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Brined Thanksgiving Turkey


Add more flavor and moisture to your turkey this Thanksgiving by brining before baking.

What You Need

  • 1 turkey
  • 4 quarts water
  • 1 cup coarse kosher salt
  • Aromatics of choice: bay leaves, peppercorn, clove, lemon peel, etc.


  1. Unwrap your turkey and remove the giblets, then transfer it to your pot. Add any aromatics you'd like to use.
  2. To create the brine solution, heat 1 quart of water until warm enough to dissolve the salt. Add in the salt and stir until the salt has dissolved. Let the liquid cool slightly.
  3. Pour the brine solution over the turkey and then add the remaining 3 quarts of water. Make sure the turkey is completely submerged. If necessary, prepare additional brine solution at a ratio of 1/4 cup salt per quart of water, until the turkey is completely submerged. If the turkey floats, weigh it down with a dinner plate.
  4. Cover and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
  5. Rinse the turkey in cool water and pat dry with paper towels.
  6. For crispier skin, allow the turkey to dry for 24 hours in the fridge prior to cooking. Place it on a roasting rack set inside a roasting pan and cover loosely with plastic bags to avoid cross-contamination.
  7. You can roast the turkey as usual either immediately after brining or after air-drying. Brined turkeys may cook faster, so be sure to check the turkey about an hour before its cook time is scheduled to end.



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You will need a pot or food-safe bucket large enough to entirely submerge your turkey. You will also need room to store this pot or bucket in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

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