How to Make a Simple Brine for Turkey?


A brine is a solution of salt and water that helps to enhance the flavor and juiciness of turkey meat. It also helps to tenderize the meat and keep it moist during the cooking process. Making a simple brine for turkey is easy and can be done with just a few ingredients. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making a delicious brine for your turkey.


  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1/2 cup of sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of peppercorns
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon of dried herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, or sage)


Step 1: Prepare the Brine

In a large pot, combine the water, salt, and sugar. Stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.

Step 2: Add Flavorings

Add the peppercorns, crushed garlic cloves, and dried herbs to the brine. These ingredients will infuse the turkey with delicious flavors.

Step 2.1: Optional Additional Flavorings

If desired, you can add other flavorings to the brine, such as citrus zest, onion, bay leaves, or spices like cinnamon or cloves. These extra ingredients can add depth to the flavor profile of the turkey.

Step 3: Cool the Brine

Allow the brine to cool completely before using. You can refrigerate it to speed up the cooling process.

How to Make a Basic Brine

Brining the Turkey

Step 4: Prepare the Turkey

Remove the turkey from its packaging and remove the giblets and neck from the cavity. Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.

Step 5: Brine the Turkey

Place the turkey in a large container or brining bag. Pour the cooled brine over the turkey, ensuring it is fully submerged. If necessary, add more water to completely cover the turkey.

Step 5.1: Brining Time

The brining time depends on the size of the turkey. As a general guideline, brine the turkey for 1 hour per pound. For example, a 12-pound turkey should be brined for 12 hours.

Step 6: Refrigerate

Place the container with the brined turkey in the refrigerator. Make sure the turkey remains fully submerged in the brine throughout the brining process.

Step 7: Remove and Rinse

After the brining time is complete, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it thoroughly under cold water to remove any excess salt.

Cooking the Brined Turkey

Step 8: Preheat the Oven

Preheat your oven to the desired cooking temperature according to your turkey recipe.

Step 9: Season and Cook

Season the turkey with your preferred seasonings or follow a recipe. Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and cook it according to the recommended cooking time for its size.

Step 9.1: Basting

During the cooking process, you can baste the turkey with its own juices or a mixture of melted butter and herbs to enhance the flavor and moisture.

Step 10: Rest and Serve

Once the turkey is cooked, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes before carving. This allows the juices to redistribute within the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful turkey.


By following these simple steps, you can create a flavorful and juicy turkey by brining it. The brine helps to enhance the taste, tenderness, and moisture of the meat, resulting in a delicious centerpiece for your holiday or special occasions. Experiment with different herbs and spices in the brine to customize the flavor to your liking. Enjoy your homemade brined turkey with family and friends!

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