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BF 101: How to Brine a Turkey

cooked turkey served on platter with sides

From cleaning to stuffing, there are several key steps to getting your turkey Thanksgiving-ready. However, a dry turkey can throw off your celebration. Brining helps your bird to absorb extra moisture, making it extra juicy and flavorful. Our Bristol Farms Turkey Brine and Spiceology Turkey Rub are a dynamic duo that will result in the tastiest and most tender turkey. Get ready for T-Day with our best brining tips and tricks!

Benefits of Brining

In addition to maintaining moisture, brining naturally seasons your bird thanks to the absorption of salt. You’ll also find that the salty brine breaks down key proteins in the turkey, tenderizing the meat beautifully. Finally, if you fear overcooking your turkey, brining provides an extra layer of protection. A wet brine ensures that even if you overshoot your cooking time, there is a bit of leeway.

How to Brine a Turkey

Use a large pot so that your turkey can be fully submerged. Once your turkey is cleaned and thawed, place it in the clean pot. Pour our brine solution over the turkey before adding between 10 to 12 cups of cold water to the mix. The water will help to dilute the brine, ensuring your turkey does not become too salty. Cover and refrigerate the turkey for 12 to 24 hours. The longer your brine, the juicer it will be. Once it is done, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it under cold water. If you plan to follow with a dry rub, it is important to thoroughly rinse your bird so as to remove any excess salt. Finally, pat your turkey dry with paper towels before placing it in your oven-safe dish or rack for cooking. 

Side note: If you don’t plan on using a dry rub, you can also add things like citrus, peppercorns, and other herbs to your brine for more flavor and seasoning.

How to Dry Rub a Turkey

Though a simple brine will provide saltiness and a tender texture, more complex flavors can be added through a dry rub. Spiceology’s Turkey Rub is made with a savory blend of herbs, salt, garlic, onion, sunflower oil, and a hint of brown sugar. Simply sprinkle this seasoning over your dried turkey or add it to your stuffing.

Feeling inspired? Tag us @bristolfarms – we can’t wait to see your creations.

BF 101 In the Kitchen Thanksgiving 101