Brining Turkey (Why the Heck Am I Considering This Again?)

Kim Conte

holiday entertaining guide

thanksgiving turkeyDo you remember last Thanksgiving when I wrote about brining my roast turkey? It was one of those experiences that seems like a good idea at the time, but turns out to be a total complete and total disaster...

Brining is a process by which you submerge a turkey (or other poultry product) in a sugar-salt-water bath for up to 24 hours. People say that brining a turkey produces the tenderest, most flavorful, most juicy turkey they've ever had.

But it's a messy, time-consuming process. And at the end of the day, I had gallons of water on the floor and a bunch of guests who couldn't tell the different between the brined turkey and a regular one.

So why am I thinking about doing it again this year? Because brining gives the turkey that something extra. You know how we always remember the good things about the past and tend to forget the bad and the watery? I think that's happening this year with the Thanksgiving bird.

But I'm going to learn from my mistakes and try a dry brine (instead of a water bath). The New York Times has an easy recipe for Dry-Brined Turkey: You simply rub the bird all over with 1/2 cup of salt two days before serving, wrap the turkey in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator.

No water, no baths, no swear words are involved.

Do you brine your turkey?


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