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We brined our turkey for 24 hours, so leave plenty of time. If you don't want to brine yours, skip steps 1 and 2. If you don't have a stockpot large enough to hold the turkey and brine, use a clean, extra-large cooler.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2006


For the Brine

For the Turkey


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How would you rate this recipe?
  • pandapieters
    26 NOV, 2008
    does it matter that the whole turkey is not sitting in the brine.. I dont have a large enough pot
    • jeanniejayne53
      26 AUG, 2018
      You can turn it over halfway thru. I get a fresh turkey from a local farm here in Delaware that comes in a sturdy plastic bag. I just remove the giblets, rinse the turkey, return the turkey to the originalbag and put it into. a cooler to which I have added ice. Pour the cooled brine isolution into the bag with the turkey, seal the top and the brine will cover the turkey and be held in place. You can add more ice if needed. When brining is completed, remove turkey from bag , rinse and pat dry. If you have room to put it uncovered in your fridge overnight before cooking to allow the skin to dry it will help it to brow, The brining adds a lot of liquid. I don’t stuff mine, but instead make a southern “dressing” similar to a spoon bread. It is moist and flavorful and easy to make. Everyone loves it.
  • slavrenchik1
    24 NOV, 2010
    Love this recipe. I've been making it for the last 4 years. It's very easy and always comes out really good.
  • MS10704022
    21 MAR, 2009
    This turkey hit the jackpot twice! Stellar! If you follow the recipe to the letter, you will be rewarded with an AMAZING meal. katie2000, I just used cheesecloth on top as directed. I think the rule of thumb is, you don't need to cover the turkey unless it's getting overly browned.
  • katie2000
    21 NOV, 2008
    Does anyone know if I have to use a turkey pan lid to cover the turkey while in the oven or only the cheesecloth on top would be enough? Thanks a lot.
  • CKL18699500
    24 NOV, 2007
    I used this brine for Thanksgiving. I'm glad I listened to my stepdad and mom; they had used it before and said to use no more than 1 cup of the was PLENTY salty! I started out with just HALF the amount of salt and it was way too much even after I'd filled my stockpot completely full of water (I ended up dumping it and starting over with only 1 cup of salt and 1 1/2 cups of sugar). It turned out beautifully.
  • AnnaChikovaniSprunger
    23 NOV, 2007
    Excellent recipe. Quinces gave such a delightful aroma to the bird!
  • Allen
    19 NOV, 2007
    I had made this exact recipe with one exception including the brine this year in October (Canada). It was difficult for me to fine a quince in the first and second week of Oct, so I opted by using pears.It was my first time using a brine, and I can say I will continue to brine in the future.
  • ashleywelborn
    13 NOV, 2007
    I made this for Thanksgiving last year, and I am making it again this year. It was such a success. It came out, not only delicious, but it was beautiful as well. It was a huge hit with everyone in my family, inclucing my 80 year old Grandpa, who said it was the best he had ever eaten. My Grandma shot him a dirty look! Thanks Martha!

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