This is Dave's favorite brine for Thanksgiving turkey. It can be used on any kind of poultry and pork. It gives a sweet, maple flavor to meats.

US92

Recipe Summary

prep:
15 mins
cook:
20 mins
additional:
1 hr
total:
1 hr 35 mins
Servings:
18
Yield:
18 cups
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Ingredients

18
Original recipe yields 18 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Place 2 quarts of water in a large pot over medium heat, and stir in brown sugar, soy sauce, maple syrup, sea salt, garlic cloves, bay leaves, thyme sprigs, peppercorns, and whiskey. Stir to dissolve brown sugar and salt; bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining 2 quarts of water. Allow brine to cool completely before using.

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Nutrition Facts

180 calories; protein 1g 2% DV; carbohydrates 37.4g 12% DV; fat 0.1g; cholesterolmg; sodium 4336.8mg 174% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (43)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/26/2011
i was so nervous about this brine- my husband chose the recipe and when it was hot it smelled AWFUL! i let it cool and it smelled a little better but just a little. i made just a turkey breast (though it was huge!) so i brined it about 12 hrs then roasted it with butter and maple syrup glaze (martha stewart has a good recipe). my husband's fave holiday is thanksgiving- he took me aside to say it was by far the best turkey he's ever had. not bad for the vegetarian chef! Read More
(44)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
11/26/2018
Wasn t impressed at all. Too much sugar caused the turkey skin to burn. And the flavor of the meat wasn t maple. In fact it wasn t much of anything beyond normal turkey (almost as though I hadn t even brined. Not at all worth the time/money. Read More
51 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 48
  • 4 star values: 2
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2011
i was so nervous about this brine- my husband chose the recipe and when it was hot it smelled AWFUL! i let it cool and it smelled a little better but just a little. i made just a turkey breast (though it was huge!) so i brined it about 12 hrs then roasted it with butter and maple syrup glaze (martha stewart has a good recipe). my husband's fave holiday is thanksgiving- he took me aside to say it was by far the best turkey he's ever had. not bad for the vegetarian chef! Read More
(44)
Rating: 5 stars
12/25/2011
This is a great brine the soy sauce gives the turkey a lovely rich color and the turkey was very juicy. I put the garlic cloves in the cavity for cooking and people were fighting for them! For smaller birds use a shorter time in the brine to keep it from being too salty. Read More
(31)
Rating: 5 stars
12/06/2013
I rated this recipe last year about this time and still love it, I just wanted to add to the review. This year I actually had a nice big 5 gallon bucket from Lowes with a lid to Brine it in for two whole days before putting it in my new convection oven. I made a twenty pound turkey. I used some of the brine to baste the turkey, but not much about a cup. I substituted the brown sugar for a brown sugar I made with stevia instead, so basically molasses and stevia in the raw. I did double the recipe though since I needed more than original recipe called for with such a large turkey. This Brine is super delicious though. For those of you using a brine for the first time, make sure you rinse the brine off before cooking/baking otherwise the salt will overwhelm you. Read More
(22)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/24/2012
This will be the brine that I use from now on. It was excellent. I put it together the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving so that it could chill over night and I could start brining the turkey on Wednesday. I did a taste test after it was simmering for several minutes and decided to up the maple syrup to 2 cups instead of 1 because I wanted more of a maple flavor. With this addition it was perfect for my taste. The finished turkey turned out neither too sweet nor too salty and so moist. I cooked a small turkey - just under 11 lbs. and the amount of brine this reciped yielded was perfect for that. You might want to consider doubling the recipe if you are doing a large turkey. Thanks for a great recipe! Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2014
Best brine ever! I've made turkey with this brine several times and now I've started adding a couple tablespoons of liquid smoke and a couple teaspoons maple flavor extract to kick it up a few notches. Bake it with the maple glazed turkey recipe from this site and I have had so many people say that it's the best turkey they've ever had. I even have people offer to pay me to make their turkey for them! I quadruple the recipe and brine 2 birds at a time in a cooler checking the ice. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
11/26/2013
This is my favorite and only way I will roast a turkey or chicken now! It leaves the meat so moist! I know it may have a bad smell but it will make the best Thanksgiving Bird you have ever had! The very first time I ever roasted a bird I used this recipe and everyone raved about how amazing it was and how well I did! easy for cooking beginners as well! Read More
(6)
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Rating: 5 stars
07/29/2017
Amazing brine use it for turkey and whole chickens. I usually don't have the whisky around so I've made it without- very delicious and doesn't smell terrible when you make it.;) Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
05/28/2013
This is the only way we cook our turkeys now!!! Brine and cowboy charcoal!!! Nothing but rave reviews from our family and friends!! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
10/11/2016
Favorite way to do the turkey and also pork tenderloin! i've used this brine for 3 turkey dinners and everyone just loves how tender and flavourful the turkey turns out! i just prep the brine in an 18Q stock pot and keep it in there for about 72 hrs in the fridge. I've roasted it twice in an electric turkey roaster which makes for quicker roasting time! I did a 15lb turkey patted it dry and pushed fresh sage leaves under the skin and rubbed unsalted butter all over the turkey. Then start roasting at 450 degrees for 10/- 15 mins and turn down temperature to 325 degrees. According to a turkey site a 15lb turkey (stuffed) turkey would take 4h 18min but with the turkey roaster it was ready in 3H 25min! Turned off roaster and let it rest in there for an hour before carving. Read More
(2)
Rating: 2 stars
11/26/2018
Wasn t impressed at all. Too much sugar caused the turkey skin to burn. And the flavor of the meat wasn t maple. In fact it wasn t much of anything beyond normal turkey (almost as though I hadn t even brined. Not at all worth the time/money. Read More