Best brine for smoked turkey around. This recipe was given to me by my uncle. He is always smoking meat. EDITOR'S NOTE: This recipe uses canning or kosher salt, not table salt. Using table salt in this amount will make the brine too salty.

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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • In a food-grade large bucket or container large enough to hold your turkey, mix together the water, salt, garlic, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Store in a refrigerator, and soak turkey for 2 days before smoking or roasting.

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Tips

Always brine foods in a food-grade, nonreactive container such as a stainless steel or enameled stockpot, a brining bag, or a food-grade plastic bucket. Never use ordinary trash bags, plastic trash cans, or metal buckets or containers not meant for food use.

Partner Tip

Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

32.1 calories; 0.2 g protein; 8.1 g carbohydrates; 0 mg cholesterol; 13913.4 mg sodium. Full Nutrition

Reviews (635)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/10/2007
Helpful tip: Use a turkey roasting bag (i.e. Reynolds) to hold your turkey in the brine and then put into roasting pan for stability and then put in the refrigerator to soak in all the good flavor. When draining brine put turkey in a strainer and cut bag, drain liquid, then lift bag out and drain bird. Easy and worth it...Yumm! Read More
(1257)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
06/29/2011
If you really want to kick it up...add apple juice whole cloves lemon juice ground sage rosemary and thyme. Then (and this is key) stuff turkey with apples oranges lemons and onions...and cook it BREAST SIDE DOWN Read More
(154)
833 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 738
  • 4 star values: 63
  • 3 star values: 20
  • 2 star values: 7
  • 1 star values: 5
Rating: 5 stars
11/09/2007
Helpful tip: Use a turkey roasting bag (i.e. Reynolds) to hold your turkey in the brine and then put into roasting pan for stability and then put in the refrigerator to soak in all the good flavor. When draining brine put turkey in a strainer and cut bag, drain liquid, then lift bag out and drain bird. Easy and worth it...Yumm! Read More
(1257)
Rating: 5 stars
11/23/2006
My first attempt at doing a brine and I will NEVER prepare a turkey any other way from now on. This definitely was out of this world moist and tasty. It was very easy to do also. I just bought a new 5 gallon pail mixed up the brine and plopped the bird down inside. Covered it and put it in the garage overnight then roasted using Alton Brown's method (from Food Network) which was to start it in the oven at 500 degrees for the first 30 minutes then turned it down to 350 degrees for the remainder. Awesome phenomenal....best turkey I ever put in my mouth!!! Read More
(1134)
Rating: 5 stars
11/30/2006
I had never cooked a turkey before and decided to add the extra step in brining it. It was an 18lb turkey so I emptied the bottom drawer from my fridge and brined it overnight in there. I was only able to put about 3/4 of the water that the recipe called for and was worried that it would be salty but it wasn't. Also, it would have helped dissolve the salt in hot water and then add the rest of the water. I added salt and it kind of just sat at the bottom. Read More
(651)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/15/2007
I made two turkeys this week (they were on sale). I did what Secret Agent suggested and used a washed out cooler to brine the two. The first turkey I soaked for only about 5 hours and it was just ok (cooked in a bag). However the second one - OUT OF THIS WORLD is right. It was the very BEST turkey that I have ever ever made... EXCELLENT. The flavor was wonderful!! Thank you so much I will never cook another turkey without brining it like this again. (I used fresh garlic and Rock Salt since I didn't have any other kind of salt) Read More
(399)
Rating: 5 stars
01/25/2011
Excellent brine! Added a sliced onion to give more depth to the meat and left the peppercorns whole! Helpful Hint: 1.) For those concerned about keeping your "bird" cool clear out your crisper drawer to submerge your bird. Steady even temperature with no danger of spoiling! 2.) Brined turkeys cook faster monitor your bird closely so it will not overcook!!! Enjoy! Read More
(384)
Rating: 5 stars
11/24/2009
FIRST-TIME BRINERS: AFTER BRINING, YOU MUST THOROUGHLY RINSE THE TURKEY IN RUNNING WATER (about 2 mins) and then PAT IT DRY thoroughly before baking. Also, DON'T BRINE A TURKEY THAT IS MARKED "PRE-BASTED". I suspect one or the other of these is the issue for those complaining about their bird being "too salty" even after cutting back on the salt. Do not cut back on the salt! The rinse and/or the unbasted bird will solve your problem. This recipe is terrific, but the author unfortunately assumed users would know these things. Do try it again!! I add 1/2 can of orange juice concentrate but everything else is the same. If you are using frozen turkey, it should be thawed before brining. A FRESH turkey will always turn out better. Read More
(260)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/03/2006
this was the first turkey I put in brine. I let it set two days used a frozen turkey about 20 lbs. I added an extra half of this recipe to cover it completely.I put it in a large clean pail/bucket covered it and put it in the garage(34-35 degrees F. in the garage ) the weather was perfect. when cooked it was flavorful and really nice. my husband even commented on the difference. will try with chicken sometime. A Read More
(243)
Rating: 5 stars
01/11/2006
This is the perfect base for killer smoked deep fried or even oven roasted turkey. I just bought a new 5-gallon bucket with lid that I could put in a cold corner of my garage for 3 days. Just remember to drain and dry your turkey extremely well before cooking by any methods. Even the breast meat comes out as tender and as juicy as dark meat! Read More
(211)
Rating: 3 stars
06/29/2011
If you really want to kick it up...add apple juice whole cloves lemon juice ground sage rosemary and thyme. Then (and this is key) stuff turkey with apples oranges lemons and onions...and cook it BREAST SIDE DOWN Read More
(154)