I didn’t brine the last turkey I made, and because I cooked it in a roaster, it still came out moist. But, since I’m making a turkey on Saturday, I thought I would try brining it first to see if there’s any difference.
1 cup of coarse kosher salt
Water – enough to fully cover the bird
Aromatics (things that are smelly) I am using an orange peel, some cloves, some bay leaf, and some pepper corns.
Start by making room in your refrigerator. I am using my roaster pan because it’s the only thing I have that’s big enough to sink the bird in. If you have a large stock pot that would probably work better. The roasting pan with all the water in it is super heavy. Rinse the turkey and remove the giblets. Place it in your pot and throw in your aromatics. Heat up a quart of water and dissolve your salt in it. Let it cool. Pour the salt mix in with the bird, then fill the rest of the pot with water. Make sure the turkey is fully covered by the water. If you use more than 4 quarts of water (like I had too) mix more salt solution (about ½ cup of salt for each quart of water). Cover and put in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours.
When you’re ready to start roasting, rinse the turkey off in cool water, then pat it dry with paper towels. I’ve heard that brined turkeys may cook faster, we’ll find out tomorrow.
Note: Only brine a turkey that has not been prepped or pre-treated in some way. Read the turkey label, if it says enhanced or self-basting, it already has salt added so don’t brine it.