In my previous post, Holiday Turkey Brine, I provided a recipe for a turkey brine mixture that can also be turned into a gift. Today I am sharing the process I use for brining the turkey.

Instructions For Brining a Turkey (up to 20 pounds):

  1. Start with a fresh turkey – one that has not been previously frozen. Or minimally, find one that has not been injected with a sodium solution. If your turkey has already been infused with sodium or is kosher (see caption below) make sure it is gluten free and reduce the total brining time.

    Fresh Kosher Turkey from Trader Joe's - The koshering process consists of soaking the poultry in unsalted water for half an hour and then "packing" it in salt for about an hour, so it has been partially brined.

  2. Remove the wrapping, take out the bags of giblets/neck from inside and rinse the turkey.
  3. Place the bird inside one turkey brining bag or two turkey-sized oven bags or a heavy duty zip-top bag. (NOTE: Bags made specifically for brining turkeys are tougher but they are also more expensive.  As an alternative I double-bagged a turkey-sized oven bag and placed it in a roasting pan to ensure against leaks.)
  4. Add turkey brine dry mixture and fresh ingredients (garlic, orange peel, fresh rosemary, orange juice and honey) to a stock pot with one gallon of water and bring to a boil (stirring occasionally).
  5. Remove the pot from the heat. (The aroma will be intoxicating!)
  6. Add one gallon of cold water to the pot and allow to cool completely.
  7. Pour the brine mixture over the turkey inside the bag(s).
  8. Seal up the bag tightly and place in the refrigerator for 12-24 hours. (Some people recommend one hour per pound)
  9. Ideally you will flip the turkey part of the way through the process to ensure even treatment.

In my next post I will show how I roasted the brined turkey.

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