Brining a turkey isn't a must, but it does allow the meat to hold extra water and salt before being grilled, which will make the bird more flavorful and juicy.
There's a misconception that adding extra flavors/seasonings to the brine will cause them to penetrate the turkey for a flavor boost, but that isn't quite the case. Only the salt and water will be absorbed into the turkey, however, the extra flavors in the brine will sit on the surface of the meat and season the outside of the bird.
Here are some tips for brining a turkey:
- Decide whether you want to use a wet brine or a dry brine.
- If you're going to use a wet brine, make sure you have a certified food grade container/bucket with a lid. You will need to look for the food safe symbol on the container.
- If you're going to use a dry brine, or a wet brine without an ice chest/cooler, make sure you have enough room inside the fridge beforehand. Also, try to clear a space closer to the bottom if possible because the turkey in a bucket of brine could be very heavy.
- If you used a wet brine, don't rinse it in the sink. This will spread turkey bacteria all over your sink, counters and kitchen. Just pat it dry with some paper towels.
For some great recipes that call for a brine, please check out the links below.
Brined Turkey with Herbed Pan Gravy
Apple-Brined, Hickory-Smoked Turkey
Brined and Barbecued Turkey with Pan Gravy
Maple-Brined Turkey with Bacon Gravy
Rotisserie Turkey Breast with Italian-Spiced Dry Brine