Basic All Purpose Brine for Meats, Chicken, and Turkey

READY IN: 3hrs 15mins
Recipe by PalatablePastime

I like the combination of flavors in this brine more than any other I have tried.

Top Review by mandymershon

I had never brined a chicken before and this was so quick and easy! We've done it several times, both grilling and oven roasting the chicken and it comes out great every time!. I did it per the recipe the first time but now I smash the garlic rather than slice it and I used 1/4 c of regular table salt rather than the kosher. I also only use 2 cups of water but then I added lots of ice to bring it up to 4 cups to cool it off faster. Next time I am going to sub 1 cup of apple juice. Thanks so much!

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Makes 1 quart- make up additional amounts of brine if needed until meat is submerged.
  2. Stir ingredients together in a saucepan and bring to a boil.
  3. Continue stirring until sugar is dissolved.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. Place meat or poultry in a food safe plastic bag inside another container for support and leakage control (oven roasting bags are a fine choice- NOT garbage bags).
  6. Pour cooled brine into bag, and squeeze out as much air as possible and seal with a twistie tie.
  7. Refrigerate for 3-4 hours for 3 pounds meat (such as pork ribs), 5-6 hours for a nice roasting hen, or 12-24 hours for a turkey, 12 hours being for a small one and the longer time for those turkeys around 20+ pounds.
  8. Discard brine before using and pat meat dry.
  9. If using poultry, you may want to add citrus fruit such as oranges or lemons, additional fresh herbs, or cloves of garlic into the cavity.
  10. Prepare meat as desired- roast, bbq, etc.

Join the Conversation

  • all
  • reviews
  • tweaks
  • q & a