Thanksgiving Turkey Brine

4.9
(42)

Prepare yourself for a juicy flavor kiss with this turkey brine! Brining is a popular method for improving the flavor and moisture content of lean meats like chicken, turkey, pork, and seafood. Enjoy the juiciest and most flavorful turkey you'll ever eat.

overhead view on prep station readying a Thanksgiving turkey brine.
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Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
5 hrs
Additional Time:
12 hrs
Total Time:
17 hrs 15 mins
Servings:
20

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon water

  • 4 quarts chicken broth

  • 1 ½ cups kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

  • 2 tablespoons dried rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion

  • 2 tablespoons dried basil

  • 2 tablespoons dried savory

  • 2 tablespoons dried marjoram

  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme

  • 2 tablespoons dried tarragon

  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano

  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds

  • 2 gallons ice, divided, or more as needed

  • 1 (20 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed

Directions

  1. Mix water, chicken broth, and salt together in a 5-gallon bucket with a lid until salt dissolves. Add garlic, rosemary, onion, basil, savory, marjoram, thyme, tarragon, oregano, pepper, and coriander; mix well. Stir 2 cups ice into brine.

  2. Place turkey into brine, filling cavity with brine. Add enough ice to the bucket to cover turkey. Secure the lid on the bucket. Swish bucket from side to side to chill water. Refrigerate turkey and bucket for 12 to 24 hours; refill with ice every 2 hours as needed.

  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  4. Remove turkey from brine and pat dry. Discard brine. Place turkey on a rack inside a roasting pan.

  5. Bake turkey in the preheated oven, basting every 30 to 40 minutes, until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, 5 to 6 1/2 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 165 degrees F (74 degrees C).

  6. Remove turkey from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and rest for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.

Cook's Note:

There is no need to add more spices when removing the turkey from the brine. The turkey will be flavorful and juicy enough. But, if you still choose to, prepare turkey as you normally would. This brine solution can be scaled back and used for any type of poultry, including roasting whole chickens or boneless chicken breasts.

Editor's Note:

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

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

704 Calories
33g Fat
3g Carbs
93g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 20
Calories 704
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 33g 42%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 272mg 91%
Sodium 7841mg 341%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 93g
Vitamin C 2mg 8%
Calcium 151mg 12%
Iron 7mg 41%
Potassium 981mg 21%

* 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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