|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0g||1%|
|Total Carbohydrate 18g||7%|
|Dietary Fiber 1g||3%|
|Total Sugars 17g|
|Vitamin C 2mg||9%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
When Thanksgiving approaches, there's no shortage of discussions about the best way to roast a turkey because a dry one is a big disappointment. Time and time again, brining comes up as a key way to help ensure a juicier, tastier holiday turkey. Water, salt, sugar, garlic, and herbs make up this quick turkey brine for a 12 -to 15-pound bird. (Dry brines are different altogether and don't involve submerging the turkey in salty, herbed water.)
Once the brine has come together, let it cool. Some people like to put the turkey in an extra-large resealable plastic bag inside a cooler loaded with ice, which makes it easier to pour the brine in and even easier to move the turkey around; it also doesn't take up precious space in your refrigerator at a time of year when space is at a premium. You can use a cooler or simply add the turkey and the brine to a large container.
Click Play to See This Basic Turkey Brine Recipe Come Together
“I appreciate having a dependable brine recipe in my holiday repertoire, and this one delivers. Truly a classic.” —Mary Jo Romano
2 gallons cold water
2 cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
3 cloves garlic, crushed
6 to 8 sprigs fresh thyme
6 to 8 sprigs fresh sage
6 to 8 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 1/2 teaspoon allspice berries, cracked
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Turkey, for using the brine, optional
Gather the ingredients.
Add water, salt, sugar, garlic, thyme, sage, rosemary, allspice berries, and pepper to a stockpot. Over medium heat, simmer until the salt and sugar dissolve, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and let cool completely.
Submerge the turkey in the brine. Top with a plate and put a large can or a few cans on the plate to keep the turkey submerged. Refrigerate the turkey in the brine for 12 to 24 hours.
Before roasting, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it off under cold water so it's not too salty. Pat it dry with paper towels. Discard the brine.
Follow your favorite recipe and roast without using additional salt.
- This recipe is enough for a 12- to 15-pound turkey, but if you have to increase the amount of water to cover the turkey because your turkey is larger, add proportionately more salt, sugar, and herbs. For each gallon of water, use 1 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, and approximately 1 teaspoon crushed garlic, 2 to 4 sprigs of the herbs, about 1 teaspoon of cracked allspice berries and 1/2 teaspoon pepper.
- Brined meat might look a bit pink even when fully cooked. Always check the temperature of the turkey with an instant-read thermometer. The turkey should register at least 165 F in the thickest part of the thigh. If the turkey is stuffed, the center of the stuffing must be cooked to at least 165 F.
- Rather than fresh herbs, use 1 tablespoon of dried herbs.
- Other popular brine additions include whole peppercorns, lemon or orange quarters, bay leaves, whole cloves, and cinnamon sticks.