How to Brine a Turkey

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Do you know how to brine a turkey? Well, if you’re like me and you’re in charge of making the holiday turkey this year, then you want to make sure that bird is as tender and juicy as possible.  After all, turkeys aren’t cheap and if you are going to go to the trouble of cooking one then you don’t want to serve a dried out turkey.

Brining to the rescue.  Brining is a salt marinade which causes the meat tissues to absorb water and flavorings by breaking down the proteins. This is why brining is a popular method of preparing a turkey because any moisture loss while cooking still produces a juicy and flavorful turkey.  You can brine your turkey even if you are grilling or frying it.

There’s a lot of great brining recipes you can use.  I add all the seasonings to my turkey while I’m cooking it.

To brine your turkey you’ll need:

  • Kosher salt
  • large poultry roasting bag
  • sugar
  • ice
  • water

Make sure your turkey is thawed (having thawed in the refrigerator) and remove the giblets and neck from the inside.  Wash both the inside and outside of the turkey and pat dry.  The next step is easier with two people.  Have one person hold the poultry bag over the kitchen sink while the other gently puts the turkey in the bag. Pour the brine into the bag with some ice cubes and tie a lose knot at the top.

Now, the next trick is where to store your turkey while it’s brining.  You could put it in an ice chest to keep it cold.  You can also empty out your bottom refrigerator drawer (if it’s large enough) and keep it in there.

Marinate the turkey for one day and then on day 2 carefully turn the turkey over and marinate the other side that wasn’t submerged in the brine.  When you’re ready to cook your turkey, take it out of the bag and rinse both the inside and outside.

That’s it.  You’ll now have a wonderful juicy holiday turkey!

Turkey Brine
  • large poultry roasting bag
  • 12 cups of water (approximate)
  • 1 cup Kosher salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 cups of ice
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a simmering boil
  2. Add salt and sugar
  3. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved
  4. Turn off the heat
  5. Stir in 8 cups cold water and ice


Happy Cooking!

Lisa & The Build A Menu Team

Trim Healthy Mama Friendly Meal Plans!
Holiday Gift Guide Time!

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