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How to Brine a Turkey

Learn How to Brine a Turkey in 4 easy steps! Plus, pro tips for roasting without overcooking. Makes the most tender, moist, and flavorful turkey!

Learn How to Brine a Turkey in 4 easy steps! Plus, pro tips for roasting without overcooking. Makes the most tender, moist, and flavorful turkey! Have fun planning your Thanksgiving Dinner with this holiday menu plan!

Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 turkey (I usually use a 14 pound turkey)
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 34 cups kitchen scraps (carrot peels, apple peels, celery ends and leaves, onion paper, garlic papers, etc.)
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns (or black pepper)
  • 1 ½ tsp ground clove
  • 1 ½ tsp ground ginger (or fresh ginger)
  • 1/22 gallons water

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, place the salt, kitchen scraps (or vegetable stock), peppercorns, clove, and ginger. Add 4 cups of water if you’re not using stock.
  2. Cook the brine over medium heat, just long enough to dissolve the salt and spices. (The black peppercorns will not dissolve – that’s okay).
  3. Remove the brine from the heat and let it cool to room temperature.
  4. Do not discard the solids from the brine! This is flavor and you’ll need it for the turkey.

    How to Brine Turkey

  5. On the morning of the day before you plan to roast the turkey, place your thawed turkey inside a large Ziploc bag or stock pot or cooler.
  6. Pour the cooled brining liquid over the turkey.
  7. Add additional water in order to fully submerge the turkey.
  8. Seal the bag and refrigerate until the next day. (Or cover the turkey and place it in a cold location, like the garage or even outside.)
  9. Before roasting the turkey, remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Rinse the turkey with cold water and place it on a large roasting pan.

    Roast Turkey

  10. Preheat the oven to 500F.
  11. Place the oven rack on the lowest setting and roast the turkey at 500F for 30 minutes.
  12. Reduce the oven temperature to 350F until the temperature reads 161 degrees in the thickest part of the breast. (A 14-16 pound bird requires around 2-2 ½ hours).
  13. Once done, let the turkey rest, covered loosely with foil, until ready to carve.
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