Turkey Brine

Brining Tools and Ingredients
Brining is a wonderfully easy technique that adds moisture and flavor to poultry and meat. And, no, it won’t make your bird too salty. Below is my favorite brine recipe, along with the easy how-to steps. Once you try this technique, you’ll be brining your turkey every time you’re ready to cook one.  


6 cups apple cider
1 oz. fresh thyme
6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
1 Tbs. allspice berries
1 Tbs. peppercorns
1 cup granulated sugar
2 cups water
2 bay leaves
2 oranges, each cut in half
1 1/2 cups kosher salt

To prepare brine:  Place all ingredients into a large saucepan and bring to a boil; whisk until sugar and salt are completely dissolved, then remove pan from heat and let cool.

Place thawed, rinsed turkey (I usually get a 15-18 lb. bird) into a large, chest cooler (cooler lid must close) and pour in brine, adding enough water to brine to completely submerge turkey. Add ice to water to keep it cold, then, to keep turkey submerged in the brine, place a large bag of ice on top of the turkey.  

Let turkey rest in the brine for 12-16 hours, keeping it cool at all times, adding ice to the cooler as needed.   If your bird is really big, say 22-28 lbs., let it brine even upwards of 24 hours. 

Remove turkey from the brine and rinse well, both inside and out.  Roast turkey using your preferred recipe – here’s my favorite.  

**Note:  If you are using the drippings from a brined bird for making gravy, be sure you taste the gravy before adding ANY seasonings – the drippings from a brined bird can sometimes be a bit salty.  

Now You’re Cookin’,
Chef Alli

Let's Talk Turkey ImagesIf you like this recipe and these turkey tips, get all of this AND MORE in my “Let’s Talk Turkey” guide. It’s a FREE PDF download created to help you confidently get that bird on the table! Click here to learn more.

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

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