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Turkey Brine for the Thanksgiving Win

November 11, 2022


Chef Carla Hall’s turkey brine recipe with JENNIE-O® Turkey guarantees a holiday meal to remember.

The centerpiece of most Thanksgiving meals is undoubtedly an impressive turkey. With the holiday season fast approaching, to brine or not to brine isn’t the question, but rather, to dry brine or to wet brine? Esteemed chef, cookbook author and beloved TV personality Carla Hall knows a thing or two about putting together a special holiday meal, including having an answer to that all-important brine question.

Combinations for turkey brine recipes vary, but one constant remains: the key ingredients—typically salt, pepper, sugar, herbs and citrus—unite to provide long-lasting flavor that infuses your turkey throughout cooking. A brine, which takes a matter of minutes to prepare, provides an excellent solution to pack your turkey with flavor without the time and fuss. Thanks to inactive prep time in the refrigerator, you can focus on cooking the rest of your Thanksgiving meal in the meantime or leave in your refrigerator overnight and get some sleep before the big day.

BRINE Wet or Dry?

When it comes to prepping your turkey for Thanksgiving, you might be wondering what the difference is between a wet brine and a dry brine. Here’s a quick rundown, from Carla Hall.

According to Hall, “With a wet brine, you’ll need to submerge your turkey in a solution of water, salt and whole spices (just make sure the salt dissolved before adding the turkey!). This can be a bit tricky if you don’t have a large enough container, but it’s worth it because wet brines result in more moist and flavorful meat”.

“Dry brines, on the other hand, are much simpler”, says Hall – “you just rub the turkey all over with a mixture of salt and spices, then let it sit overnight. The next day, all you have to do is give it a quick rinse and pat it dry before cooking”. Hall does add that dry-brined turkeys tend to be less moist than wet-brined ones, but some people prefer the flavor and texture.

“So which should you use? It really depends on your preferences. But either way, you’re sure to end up with a delicious Thanksgiving turkey!”