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I want to brine a turkey but have heard conflicting messages on how much salt to use. I have heard 5% salt mixture and from others I have heard 10 salt mixture. I would like a somewhat strong taste of salt. For the sake of this question we can assume I'm going to use 5 litres of water.

  • Hi! I edited your title to say "turkey brine", because "pickle" suggested canning vegetables to me. Now it is unambiguous. – rumtscho Sep 19 '14 at 10:37
  • OK I thought they where the same thing. Thank You anyway (-; – Neil Meyer Sep 19 '14 at 10:39
  • How big is your turkey and how long do you plan to brine it? – Cindy Sep 19 '14 at 11:03
  • The ones I usually get are around 4 kilograms. – Neil Meyer Sep 19 '14 at 11:14
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A good turkey brine should be around a 9% solution - 9g salt per 100g water - that's 90g salt per liter. You shouldn't go below 6% brine, but using a solution anywhere in the range of 6% - 9% should give you excellent results. Soak for 12 hours if you're soaking a whole bird - keep it to around 6 hours if you're brining just the breast. Be sure to rinse the bird after brining to wash-away excess surface salt.

FYI - The drippings from the turkey will be extremely salty - they probably won't be suitable for making gravy.

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You might want to explore "equilibrium brining." While a bit slower, it makes it very difficult to over-brine and have a product that is too salty. See this link for details: http://www.chefsteps.com/activities/equilibrium-brining

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