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how to brine a turkey

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(11)

www.thekitchn.com
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Servings: 1

Ingredients

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Instructions

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Step 1

Find a pot and make fridge space. Find a pot or food-safe bucket large enough that you will be able to entirely submerge the turkey. Next, clear some refrigerator space and make sure your pot will fit.

Step 2

Place the turkey in the pot. Unwrap your turkey and remove the giblets, then transfer it to the pot. Add any aromatics you'd like to use.

Step 3

Mix the brine solution. Heat 1 quart of water in the microwave until warmed — it doesn't need to come to a boil, just be warm enough to dissolve the salt. Add the salt and stir until the salt is dissolved. Let the liquid cool slightly; it's fine if it's still a touch warm.

Step 4

Pour the brine solution over the turkey. Pour the salt water over the turkey.

Step 5

Pour the remaining 3 quarts of water over the turkey. Add the remaining 3 quarts cold water. This dilutes the salt solution to the best ratio for brining and also helps further cool the solution.

Step 6

Make sure the turkey is completely submerged. If needed, prepare more brine solution at a ratio of 1/4 cup salt per quart of water to completely submerge the turkey.

Step 7

Cover and refrigerate. If the turkey floats, weigh it down with a dinner plate. Cover and place it in the refrigerator.

Step 8

Brine for 12 to 24 hours. Brine the turkey in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

Step 9

Rinse the turkey in cool water and pat dry. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Clean your sink thoroughly after doing this step to avoid cross-contamination.

Step 10

Dry for another 24 hours for crispier skin (optional). If you have time, let the turkey air-dry overnight in the refrigerator. Place the turkey on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan and cover loosely with plastic wrap to prevent cross contamination. This drying step will give your turkey crispier skin.

Step 11

Roast as usual, but check your turkey early. You can roast the turkey either immediately after brining or after air-drying. I've found that brined turkeys tend to cook a bit more quickly, so roast as usual, but start checking the turkey's temperature an hour before the end of your estimated cooking time.

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