We use different spices and flavors in this brine all the time, but this is our favorite "classic" combination. Just make sure to keep the ratio of salt to water at 1 cup to 1 gallon. The rest is up to you.
- 1gallon water
- 1cup coarse salt
- 1/2cup brown sugar
- 1 orange, finely grated rind and juice
- 1tablespoon each; whole black peppercorns, cloves and allspice
- 1 (12- to 15-pound) turkey, thawed, giblets removed
- Ice (to cover)
- Combine all ingredients except turkey and ice in a stockpot and bring to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes. Chill. (Overnight is best if you have the time.)
- Place turkey, brining liquid and ice in a stock pot or lidded container (such as a plastic storage box) overnight or up to 12 hours.
- Remove turkey from brine and rinse well, inside and out. Discard brine. Pat dry. Now you’re ready to stuff and roast the turkey.