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How to Brine a Turkey

How to Brine a Turkey

It’s high time you learned HOW TO BRINE A TURKEY properly for a moist and flavorful Thanksgiving turkey. Let the zingy, herby, and fresh flavors infuse your turkey to the bone while making it super juicy! 
Course How To
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Brining Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 20 minutes
Servings 12
Calories 150kcal
Author Imma


  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 gallon apple cider (or replace with water)
  • cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 7-8 clove garlic, smashed
  • 4 sprig thyme
  • 4 sprig rosemary
  • 4 sage leaves
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoon cracked peppercorn
  • 1-2 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 large orange, sliced
  • 2 lemon, sliced
  • 1 turkey, 12-17 pounds


  • Discard any wrappings from the turkey and remove the giblets, place it in the desired brining pot.
  • Heat up about 4 cups of water in the microwave or stovetop until warmed. The idea is to heat it up so it can dissolve the sugar and salt. Remove and pour in the salt and sugar. Stir until salt and sugar dissolves.
  • Let the salt and sugar brine cool, then add the remaining water and apple cider. The water should not be warm - you want it to be completely cold.
  • Pour over the turkey in the pot. Then add garlic, thyme, rosemary, sage. bay leaves, peppercorns, pepper flakes, orange, and lemon slices. Give it a stir, add some ice, if available.  
  • Cover pot or container with a lid. Place in prepared place in the fridge for the turkey to brine for 12 or up to 24 hours. I completely emptied and remove one divider in my fridge to accommodate the turkey.  
  • Rule of Thumb: Let the turkey sit for an hour per pound.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine and dry all over with paper towels Brush with oil and proceed with the desired seasoning. 


  1. Do not over brine your turkey! Leaving it in the solution for more than the recommended time may make it too salty and spongy.
  2. Rule of Thumb: Let the turkey sit for an hour per pound. Remove the turkey from the brine and dry it all over with paper towels. Brush with oil and proceed with the desired seasoning.
  3. Please keep in mind that the nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary significantly based on the products used in the recipe.


Serving: 100g | Calories: 150kcal | Carbohydrates: 1.5g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 150mg