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Best Homemade Turkey Brine Recipe

For a succulent and moist turkey this Thanksgiving holiday, use this simple recipe to brine your bird before cooking it.

Best Homemade Turkey Brine Recipe

Soak your turkey for 12 hours in the homemade brine before cooking. (Shutterstock photo)

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This is the best homemade turkey brine recipe to use. It's perfect for deep frying, smoking, or roasting – and it is hands down the BEST. To be honest, I don't want to try another. This brine recipe is great because the compliments are never-ending ...

What Is a Brine?

It is a method of marinating a food item in salted water in order to increase its moisture content.

Amazingly, the brine doesn't make the turkey taste salty. The turkey comes out nicely seasoned and juicier than you could imagine. You can brine any poultry meat that you wish. To begin, of course, you have to know how large of a turkey is needed. A little more than 50 percent of a turkey's weight consists of bones, fat, and skin. Figure on approximately one pound of whole turkey per person, or slightly less if feeding a lot of children. Each person will enjoy about eight ounces of pure meat, using this method. If you like lots of leftovers for sandwiches and casseroles, be sure to factor that in as well.

If you can, use a fresh, unfrozen turkey for the best flavor. If you chose to use a frozen turkey, transfer it to the refrigerator to thaw completely before you brine it. A fully frozen turkey can take up to a whole day to thaw for every four pounds that it weighs (i.e. three days for twelve pounds).

If you purchased your bird, be sure to remove the packet of giblets from the cavity. These are the heart, kidneys and liver, and sometimes the neck. You can reserve them to make gravy if you desire.

Turkey Brine Recipe

Use a fresh, unfrozen turkey for the best flavor.

Yield: Brine for 1 turkey
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 12 to 24 hours


  • 2 gallons water (or enough to cover the turkey completely)
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 onion, peeled and halved
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. In a large pot, bring water to a boil and then add all of the ingredients. Take the pot off the heat and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Set aside until turkey brine is at room temperature.
  2. Place turkey in brine mixture and soak it in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.
  3. Remove turkey from brine. Rinse well and pat completely dry.
  4. Place in a smoker, deep fryer, or oven and cook until juices run clear. Then call me and I will be right over to eat.

For tips on the best way to cook a turkey, visit:

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