When brining a turkey, whether you choose the wet method or dry method, you ultimately want the two important things: a juicy bird that is loaded with flavor. With both techniques, the absorbed salt leaves the meat more tender, juicy, and seasoned throughout the whole bird, rather than just on the surface. In the brining process, the structure of the proteins are loosened so herbs and spices can be absorbed to add extra flavor and also enhance the turkey’s natural flavors.
Benefits of Brining
The key to wet brining is submerging the turkey in the brine solution. The turkey will absorb some of the liquid and actually weigh more once it is taken out of the brine. This moisture will help keep the turkey juicy and flavorful. Besides providing a flavorful texture to turkeys on the heavier side, wet brining allows you to prep the bird a few days in advance, taking away one less stressful item to check off your list on Thanksgiving Day.
How to Brine Your Turkey with Turkey Perfect (using liquid brine)
In a large stock pot set over medium-high heat, dissolve brine mix, sugar and 4 quarts of water. Do not boil; set aside to cool.
Place turkey (neck and giblets removed), breast side down, in brining bag (included in our Turkey Perfect Brine Kit). Set bag inside an ice filled cooler or a large roasting pan (if you want to brine in your refrigerator).
Pour remaining 3 quarts of water, prepared brine, vinegar, and ice into bag and seal, making sure to press out any excess air.
Brine in refrigerator or ice filled cooler for 1 hour per pound of turkey. DO NOT OVER BRINE!
Remove turkey from brine, pat dry, and store in refrigerator (uncovered) until ready to cook. Your turkey can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before cooking. We recommend this step for two reasons. First, brining ahead of time is one less thing to do the day before Thanksgiving. Two, letting the bird to sit (uncovered) in your fridge for at least 8 hours will allow the skin to dry out and when cooked, it will become perfectly brown and crisp. If you have time, allow your chilled turkey to sit at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.
Fun Facts to help you prepare the perfect bird...
For extra crispy, golden skin brine a day or two in advance. Remove turkey from brine, pat dry, and store in the refrigerator for 1-2 days to allow the skin to dry. Brush with melted butter or oil and roast, smoke, grill, or fry to your liking.
Brining Turkey Breasts:
If you are brining one turkey breast or a very small turkey, you can use half the brine mix, sugar, water, and ice and save the other half for Christmas! When you are brining two turkey breasts, do not add their weights together. If one breast is 5 pounds and one is 7 then brine both breasts for a total of 5-6 hours.