Thanksgiving Turkey Brine

"Brining the turkey with this recipe makes a very moist turkey! Delicious!"
photo by Cooking Creation photo by Cooking Creation
photo by Cooking Creation
photo by seal angel photo by seal angel
photo by Bonnie G #2 photo by Bonnie G #2
photo by Cooking Creation photo by Cooking Creation
photo by Camzmom photo by Camzmom
Ready In:
1 Turkey




  • Combine all ingredients in a stock pot, bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minute Allow brine to cool completely.
  • Rinse turkey under cook running water, inside and out (remove giblets from cavity). pat turkey dry with paper towels, then immerse turkey in cooled brine. Turkey should be completely submerged in liquid. My pot wasn't big enough, so the tips of the legs were sticking out a bit, but it still turned out ok.
  • Cover the pot and refrigerate for 8-10 hours or up to 24 hours. Remove turkey, rinse, pat dry and roast as usual.

Questions & Replies

  1. Do you add additional salt on turkey before cooking ? Can you use unsalted butter on skin ? I will be using for 16 pound turkey? Thank you
  2. I only have fresh herbs. Does that have the same affect? Also, what size turkey does this brine?


  1. To anyone who is wavering on whether or not use a brine, do yourself a favor and BRINE THE TURKEY! This brine made our Thanksgiving turkey so moist, tender and flavorful. I injected the breast and legs with some of the brine using a meat injector, then placed the bird in a large cooler with ice and poured the brine over it. It sat overnight in the ice bath and after it was cooked, we all agreed it was the BEST T'giving turkey we'd ever had. The pan drippings made excellent gravy too. Turkey used to be my least favorite part of our T'giving menu, and now it's right up at the top! Thanks for this incredible recipe! I will always use it from now on.
  2. I have been meaning to write a review on this brine for quite sometime....we have been brining our turkey for 2 years and will never do it any other way. <br/><br/>Not only the best tasting turkey and pan dripping gravy but super moist. <br/><br/>This recipe will be in my family's cookbook for decades to come!!
  3. A moist, succulent turkey! I've never had white meat so moist. This was my first turkey, and it turned out beautifully. Thank you!
  4. We decided to brine our turkey for the first time this year, and I chose to use this recipe. I have to be honest and say I did not notice a difference between the taste of a brined turkey versus non-brined which is what I have made before, however my husband said he could tell a difference and that the turkey was definitely more moist and better tasting. I did think the gravy tasted better than my usual gravy, I think that had to do with the pan drippings. I would definitely use this recipe in years to come. I put the turkey & brine in a trash bag and kept it in the largest soup pot that I had. It wasn't quite large enough, but with the trash bag in there tied tightly with all the air pressed out, it kept everything so that the turkey was totally covered.
  5. After reading reviews and tips, I only used 3/4 cup of salt, came out perfectly salted, after roasting. Last year I used full amount of salt in the recipe, it was equally moist as it was this year, but sooooo salty, the salt is a lot. I felt horrible about feeding it to my family member with hypertension. It. Was. Too. Salty. Can you handle it and eat it? Sure. Can everyone handle it & eat it? Not a good idea. Advice: Don’t use full sodium amount if you have blood pressure problems!


  1. I found this recipe here about 4 years ago, and have used it ever since. Every guest we've had has actually commented (unprovoked) on how good the turkey turns out. I cook it in an 18qt roaster oven. <br/><br/>Except for the water while cooking, I double the ingredients for a 19# bird and add 1 tsp allspice berries, ... I use a clean square bucket with a lid.. and line it with a clean white trash bag. Since it's usually COLD here the night before Thanksgiving (in the 30's that is), I replace the 2nd half of water with ice cubes and let the sealed bucket sit outside in the cold overnight.<br/><br/>Definitely a keeper! If you want to make a turkey that leaves an impression.. try this recipe!


I am very passionate about cooking and animals. I am from Fort Wayne Indiana and have lived here most of my life. I have a serious addiction to this website! lol.
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