In general terms, a ratio of 1/2 cup table salt to 1 gallon of water or 1 cup kosher salt to 1 gallon of water is used to make the turkey brine. Kosher salt is lighter than table salt, which is the reason that a larger amount is required. Kosher salt is often preferable to table salt because it doesn’t contain the additives that are found in table salt. The salt must be completely dissolved in the water before the turkey is placed in the brine. Other flavorings, such as herbs, spices, or sugar, can be added to the brining solution if desired. The brining solution must be discarded after use: It cannot be used again.
After the turkey has soaked in the brine for the necessary time, it is rinsed and dried. Thorough drying of the turkey ensures that the skin will be crisp and golden when the turkey is roasted. It is important to remember that a brined turkey will cook faster than a turkey that has not been brined.