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Basic Turkey Brine Recipe

Basic Turkey
Maryse Chevriere

Basic Turkey

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.

For Turkey 35 Ways Gallery, click here.


*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.

Click here to see the Basic Roasted Turkey recipe.