Poultry Brine

Poultry brine spices in spoons
Claire Cohen
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 25 mins
Serving: 1 serving

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

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

An important note: 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, do not brine it.

It is 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.


Steps to Make It

  1. Dissolve salt and brown sugar in water in a large pot. Bring to a boil. Allow solution 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 is not 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 poultry before cooking. Otherwise, there will be a salty flavor to the bird.