Thanksgiving 101: How to Brine

Did you know that there are two ways for you to brine a turkey? The most common and familiar is a wet brining method involving submerging your turkey into a salt-water solution for at least 12 hours. Of course, this requires that you have enough space in your fridge for your turkey AND the big pot of water..  The other method, a dry brine, is a bit easier on the space, but takes at least 3 days depending on the size of your turkey. Choose the method that best fits your kitchen space and cooking timeline!


Wet Brine Instructions:

Use a ratio of ½ cup of kosher salt to ¼ cup of sugar to 2 quarts of cold water. You'll need enough liquid to fully submerge your turkey so plan accordingly.

  1. Prepare the Brine Solution:

    • In a large pot, combine water, kosher salt, brown sugar and any optional herbs or aromatics.
    • Stir the mixture over medium heat until the salt and sugar dissolve completely.
    • Remove the pot from heat and let the brine cool to room temperature.
  2. Clean and Submerge the Turkey:

    • Remove the giblets and neck from the turkey cavity.
    • Place the turkey in a large brining bag or a non-reactive container.
    • Pour the cooled brine solution over the turkey, making sure it's completely submerged.
  3. Refrigerate:

    • Seal the bag or cover the container, ensuring the turkey is fully immersed in the brine.
    • Place the turkey in the refrigerator and let it brine for at least 12-24 hours. A good rule of thumb is about 1 hour per pound.
  4. Rinse and Pat Dry:

    • Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it thoroughly under cold water to remove excess salt.
    • Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.


Dry Brine Instructions: 

For a 12 pound bird, we recommend at least 2 tbsp of Kosher Salt in combination with any seasonings for a dry brine.

  1. Prepare the Dry Brine Mixture:

    • In a bowl, combine kosher salt with any optional herbs or spices.
  2. Prep the Turkey:

    • Pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
    • Sprinkle the dry brine mixture evenly over the entire surface of the turkey, including the cavity.
  3. Massage and Refrigerate:

    • Gently massage the salt mixture into the turkey, ensuring it adheres to the skin.
    • Place the turkey in a roasting pan or on a tray, and then cover it loosely with plastic wrap.
    • Refrigerate the turkey and let it dry brine for at least 24-48 hours. This allows the salt to penetrate the meat and enhance flavor.

Remember to adjust the quantities of salt and sugar based on the size of your turkey, and feel free to customize the brine with your favorite herbs and spices.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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