Brining is similar to marinating, but is primarily focused on moistening the meat as opposed to adding flavor. Brining your turkey prior to cooking will help ensure you end up with a deliciously moist and flavor-packed turkey for your next gathering.
The first step in the process is selecting a brine recipe that works for any occasion. Once you’ve selected your brine you’ll need to:
Purchase a fresh turkey to eliminate the need to thaw, or completely thaw a frozen turkey.
The night before roasting, remove the giblets and turkey neck. Rinse the turkey inside and out.
Prepare your brine. Be sure to mix ingredients until all of the salt is dissolved. If your brine is heated, be sure to cool it to room temperature before brining.
Place your turkey, breast down, in a large container made of food-grade plastic, stainless steel, glass, or a brining bag. Be sure the container will fit in your fridge.
Add brine, covering the entire turkey.
Place in the refrigerator for the specified period of time.
Remove turkey from brine after recommended time. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels. Cook turkey as desired.
Brining Rule of Thumb
How long should you brine your turkey? As a rule of thumb, you should brine your turkey 45 to 60 minutes per pound.
Brining isn’t the only way to add flavor to your turkey. A dry rub is another great option! Check out this recipe for a Spicy Dry Rub turkey.