Matt's Fried Turkey Brine


This deep-fried turkey brine with herbs, spices, brown sugar, and a bit of candied ginger adds incredible flavor to your Thanksgiving turkey, and it's so easy to make! This recipe comes from a dear friend of mine who's made his living as a sous chef on a luxury cruise line. When I asked him for a recipe for deep-fried turkey, this is what he shared with me. Makes enough brine for a 16-pound turkey.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
5 mins
Additional Time:
4 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 15 mins
2 gallons

This deep-fried turkey brine is so simple to make, but it is guaranteed to add powerful and complex flavor to your feast. Plus, it'll keep the bird moist and juicy throughout the frying process. Try this deep-fried turkey brine this year for an unforgettable holiday meal.

Deep-Fried Turkey Brine Ingredients

These are the ingredients you'll need to add to your grocery list:

· Broth: This recipe calls for vegetable broth, but you could also use chicken or turkey broth.
· Spices, seasonings, and herbs: Kosher and white sugar give this deep-fried turkey brine sweet and savory flavor. It's also seasoned with peppercorns, allspice, ginger, a cinnamon stick, fresh rosemary, and fresh sage.
· Produce: A chopped red apple adds sweet fruitiness, while a diced onion adds savory flavor.
· Water: You'll need a gallon (plus one cup) of ice water.

How to Make Deep-Fried Turkey Brine

You'll find the full, step-by-step recipe below — but here's a brief overview of what you can expect when you make this deep-fried turkey brine:

1. Boil: Combine vegetable broth, kosher salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a pot over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt, then bring to a boil.
2. Chill: Remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate for at least four hours or up to overnight.
3. Finish: When the brine is well-chilled, add ice water, apple and onion slices, cinnamon stick, rosemary sprigs, and sage leaves. Stir in the remaining cup of water.

How to Brine Turkey for Deep Frying

Once your brine is ready, it's turkey time! Follow these simple steps for a perfectly brined turkey every time:

1. Pour the brine into a food-grade plastic bucket that's big enough to hold the entire turkey.
2. Place a thawed turkey, breast-side down, in the brine. Make sure it's fully immersed.
3. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 16 hours, turning halfway through brining. Make sure the refrigerator stays at or below 40 degrees F throughout the brining process.
4. Pat the bird dry and follow your favorite deep-fried turkey recipe, such as this Simple Deep-Fried Turkey recipe.

How Long to Brine a Turkey for Deep Frying

Cover and refrigerate the turkey for 8 to 16 hours. Ideally, you'll brine your turkey for about 45 minutes to one hour per pound.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This has to be the best tasting turkey we have made for Thanksgiving or Christmas. We had friends over later and the turkey was all eaten up," says Andy del Rosal.

"Flavor was excellent, not overpowering, just a great flavor," says Bridget Bentley. "Bird was juicy and tender and the skin was a beautiful brown."

Editorial contributions by Corey Williams


  • 1 gallon vegetable broth

  • 1 cup kosher salt

  • ½ cup light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 1 ½ teaspoons whole allspice berries

  • 1 ½ teaspoons chopped candied ginger

  • 1 gallon water with ice chunks

  • 1 medium red apple, cored and sliced

  • ½ medium onion, sliced

  • 1 (3 inch) cinnamon stick

  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 6 leaves fresh sage

  • 1 cup water


  1. Combine vegetable broth, kosher salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve sugar and salt; bring mixture to a boil.

  2. Remove from the heat and cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerator until well chilled, at least 4 hours.

  3. Remove from the refrigerator and add water with ice chunks, apple and onion slices, cinnamon stick, rosemary sprigs, and sage leaves. Stir in remaining 1 cup water and brine is ready to use.

To Use:

Pour brine into a large, food-grade plastic bucket. Place a thawed 16-pound turkey, breast-side down, in the brine and weigh it down to ensure it's fully immersed. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once halfway through brining. Keep brine at or below 40 degrees F (4 degrees C) during the process.

Remove turkey from the brine and make sure it's fully patted dry before following your favorite deep-fried turkey recipe.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of brine ingredients. The actual amount of brine consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

66 Calories
1g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 16
Calories 66
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 1g 1%
Sodium 6163mg 268%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 5%
Total Sugars 11g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 6%
Calcium 41mg 3%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 44mg 1%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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