How To Brine A Turkey {An Herbed Brine Recipe}

Brining a turkey makes a beautiful and juicy turkey and delicious gravy. Once you’ve brined a turkey, it will be your “go-to” method for roasting a Thanksgiving turkey. This Herbed Brine Recipe is easy and delicious…

how to brine a turkey

How to Brine a Turkey

Brining a turkey gives such a beautiful color to the outside of the roasted turkey.

If you are looking for Thanksgiving Turkey Recipes then you might like my recipe for Savory Herbed Turkey Recipe, Lemon Turkey Breast, and Juicy Sage Roasted Turkey

how to brine a turkey

When you brine a turkey, you are basically giving the turkey a salt bath. The saltwater pulls water into the meat and locks the moisture into the turkey creating a delicious and moist turkey – every time.

how to brine a turkey

How Long Should You Brine a Turkey For?

  • Overnight – which would be several hours, up to 24 hours before roasting your turkey.

Should you Brine Turkey?

  • Brining a turkey is really giving a turkey a saltwater bath. The turkey pulls in water from the brine and the salt breaks down some muscle proteins so the turkey will retain more moisture while cooking.

Can I Use Table Salt While Brining a Turkey?

  • If you are using table salt in place of sea salt or kosher salt, use less of it. Table salt is broken down into super fine crystals, so you will get more salt crystals out of a tsp. of table salt than you would a large piece of Kosher salt

Will my Brined Turkey be too Salty?

  • It is very important to rinse the turkey from the brine mixture. You do not want your turkey to be too salty.

So…How Do You Brine a Turkey?

  1. Mix water, herbs, spices, and salt into a large pot
  2. Boil and mix until the salt is dissolved
  3. Add cold water to the mixture and let the water cool off
  4. Using a large roasting pan to hold the turkey and a large oven bag to hold the turkey and water mixture
  5. Pour the brine over the turkey that has been placed into the bag
  6. Seal the bag and place the turkey into the refrigerator for several hours
  7. Rinse the brine off in cold water
  8. Roast as directed
how to brine a turkey

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How To Brine A Turkey – An Herbed Brine Recipe

An herbed brine for a juicy and delicious turkey – every time
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 237cal
Author: Melissa


  • turkey oven roasting bag
  • disposable aluminum turkey roaster


  • 4 Quarts water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1&1/2 cups salt
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • ½ cup fresh rosemary
  • 6 Bay leaves – a small handful
  • 4 tsp. dry mustard
  • 4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 4 tsp. ground cayenne red pepper
  • 4 tsp. whole peppercorn
  • 4 Quarts water cold
  • Turkey


  • In a large stock pot…add the first 10 ingredients
  • Bring to a boil, and stir to dissolve the salt & sugar
  • Add 4 more quarts of cold water to the brine – this will cool it off for you (you don’t want to cook your turkey in a hot bath of water)
  • Let the water mixture cool off until it is cool to the touch – let it cool for about 20 minutes
  • Transfer your brine to whatever you’ll use to pour the brine with
  • *I used a nice big bowl with a spout to transfer the brine into the roasting bag. A pitcher would have worked well, also
  • Take out any gizzards and neck from the turkey cavities
  • Place your turkey inside the roasting bag, and place the bagged turkey it in the disposable roasting pan.
  • *I find the pan to be very helpful in catching splashed water, and a great container for rinsing the turkey
  • Seal the bag, and place the turkey – still in the disposable container – into the refrigerator
  • You will want to let the turkey marinate in the brine for several hours, or overnight – up to 24 hours
  • Occasionally flip the bird over so everything is exposed to the brine
  • When you are ready to cook the turkey empty the bag of juices, and thoroughly rinse the turkey – inside, and out – I know, it seams odd to rinse off all of the spices, and seasonings, but you’ll want to really give it a thorough rinsing. Trust me…you don’t want a bird that’s too salty
  • Pat it dry, and place it in your roasting pan…breast side up
  • Rub olive oil all over the turkey – top, and bottom
  • You can shake a little ground pepper over the turkey for some added flavor
  • Roast it according to this turkey cooking chart  
  • Or, if you are using a printable, make sure your turkey is registering 165 degrees when your thermometer is inserted into the thickest part of the breast or thigh


nutrition facts are only an estimate and do not include the turkey nutrition – only the brine 


Calories: 237cal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 0.3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 77860mg | Potassium: 148mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 50g | Vitamin A: 384IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 110mg | Iron: 2mg


  • Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!
  • Find the original recipe and so much more at Taste of Home

~ Melissa – Kid Friendly Things To Do

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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