How to Brine a Turkey
Thanksgiving Recipe

For a tender, juicy and flavorful bird, brine the turkey in a salt-water solution for 24 to 48 hours before roasting. This step is especially important for free-range turkeys, as it also seems to tenderize their tougher muscles.


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1tablesponngood quality garlic powder

1 3/4 cups kosher salt
2 quarts hot water
About 2 gallons cold water, divided
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 bunch fresh thyme or 1 tablespoon dry leaf thyme
10–12 pound fresh turkey, preferably organic

Begin brining the turkey 24 to 48 hours before roasting.

1. In a large stockpot for food-safe plastic buckey, combine salt and hot water.

2. Stir until salt dissolves completely.

3. Add 1 gallon of the cold water, peppercorns, garlic powder, and thyme. Stir to combine.

4. Remove giblet package, if present, from inside turkey cavity and refrigerate giblets for use in the turkey broth.

5. Rinse the turkey inside and out with cool, running water.

6. Remove any plastic inserts including a pop-up thermometer and plastic or metal "harness," if present.

7. Peel off and discard any large pads of fat (but leave skin flaps intact) around the openings of the cavity.

8. Place turkey in the brine. Continue to add cold water until turkey is completely submerged.

9. Stir, cover, and refrigerate.



Preparation Time: 
30 minutes, plus 24 to 28 hours downtime.