown sugar or 1 cup small dried red chili peppers if you want to add some heat.
- Length of brine time depends on the size of the turkey. As turkey gets larger, increase brine time rather than salt concentration.
- Place turkey, breast down, in a large container made of food-grade plastic, stainless steel, or glass that will fit in the refrigerator. Add brine to cover. Keep cold in refrigerator while brining.
- Remove turkey from brine after recommended time and pat dry with paper towels. Not necessary to rinse. Cook turkey as desired.
NOTE: The turkey may look bluish-white before cooking and may not brown as well as non-brined turkeys.
|Turkey (lb.)||Brine Time (hrs.)|
|Less than 12||6 to 8|
|12 to 14||12|
|20 and over||12 to 24|
Savory Turkey Brine
Add that special touch to your turkey – flavor your brine with Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce and their Savory Turkey Brine. Brining naturally adds flavor and moisture to your turkey.
- 2 gallons cold water
- 10 ounces Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons dried sage
- 2 tablespoons dried celery seed
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 16 – 24 pound Butterball® Whole Turkey, thawed
- The night before roasting, remove giblets and turkey neck; rinse turkey inside and out.
- Mix all ingredients until all of the salt is dissolved.
- Place turkey in brining bag or other prepared container and add brining recipe.
- Cover or seal bag and refrigerate overnight, or at least 8 hours.
- Remove turkey from the brine; pat dry and roast according to Butterball roasting instructions.