Kosher Salt Brine

Plan ahead for next month’s holiday with this easy recipe for brining your Thanksgiving turkey.

Brine helps lock in juiciness to combat the long cooking times required for big birds. The same technique works equally well on everyday roasting chicken.

The best way to brine a bird is to pick up a large food-grade plastic bucket you can re-use each year. I found mine at Penn Fixture and Supply (2800 Penn Ave., Strip District; 412/261-0848,; just call ahead to make sure they’re in stock.

I use Morton’s kosher salt for brining and follow its recipe (also at

To make the brine, combine 2 cups of coarse kosher salt and 2 cups of sugar in 2 gallons of cool water—all in a large, clean stockpot—until completely dissolved.

Place the whole turkey into the brine until completely submerged. (Note: You may need to increase the amount of brine based on the size of the turkey.) Cover brined turkey and refrigerate. Remove turkey from the brine and rinse inside and out under cool, running water for several minutes to remove all traces of salt. Pat dry with a paper towel. Discard the brine.

The turkey is now ready to be cooked as you prefer.