Brine for Chicken and Turkey

Brine for chicken and turkey

​The Spruce 

  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Brining time: 8 hrs
  • Serving: 1 serving

Brining chicken, turkey, and other poultry is a great way to add flavor and moisture to the meat before cooking it. This easy brine recipe can be used for brining a whole turkey breast, a whole chicken, or a whole turkey.

In its simplest form, brine is a solution of salt in water. Generally, for brining chicken, turkey and other poultry, we add sugar and a few simple spices.

When you add your poultry to the brine solution, the liquid should be icy. Room temperature brine can be a food safety hazard.


  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 8 cups ice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for brine
    ​The Spruce 
  2. Combine the water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and allspice in a large stockpot. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.

    Combine water, salt, peppercorns
    ​The Spruce
  3. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Allow the brine to cool completely.

    Bring to a boil
    ​The Spruce 
  4. Add the ice and then immerse the turkey breast or whatever item you are brining. Weigh it down if necessary.

    Add the ice
    ​The Spruce
  5. Transfer to a refrigerator for 8 hours or overnight.

  6. When you're ready to roast, remove the turkey breast and rinse it thoroughly. You can pour out the brine solution at this point.

    Rinse turkey
  7. Cook, per recipe instructions, and enjoy!