If you decide to brine a turkey, try this simple recipe and play around with the optional ingredients to find what works best for you. This recipe is meant for an 8-10 pound turkey, so if your bird is larger than that, this recipe may need to be doubled or tripled.
*Note: You can substitute 1 cup of honey for every cup of sugar.
- 1 gallon water
- 1 ½ cups kosher salt
- 1 cup sugar*
- 2 tablespoons peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon whole coriander seed
- 3 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon whole cloves
- 2 cups orange juice (optional)
- 3 tablespoons orange zest (optional)
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- 6-8 sprigs fresh thyme or rosemary (optional)
Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and whisk until the salt and sugar is dissolved.
Place the turkey in a large, non-reactive container, and add the brine. Make sure the turkey is completely submerged in the brine.
Refrigerate the turkey in the brine for 36-48 hours before cooking.