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wet brined turkey cooked

How to Brine a Turkey

How to brine a turkey for the most flavorful, juicy Thanksgiving Turkey ever!
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword brine, turkey brine
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 days
Servings 8
Calories 27kcal



  • 1 gallon water 4 quarts
  • 1 cup kosher salt coarse
  • 1 head garlic sliced in half lengthwise to reveal cloves
  • 4 lemons or oranges, cut into large wedges
  • 1 cup fresh herbs sage, thyme, oregano, rosemary are all good choices
  • 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
  • 2 Bay Leaves


  • Add all ingredients to a large pot and cook over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Salt should be fully dissolved.
  • Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  • Place turkey in a brining bag and/or pot with lid large enough to submerge whole turkey in brine.
  • Pour brine over turkey and cover with lid or plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for 24-48 hours.
  • When you're ready to roast the turkey, remove from brine, rinse and pat dry. Do NOT season with more salt...it is fully seasoned and ready to roast. (Feel free to add other seasonings as desired.) Allow turkey to sit out for about an hour before placing in hot oven.



This is more of a method than a recipe. The standard brining ratio is 4 quarts (1 gallon) of water to 1 cup of salt. You'll want the liquid brine to completely cover your turkey, so if your bird is on the larger side, simply mix up more water/salt in the proper ratio and add to the bag/pot. 


Calories: 27kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.3g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 14176mg | Potassium: 150mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 652IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg