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Brined Turkey with Kosher Salt

No recipe image available.Whether you fry, roast, grill or smoke a turkey, the process of brining makes the meat more tender, moist and flavorful.

Recipe Ingredients:

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

Cooking Directions:

  1. Remove neck and giblets from cavity of turkey, but leave “leg locks” on.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. Pat skin and both interior cavities dry with clean paper towels.
  6. Place turkey on a rack, breast side up, in a shallow roasting pan. Brush turkey with melted butter.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.