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There's a Better Way

How to Brine a Turkey In a Cooler

Video Length: 1:56
Produced by: Handmade TV and Sarah Breckenridge

Brining a turkey gives it great flavor and juiciness, but with a fridge already stuffed full of Thanksgiving goodies, who has room for a big pot of brine? Luckily, you can adapt any brine recipe to work in a large cooler. Make sure your cooler is completely clean, and just large enough to fit the turkey.

The trick is to keep all that melting ice from diluting your brine. So when you're making your brine, add an extra 1/2 cup of kosher salt to whatever recipe you're using. Depending on the size of your cooler, you may want to make a double batch of brine.

Make sure the brine is cold before pouring it over the turkey.

Next add enough ice to totally submerge the turkey-you'll need 5 to 10 pounds, depending on your cooler.

Store the cooler in the coldest spot you've got-if that's outside make sure it's protected from animals, like on a screened-in porch. As long as the brine stays below 40 degrees F, your turkey will be safe to eat, so if you're brining it overnight check before going to bed that there's still plenty of frozen ice.

Find a basic brined turkey recipe, and plus more recipes and tips in our Thanksgiving Guide.

posted in: Thanksgiving, There's a Better Way, turkey, brining

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