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Nov 22, 2010 09:37 AM

Brining my turkey..

I have an 18lb turkey and I plan on using Alton Brown's brine recipe. I have a fear of my turkey being salty and thought about cutting the salt down to 3/4 cup as opposed to a full cup. Should I bother doing this since the recipe is for a 16lb turkey? I don't want it salty, but not too weak either. Since my turkey is 2lbs heavier than the recipe, should I be adding more of anything, like sugar?

OH, and about how long should I brine this turkey? The recipe calls for 8-16 hours but I read somewhere that it should be 1 hour per pound, so 18 hours? I also don't want my meat to be mushy.

~First Time Briner

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    1. re: sweetea25

      I've been brining my turkey for many years (using a recipe from 1994 Food & Wine magazine) and it comes out great, not salty. So just go with the recipe as it's written - it will turn out great!!

    2. Just go according to the recipe, it won't be too salty. If you've never done it before, you don't want to tinker. Either just go with the recipe and stick with 16 or so hours, or dry brine it (you would start tonight), which is easier and less fuss, and doesn't have the mushy turkey danger. Either way, it'll turn out fine, I've never had a brined bird be too salty.

      1. Stick with it as written. I do birds about that size, never had an issue.

        1. This is a very good brining recipe from Russ Parsons. I've done this for 3 years now and my family loves the turkey. It's not salty as the salt is gone by Thanksgiving and it's just moist turkey.

          1. As I write this, I have my 18 pound turkey brining right now. Here's the lowdown:
            Got my turkey yesterday AM (fresh not frozen). Sat in fridge. Last night after work, I followed Alton Brown's brining instructions. This morning I put the brine mix and the ice water and ice cubes in one of thos big ol ziploc bags. Put in the turkey and now it is brining. Will keep it in the brine till tomorrow morning. Yes--the brine does taste salty, but it won't affect the bird.
            Good luck--I'm excited about how the turkey will turn out!