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How to Brine a Turkey

Add incredible flavor and moisture to your turkey recipe by brining it before roasting. The process of brining a turkey is easier than you think -- we've even got a secret that frees up room in your refrigerator.

Tue, 7 Aug 2012|

-I'm Lauren from the Bette Homes and Gardens Test Kitchen. To max out the flavor of your next holiday turkey, consider the secret to success brining. At its simplest brining is a technique where meat or poultry is soaked in a salt solution for several hours before cooking that's add incredible flavor and moisture to the meet. Just make sure that your turkey hasn't been enhanced by salts already and isn't self-pasting. This will make the meat way too salty. First, dissolve half cup kosher salt and 1 quart of hot water. In the test kitchen, we always make our brine with kosher salt. It dissolves easily and doesn't have the harsh taste of table salt. At this point you can also add flavorings like maple syrup, brown sugar, fresh herbs or whole spices. You can even use a can or two of cola. Once the salt and any sugar have dissolved, add 3 more quart of ice water to cool down the temperature of the brine then pour the brine over your thud turkey in a large resealable plastic container or largest bowl or brining bag. Now, store the turkey in the refrigerator. And here's an insider test kitchen secret. One of our favorite tips is to use a small, clean cooler with a little extra ice in the brine to keep the mixture cold. No refrigeration necessary which is a good think at Thanksgiving. After all, who has enough room in the fridge whatever container you use, brine the turkey overnight for 8 to 12 hours. When ready to roast, remove the turkey from the brine and pat it dry with paper towels. If it's nice and dry before roasting, you'll end up with a browner, crispier skin. Trust me, you'll be amazed at how much flavor this Better Homes and Gardens Brining secret can bring to your holiday turkey.