master recipe:

  • 1/3 cup kosher salt
  • 1 gallon water

I start with 1 quart hot water to dissolve salt (and sugar if used), then add 3 quarts cold water and ice to cool the mixture.

 optional ingredients:
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (or less) per 1-cup of water
  • minced garlic
  • bay leaf
  • pepper
  • hot peppers or hot pepper sauce

Brine 1 hour per pound. Be sure to refrigerate during allotted time. A great way to accomplish this is to brine your turkey in a picnic cooler. Place the turkey in the cooler, add brine to cover it, then place a large zip-top back of ice on top to weight the turkey down. Check every few hours to be sure ice is still frozen, and replace ice if necessary.

After removing from brine, pat the turkey dry. Brining may be accomplished early, meat removed from brine, dried and returned to refrigerator until 20-30 minutes prior to cooking time. Be sure to dry your turkey before putting it into the oven to ensure browning. 

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