Poultry Brine Recipe

Poultry brine spices in spoons.
Claire Cohen
  • Total: 25 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 1 gallon (1 serving)
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
208 Calories
0g Fat
47g Carbs
1g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1 gallon (1 serving)
Amount per serving
Calories 208
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 1%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 113201mg 4,922%
Total Carbohydrate 47g 17%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Protein 1g
Calcium 182mg 14%
*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.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This high-powered poultry brine recipe is loaded with flavor that comes from traditional ingredients as well as vinegar and pickling spices.

Keep refrigerated until ready to use. Then, You will need to brine your poultry for 1 hour per pound of bird in the refrigerator before cooking so plan accordingly.

Before You Begin

Do not use poultry that has been injected with a salt mixture or saline solution. Brining an already salted bird will produce a very salty end result. Check the label ingredients and choose only a natural, non-enhanced bird whether fresh or frozen. If there is anything other than poultry on the ingredient list, don't brine it.

It's not a good idea to brine a bird if you are on a salt-restricted diet. Additionally, gravy made from the drippings of a brined bird might have a salty flavor so be cautious when adding more salt to stuffings and gravy.


  • 1 gallon/3.8 liters water
  • 1 cup/240 mL table salt (or 1 1/2 cups/360 mL kosher or coarse salt)
  • 3 tablespoons/45 mL brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup/120 mL white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon/15 mL pickling spice
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL allspice
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon/5 mL tarragon

Steps to Make It

  1. Dissolve salt and brown sugar in water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Allow to cool.

  2. Add vinegar, pickling spice, black pepper, allspice, garlic powder, and tarragon. Mix well. 

  3. Add cleaned poultry, submerging as best as you can, and brine for 1 hour per pound in the refrigerator. Turn occasionally if part of the poultry isn't fully submerged so all parts of the bird are brined. Alternatively, if your container is large enough, make a double or triple batch of brine for a larger bird.

  4. Thoroughly rinse all the brine from the turkey before cooking. Otherwise, there will be a salty flavor to the bird. Read more on brining a turkey. The technique works for any poultry you wish to brine.​