How to Brine a Turkey

Marsha Gardner


When I first heard of brining a turkey I thought what waste of time. Then I ate a turkey that had been brined and I was a convert. Not only was the turkey the moistest I had ever had, but the subtle flavor of the brining put the turkey over the top.

I use a 5 gallon pail lined with a turkey roasting bag to brine my bird because I always roast at least a 20 pound turkey so we have loads of leftovers.

★★★★★ 1 vote
24 Hr


7 qt
1 1/2 c
kosher salt
bay leaves
2 Tbsp
coriander seed
1 Tbsp
juniper berries
1 Tbsp
fennel seeds
1 tsp
black or brown mustard seeds
18-20 lb
turkey, thawed, patted dry, neck and giblets reserved for stock
1 bottle
dry riesling
2 medium
onions, thinly sliced
6 clove
garlic, crushed
1 bunch
fresh thyme

How to Make How to Brine a Turkey


  • 1One day before roasting turkey, bring 1 quart water, the salt, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let cool for 5 minutes
  • 2To minimize cleanup, line a 5-gallon container with a large brining or oven-roasting bag. Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts (24 cups) water, and the other ingredients. Tie bag; if turkey is not submerged, weight it with a plate. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once.

    If there isn't room in your refrigerator, place the bagged bird inside a cooler, and surround it with ice, replenishing as necessary to keep it at 40 degrees.
  • 3Remove turkey from brine one hour before you're ready to roast it, and pat it dry inside and out. Let stand for up to 1 hour before roasting your preferred way.

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About How to Brine a Turkey

Course/Dish: Turkey