This is a basic brine recipe that’ll lead to a juicy, flavorful turkey without much extra added. There are plenty of ways you can customize it to add more flavoring. Did you add anything to our basic brine? Let us know what you added by leaving us a rating and comment below!
What is brining?
Brining your turkey is an excellent way to help it stay moist and flavorful throughout the entire cooking process. By soaking the turkey in a liquid with salt present, the turkey will soak up water, and then retain some of the moisture while it cooks. In addition to the extra juiciness of the finished bird, brining is an excellent opportunity to add more flavor to the bird.
Want to learn more about brining meats and poultry? Check out our flavor school article on wet brining.
- 1 Turkey (This brine will work for up to an 18# turkey. Double recipe for a larger bird.)
- 2 gallon Water
- 2 cup Kosher Salt
- 1 cup Brown Sugar (light)
- 1/4 cup Black Peppercorns
- 4 Bay Leaf
Pour all ingredients except turkey into a large pot. Stir together over medium heat until all the seasonings are dissolved. Place in refrigerator to cool down.
Add the turkey to a container large enough to hold the bird (we like to use a big water cooler like you see on the sidelines at sporting events), then pour in the brine. Cover the container, place in your refrigerator, and let sit for 8 – 18 hours.
Before roasting the turkey, remove from brine, and pat dry all over with paper towels. If you have time, let the turkey sit uncovered in your refrigerator for at least an hour to air dry further. This will help the skin crisp while cooking! Click here to see our Turkey Cooking Instructions.