Simple Turkey Brine (Two Recipes!)

Raw turkey in a large silver pot surrounded garlic and herbs.

Learn to easily brine a turkey with this stress-free Turkey Brine recipe. It’s simple and easy to prepare using fresh and flavorful ingredients that enhance the taste of the turkey. This is the best turkey brine recipe out there, don’t miss out! You can even use it on Whole Roasted Chicken with success.

 

How to Brine a Turkey

Brining a turkey is a lot easier than it sounds. First, you gather your ingredients in a large stock pot, bringing everything to a boil. Be sure to stir the mixture several times to blend your ingredients while they’re cooking on the stove. Continue to cook until your sugar and salt dissolve and then remove your brine from the stove, allowing it to cool down.

 

Put the turkey directly in the pot with the liquid or place it in a brine bag. Put it in the fridge for 16-24 hours, but expect more time if you’re dealing with a frozen turkey. Before you cook the turkey, remove it from the brine, submerge it in a pot, and fill the pot with cold water, allowing it to sit for around 15 minutes. Remove the turkey from the water, pat it dry, and then bake it as you normally would.

 

How Long Should You Brine a Turkey?

A minimum of 16 hours and up to 24 hours. If you’re starting with a frozen turkey, be prepared to let it sit for even longer. You may need to let it sit for around 36 hours.

Raw turkey in a large silver pot surrounded by orange slices, lemon slices and herbs.

Can You Brine a Frozen Turkey?

Yes, you can brine a frozen turkey. While it takes less time to brine a non-frozen turkey, there is nothing wrong with doing it with a frozen one. If you’re going to use a frozen turkey, be sure to give it plenty of time to sit in the brine before you remove it from the fridge and soak it in the cold water.

 

What Does A Brine Do?

You’re giving it more flavor and helping it retain moisture so that it will have a juicy taste and texture. Most people don’t like excessively dry turkey. If you’re one of those people, you’ll be glad to know that the brine can put a stop to the dryness while leaving the turkey moist, flavorful, and delicious.

 

What Is A Poultry Brine Made Of?

The simple brine consists of several essential ingredients that taste amazing. A basic brine consists of garlic cloves, salt, black peppercorns, rosemary, thyme and sugar. However, you can also do a citrus brine. If you’re planning to do the citrus brine, you’ll need apple cider or apple juice, oranges, garlic cloves, kosher salt, fresh rosemary, fresh thyme, brown sugar, black peppercorn, and bay leaves.

Close up photo of orange slices, lemon slices and herbs in a cream dutch oven.

 

What Can I Use for a Brine Bag?

If you don’t have a brine bag, you can use a regular Ziploc bag for this process. Of course, you’ll need a large freezer bag that is big enough to hold the wild turkey brine. If at all possible, consider going to the grocery store to buy brine bags because they’re large, spacious, and easy to use.

 

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Raw turkey in a large silver pot surrounded garlic and herbs.
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Simple Turkey Brine

Learn to easily brine a turkey with this stress-free Turkey Brine recipe. It’s simple and easy to prepare using fresh and flavorful ingredients that enhance the taste of the turkey. This is the best turkey brine recipe out there, don’t miss out!
Course dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword Brine Recipes, Thanksgiving Recipes, Turkey Recipes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 1 Turkey
Cost $2.50

Ingredients

CITRUS BRINE:

  • 2 Cups Apple Cider or Apple Juice
  • 2 Gallons Cold Water
  • 2 Oranges, Sliced
  • 2 Lemons, Sliced
  • 3 Springs Fresh Rosemary
  • 3 Springs Fresh Thyme
  • 3 Fresh Bay Leaves
  • 8 Garlic Cloves, Smashed
  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 1 Cup Golden Monk Fruit
  • 3 Tbsp Black Peppercorn

BASIC TURKEY BRINE:

  • 2 Gallons Cold Water
  • 3 Springs Fresh Thyme
  • 3 Springs Fresh Rosemary
  • 8 Garlic Cloves, Smashed
  • 1 1/3 Cups Granulated Erythritol
  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 3 Tbsp Black Peppercorns

Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients, of your brine of choice, to a large stock pot and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Keep heating until both the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from the heat and let the brine cool.
  • Place the turkey in the stock pot (or brining bag). Refrigerate for 16-24 hours. More time will be needed if starting from a frozen turkey.
  • Right before cooking, remove the turkey from the brine and submerge it in a pot or sink filled with fresh, cold water for 15 minutes to remove the excess salt.
  • Remove the turkey from the water, pat dry, and cook as directed by your turkey recipe.

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