Turkey Brine and Injection Marinade

Recipe by Toby Jermain
SERVES: 10-12




  • You will also need 1 Ice chest just large enough to hold the bird, brine, and ice (not too big, bird must be submerged) and 1 Brine injector (preferred), or a large (50+cc) hydodermic with large diameter needle.
  • Stir salt and sugar into boiling water until completely dissolved.
  • Add remaining ingredients, except olive oil, and allow to set for at least 30 minutes for flavors to develop.
  • Taste; brine will be very salty; that’s why it is called ‘brine’.
  • Adjust any or all ingredients to your taste, keeping in mind that tastes should be quite assertive.
  • Thoroughly blend everything in a food processor or blender.
  • Whisk or blend in olive oil, and strain about half into a cup or bowl for injecting, returning all strained solids to the half to be used for brining.
  • Thaw your turkey completely, if frozen.
  • Better yet, get a fresh turkey that hasn’t been injected with all of the artificial quote ‘butter’ unquote stuff, so the only thing in the bird is what YOU put inside the bird!
  • Remove and reserve the neck and innards for gravy making, or discard them if you are not a gravy freak.
  • Wash the bird thoroughly inside and out, drain well, and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Use a 2 ounce (about) brining injector or a BIG (50+ cc) ‘hypodeemic nerdle’ to inject the bird with the strained brine.
  • Inject in at least 3-4 sites on each side of the breast, 2-3 in each thigh, and 2-3 into the meaty part of each drumsticks, pushing the needle in deep and injecting about 1/3 of the brine deep, pulling the needle back about a third, injecting another third of the brine, and repeating after pulling the needle back another third of its length.
  • Pour any remaining injection-brine with the half to be used for brining.
  • Place 1 bag of ice in the bottom of the ice chest, place the turkey on top, and pour all of the brine over the turkey.
  • Dump the remaining bag of ice over the turkey, and add enough very cold water to just cover the bird.
  • Slosh things around enough to combine the brine with the additional water, ice, and the turkey, and make sure the brine gets into the turkey cavity.
  • Close the ice chest, and set in a cool place to marinate.
  • After about 7-8 hours, turn the turkey over, top to bottom, and do it again after another 7-8 hours.
  • Add more ice only if everything melts; don’t bother otherwise.
  • After a total of at least 24 hours, you are ready to cook your bird any way you desire, stuffed or not stuffed, roasted, fried, nuked, whatever.
  • Just be sure to drain the turkey well and pat it dry before cooking by your desired method.
  • Throw away all of the brine, remaining ice, etc.
  • ,and thoroughly wash your ice chest before using it for more legitimate purposes, such as storing beer and wine to go with your ‘wonnerful’ turkey dinner.
  • Notes: This marinade/brine can also be used for chicken or pork-- just half the recipe, and follow the general instructions using smaller amounts-- or make a full recipe of the brine/marinade and save half in the fridge for next time.
  • If you are lucky enough to actually have a fridge large enough and empty enough to hold a turkey for a day or so, forget the ice chest and most of the ice, and brine your bird in a plastic bag large enough to hold the bird and brine, squeezing out all of the air, and just turn it over every 7-8 hours so things marinate evenly.