A little late for this, you should have begun already. Or, you can trot it out come Christmas.
For the uninitiated, brining a turkey ensures a moist delicious bird even if your oven is unforgiving or your smoker tends to dry the turkey.
You'll need a big pot or other container. It has to be non-reactive, meaning plastic, glass, or stainless. Don't use cast iron or aluminum.
- Bring l.5 gallons of water to a gentle boil
- Add 1.5 cups of kosher salt
- Add 1.5 cups brown sugar
- Add 1/8 to 1/4 cup thyme leaves (fresh is best)
- Boil long enough to dissolve salt and sugar
- Stir occasionally
Allow the mixture to cool to room temp (you don't want to prematurely cook the turkey). Once cooled, put the turkey in the pot and fill the pot with the cooled brine mixture. Cover the turkey completely, cover the pot with foil or a lid, stick it in the fridge until Thanksgiving. 24 hours of brining is sufficient.
When you're ready to cook, rinse the turkey, discard the brine, and you are on your way to a succulent main dish.
- The turkey does not taste sweet or salty
- Season as you would normally
- Cook normally
- The turkey will not be watery
- This brine does not impart much flavor to the turkey
- If the brine doesn't completely cover the turkey add more water
Done correctly, your turkey should look like this: