The Best Turkey Brine

READY IN: 20mins
YIELD: 2 gallons




  • To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage bag.) Add the oranges, lemons, and poultry herbs. I like to squeeze out some of the juices from the oranges and lemons into the solution before I add them. (Note: If you have a big turkey and need more brine, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every additional gallon of water.).
  • Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey and reserve. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water.
  • Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.
  • Remove turkey from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Pat dry and prepare turkey according to your recipe.