This simple Turkey Brine is the easiest way to ensure that the turkey is perfectly juicy! You only need 7 simple ingredients to make it.
Brining is a simple technique of soaking the turkey in a salty solution. It will change your turkey game this holiday season! With just a few simple ingredients, like water, salt, sugar, herbs, citrus, and garlic, you can make a brine to soak the bird the night before roasting. It will ensure the turkey is juicy, flavorful, and absolutely delicious!
- salt: I used sea salt
- brown sugar: it helps to trap moisture in the meat and ensures better browning
- black pepper: whole peppercorns
- lemon or orange: cut into thick slices
- garlic: whole bulbs
- herbs: poultry mix (rosemary, thyme, sage)
How to make Turkey Brine from scratch?
- Start by combining 1 quart of the water with salt and sugar, in a medium saucepan.
- Bring it to a boil and cook for 2 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Add remaining ingredients. Cool completely.
- Place turkey in a very large pot and pour the brine over it.
- Cover the pot and place it in the fridge.
- Chill for 12 to 18 hours.
How long should you brine the turkey?
The time recommended for brining a turkey is between 12 to 18 hours. If you plan right, you can brine the turkey overnight and cook the next day.
Should I rinse the turkey after brining?
Nope, there is no need to rinse the bird. Make sure you pour the solution out of the cavity and place the turkey in a roasting pan. Season with oil and seasoning mix and roast in the oven.
- The biggest issue you will run into while making turkey brine is to find a pot large enough to fit the bird and the brine. My turkey was 14lbs and I used an 8-quart stockpot. You can see the tips of the legs are sticking out. That is okay.
- You can use this brine to soak turkey breast too!
- Make sure the turkey you buy is not injected with saline solution. Avoid enhanced or self-basting birds as they already have been brined.
- Make sure all the meaty parts of the turkey are submerged in the brine. The bones of the legs can stick out.
- Use fresh herbs if possible.
- No need to discard the onion and garlic after brining. Place it in the turkey roaster along with the bird to cook.
More Thanksgiving recipes:
- Classic Thanksgiving Stuffing
- Turkey Gravy
- Thanksgiving Turkey
- How to Carve a Turkey
- Garlic Mashed Potatoes
- Classic Sweet Potato Casserole
- Cranberry Relish
- Pecan Pie
For more recipes like this one, feel free to browse our Holiday category.
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This simple Turkey Brine is the easiest way to ensure that the turkey is perfectly juicy! You only need 7 simple ingredients to make it. Use this brine to make the best Thanksgiving turkey!
- 4 quarts water
- 3/4 cup sea salt
- 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 lemon cut into thick slices
- 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
- 2 garlic bulbs slices in half lengthwise
- 5 sage leaves
- 3 sprigs of rosemary
- 2 bunches of thyme
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 quart of the water with salt and sugar. Stir well.
Bring it to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Stir often to make sure the salt is dissolved.
Remove the mixture from heat.
Add remaining ingredients: lemon, peppercorns, garlic and herbs. Cool completely.
Place turkey in a very large pot and pour the brine over it.
Cover the pot and place it in the fridge.
Chill for 12 to 18 hours.
When ready, remove the turkey from brine, making sure to drain the cavity too.
Save the garlic, lemon slices and herbs for roasting.
- My turkey was 14 lbs and I used an 8-quart stockpot for soaking.
- The nutrition value is for the whole brine solution.
- Please note, that the nutrition value can vary depending on what product you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use calorie counter you are familiar with.