How Do You Brine Poultry?


Quick Answer

There are two ways to brine poultry, dry or water based, explains SeriousEats.com. The water-based brine tends to add moisture to the bird, but it also leaves the bird contain excess liquid, according to this site. A dry brine helps the bird retain its natural moisture, particularly if your brine includes baking powder.

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Full Answer

To dry brine, mix 6 tablespoons of kosher salt and 2 tablespoons of baking powder in a bowl. After you have washed and dried your bird, sprinkle this mixture all over the outside of your turkey. Be sure to coat thoroughly without encrusting your bird. You may find that not of all your mixture is needed, depending on the size of your bird.

Place the poultry, uncovered, in refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours. Do not add anymore salt to the bird. Cook your bird at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per pound or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

To brine poultry using the water method, you need to make sure you have a large enough container to fit the entire bird plus water. You need to be able to keep the bird cold with frozen water bottles, changed out every few hours, or in the refrigerator. To determine the amount of salt you need, use the amount of water involved as opposed to the size of the bird. You need about 6 percent water, which is equivalent to 1 1/4 cups kosher salt per gallon of water. Brine the poultry for 18 to 24 hours, drain off any excess liquid and cook as directed.

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