Brined Turkey with Kosher Salt
Whether you fry, roast, grill or smoke a turkey, the process of brining makes the meat more tender, moist and flavorful.
1 (15-pound) whole turkey (not pre-basted or kosher), fresh
2 cups** Diamond Crystal kosher salt
2 gallons** cold water
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- Remove neck and giblets from cavity of turkey, but leave “leg locks” on.
- In a very large, clean container (non-corrosive pan or stockpot such as stainless steel, glass or a food-grade plastic container) mix kosher salt and water together with a long-handled spoon until salt dissolves.
- Totally submerge turkey in solution and store, covered, in refrigerator overnight or for a maximum of 8 to 10 hours. Since brining does not preserve meat, the turkey must be kept below 40°F (5°C) throughout the entire brining process. Ice packs may also be used to keep the turkey at a safe temperature of below 40°F (5°C).
- Remove turkey from brine. Discard brine. Thoroughly rinse the interior and exterior of the turkey by placing it on a wire rack and setting both rack and turkey in a clean, empty sink. Use cool water from the spray hose and rub gently to release the salt from the turkey.
- Pat skin and both interior cavities dry with clean paper towels.
- Place turkey on a rack, breast side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Brush turkey with melted butter.
- Roast turkey, in a preheated 325°F (160°C) oven, for about 4 hours. During this time, baste with melted butter. Roast until internal temperature reaches 170°F (80°C) in the breast and 180°F (85°C) in the thigh.
- Remove turkey from the oven and allow to stand for 20 minutes before carving.
Makes 22 servings.
Note: A brined turkey cooks slightly faster than an unbrined turkey, so check the internal temperature frequently after roasting 3 1/2 hours.
**The ratio of water to salt is appropriate for a 15-pound turkey. If a larger or smaller turkey is brined, please calculate accordingly.
Recipe provided courtesy of Cargill Salt and the National Turkey Federation.