To brine or not to brine your Thanksgiving turkey

The time has come to start planning your Thanksgiving menu, and you might be asking yourself one important question about your turkey: To brine or not to brine?

Rach says that you should always brine, click here to find out why and learn a no-fail brining recipe. Meanwhile, Chef Ryan Scott hit the streets of New York to ask New Yorkers their take, and offered a taste test to see if people preferred brined or un-brined turkey.

Related: Best turkey recipes

It's turkey time
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It's turkey time

Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter

"I hope you’re as excited as I am, because this Roasted Turkey with Herb Butter is the reason I love Thanksgiving so much." - Olivia's Cuisine

Get the recipe here!

Honey Herb Glazed Turkey

"I was a little worried that the gravy would be too sweet by using the drippings, but it was delicious.  I loved everything about it, and wouldn’t change a thing!!" - Taste and Tell

Get the recipe here!

Classic Turkey

"When i tell you that this turkey was SO tender and moist…please believe me.  it was delicious…and i really felt like it was so easy.  it was messy…which isn’t my favorite…but also easy….which IS my favorite." - The Cookie Rookie

Get the recipe here!

Maple Bourbon Tamarind Roast Turkey

"Maple bourbon tamarind roast Thanksgiving turkey is the perfect way to spruce up your traditional Thanksgiving Day spread." - Cooking and Beer

Get the recipe here!

Brined Turkey and Wild Mushroom Green Bean Casserole

"This brined turkey recipe & wild mushroom green bean casserole is the perfect twist on a Thanksgiving classic." - Billy Parisi

Get the recipe here!

Roasted Brined Turkey with Pan Gravy

" This is our most basic brined turkey recipe, tailored for fresh, minimally processed birds weighing 10 to 12 pounds (see our notes about larger turkeys). Serve with our Old-Fashioned Bread Stuffing as part of a classic turkey dinner." - My Gourmet Connection

Get the recipe here!


But let's back up a minute – you might be wondering, what is brine? Rach explains, "Brining is when you put your turkey into a salt and sugar solution for a day or two (or more, even in some cases) before you cook it." The idea is that by brining, you're going to infuse a lot of extra moisture and flavor into your bird.

So what did the people think of Ryan's brined vs. unbrined turkey? Their answers might surprise you. Also check out which celeb Ryan ran into – completely coincidentally – on the streets of New York!

More from Rachael Ray:
How to Transform Your Turkey Day Leftovers Into 14 Different Meals
A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving: Who says You Can't Have Stuffing, Cake & Pie?
'Chopped' Stars Share Memories of Their Worst Thanksgiving Disasters

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