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How To Brine A Turkey Overnight

It’s a key step to ensure the meat retains moisture while it cooks, so you don’t end up with dry turkey on the big day.

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There are a lot of ways to prepare turkey, but when it comes to brining the bird, there are just two options: wet brines and dry brines. If choosing to brine, we prefer the wet method as it’s easier to fit into the hectic holiday weekend. (Dry brining requires coating the exterior of your bird with salt and herbs, then refrigerating from 24 hours to 2 days.) Plus, it’s so easy to do! Everything you need to know comes down to a few simple steps and ingredients.

A Deceptively Easy Thanksgiving Feast In Under 4 Hours — Plus, 5 More Menus
A Deceptively Easy Thanksgiving Feast In Under 4 Hours — Plus, 5 More Menus

Keys to success:

1. Keep it cold: Keep your turkey in the fridge while it brines. It’s the best way to be certain the raw turkey temperature stays within a safe range (4 degrees and below).
2. Maintain salt-to-water ratio: The larger the turkey, the more salted water you’ll need to keep it completely submerged during the brining process. The salt-to-water ratio is roughly 1 1/4 cups kosher salt to 4 litres of water.

You’ll need:
Large pot or container, with lid
Water
Brining bag
Kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar
Herbs and spices, such as rosemary, bay leaves, garlic, and whole peppercorns

Instructions:

1. Bring 2 cups water, salt and sugar to a boil.
2. Add bay leaves, peppercorn and garlic. Let cool.
3. Place rosemary sprigs in resealable bag and tap with a rolling pin to release oils.
4. Place turkey inside bag. Cover with cooled brine mixture and enough cold water to cover.
5. Seal bag and refrigerate overnight.
6. Rinse turkey well with cold water, patting dry inside and out.
7. Place on roasting rack and refrigerate 1 hour to dry.

Kitchen note: Be sure to sanitize sink and work surface well to avoid cross-contamination.