Brined Turkey



For the brine and the turkey

  • 2 Cups  water
  • 3/4 Cups  salt
  • 1/2 Cup  light brown sugar
  • sprigs thyme
  • head garlic, split in half
  • white peppercorns
  • bay leaves
  • gallons ice water
  • One  15-pound turkey

This turkey made its way into chef Craig Deihl’s recipe collection by way of a staff meal at his Charleston restaurant Cypress. He explains that while many people don’t do it on Thanksgiving, the brine is the single most important part of getting a perfectly moist turkey, and adds, "The brine makes the difference between a good turkey and a great one." After trying his recipe, we believe him.

Click here to see A Gluten-Free Thanksgiving.


For the brine and the turkey

In a saucepan, combine the 2 cups water with the salt and sugar. Place over medium-high heat. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved. If it starts to boil, lower the temperature. Add the sage, thyme, garlic, peppercorns, and bay leaves and cook for 3 minutes. In a large container, combine the ice water and the hot mixture. Stir with a large spoon. Liquid should be ice cold. Place the turkey into the brine and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Remove the turkey from the brine and put in a colander with the legs facing down to drain excess brine. Brine can be discarded. Using paper towels, pat the turkey dry. Roast the turkey in a preheated oven at 350 degrees for 5 hours or until an internal thermometer reaches 160 degrees.


Calories per serving:

853 calories

Dietary restrictions:

High Protein, Low Carb Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Milk Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free, No Oil Added

Daily value:



  • Fat 384g 591%
  • Carbs 138g 46%
  • Saturated 100g 498%
  • Fiber 3g 13%
  • Trans 4g
  • Sugars 112g
  • Monounsaturated 124g
  • Polyunsaturated 100g
  • Protein 1,476g 2,953%
  • Cholesterol 4,899mg 1,633%
  • Sodium 84,988mg 3,541%
  • Calcium 1,275mg 127%
  • Magnesium 1,824mg 456%
  • Potassium 15,669mg 448%
  • Iron 63mg 352%
  • Zinc 123mg 820%
  • Phosphorus 12,546mg 1,792%
  • Vitamin A 1,184µg 132%
  • Vitamin C 31mg 52%
  • Thiamin (B1) 3mg 225%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 13mg 747%
  • Niacin (B3) 520mg 2,599%
  • Vitamin B6 41mg 2,074%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 486µg 122%
  • Vitamin B12 83µg 1,383%
  • Vitamin D 20µg 5%
  • Vitamin E 6mg 31%
  • Vitamin K 1µg 1%
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