Soaking a turkey overnight in a solution of salt and water ensures moist results. When you add aromatics to the brine, the resulting roast is also infused with a subtle character all its own. Follow our instructions to prepare a perfect brined turkey for your next feast.
Makes enough brine for one 18- to 20-pound turkey.
- 7 Litres cold water
- 1 1/2 cups coarse salt
- 6 bay leaves
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
- 1 fresh whole turkey (18 to 20 pounds), patted dry
- 1 bottle dry Riesling
- 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
- 6 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
Tools and Materials
- 5-gallon brining container (stockpot, or food-safe bucket)
- Refrigerator (or a cooler with ice)
- One day before roasting turkey, bring 1 Litre water, the salt sugar, spices, herbs wine, onions and garlic to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes, then pour into bucket or stock pot.
- Add remaining 6 Litres water and add turkey. If turkey is not submerged, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once.
- Remove turkey from brine one hour before you’re ready to roast it, and pat it dry inside and out with paper towel. Let stand for up to 1 hour before roasting it to your preferred recipe’s specifications.