Turkey Brine

The turkey needs to soak for about 24 hours, so plan accordingly. Soaking the turkey overnight in a solution of salt and water ensures moist results. When you add aromatics to the brine, the resulting roast is also infused with a subtle character all its own. Lining the brining container, whether tub, stock-pot, or bucket, can minimize cleanup, but finding a place for the turkey can require some creative refrigerator rearranging. If there simply isn't room, place the bagged bird in a cooler, and surround it with ice, replenishing as necessary to keep it at 40 degrees. Yield Makes enough brine for one 18- to 20-pound turkey
Turkey Brine
Turkey Brine

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Ingredients

  • 7

    quarts (28 cups) water

  • 1 1/2

    cups coarse salt

  • 6

    bay leaves

  • 2

    tablespoons whole coriander seeds

  • 1

    tablespoon dried juniper berries

  • 2

    tablespoons whole black peppercorns

  • 1

    tablespoon fennel seeds

  • 1

    teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds

  • 1

    fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), patted dry, neck and giblets reserved for stock, liver reserved for stuffing

  • 1

    bottle dry Riesling

  • 2

    medium onions, thinly sliced

  • 6

    garlic cloves, crushed

  • 1

    bunch fresh thyme

Directions

1.) Bring 1 quart water, the salt, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes. 2.) Line a 5-gallon container with a large brining or oven-roasting bag. Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts (24 cups) water, and the other ingredients. Tie bag; if turkey is not submerged, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once.

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