How to Brine Turkey

We were a bit leery about having turkey again, and had actually considered having fish or quail, but one, I couldn’t find quail, and The Clone does not eat fish, and I would have had to fix another meat dish for her. So, back to turkey we were. I wanted to try something new, and since I was off on Wednesday anyway, I thought I would try brining the turkey. The result was wonderful! I think this is the best turkey we’ve ever had, it was moist, and most of all the meat was flavored all the way through. Here is the brine I used, combined from several recipes I used for reference:

1 1/2 cup Kosher salt (don’t use ordinary table salt)
1 1/2 cup Brown sugar
10 whole cloves
3 teaspoons peppercorns
2 oranges, quartered
3 teaspoons dried Thyme
3 teaspoons dried Basil
1 1/2 gallons of water

Combine all ingredients in a stock pot, bring mixture to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes. Allow brine to cool completely.

Rinse turkey under cool running water, inside and out (remove giblets from cavity). Pat turkey dry with paper towels, then immerse turkey in cooled brine. Turkey should be completely submerged in liquid. My pot wasnt big enough, so the tips of the legs were sticking out a bit, but it still turned out ok.

Cover the pot and refrierate for 8-10 hours or up to 24 hours. Remove turkey, rinse, pat dry, and roast as usual.

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7 comments on “How to Brine Turkey
  1. Anonymous says:

    I was tired of killing my turkey twice and found your brine recipe. It was simple and I had all the ingredients in my cabinet. It was the first time my turkey was moist and didn’t need gravy to make it edible.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the information. The brine you used seems very simple. I will let you know how it turns out. Thanks again.

  3. JMom says:

    Hi Jo! Yeah, I told you I was going to try brining this year. I looked at the link you sent, and I took some ideas from that and from other places. The turkey came out really good! BTW, I tried Richard’s candied pecan’s again this past weekend. It came out pretty good, but I still didn’t caramelize the sugar long enough.

  4. SisJo says:

    Hey! I didn’t know you brined your turkey. Did you get the idea from me? I can’t remember now if I sent you a recipe or to a site. My co-worker’s turkey came out ok. He said his trial turkey came out much better!

  5. JMom says:

    Hi Claudine! This was the best turkey we’ve ever cooked, even my daughter Jade who is not a big turkey fan loved it. I think I will start brining all my large roasts from now on. Next on my list is brined and roasted leg of pork.

  6. claudine says:

    how did your brined turkey turn out, Jmom?

    (claudine from

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