Best Turkey Brine Recipe is the recipe you’ve been looking for to make your turkey taste amazing. You’ll never go back to your regular recipe after tasting this one.
“You should brine your turkey. Don’t even think about not brining your turkey. Ever.” – Kimbal Musk
This turkey brine recipe is about as foolproof as you can get. After tasting this recipe, you might become a turkey snob and have a hard time enjoying one that hasn’t been brined.
Please make sure you don’t buy a turkey that’s already been injected with salt. That would make this recipe way too salty, and who wants that?
You can cut this recipe in half and use it to brine your chicken too.
Finding the right recipe is so important to pulling off the perfect holiday meal. You want something that’s easy, yet tastes like you are a culinary genius.
This recipe will help you get to there.
Why should you brine your turkey?
Turkey doesn’t have a lot of fat to keep the meat moist. It can easily become tough and dry.
Brining helps make sure your turkey is flavorful and moist.
Easy Turkey Brine Recipe Tips:
1) Plan on cooking one pound of turkey per person.
2) On average you should roast a turkey for 15 minutes on average per pound.
Because every oven is different, cooking times can vary.
Use a instant-read thermometer to get perfect results every time. The white breast meat will be done at 165 degrees F and the dark meat will be done at 170 degrees F.
3) Let the turkey rest for 20 minutes after you take it out of the oven so the juices are absorbed.
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Here’s the recipe for the Best Turkey Brine Recipe:
Ingredients for Best Turkey Brine Recipe
1/2 gallon low-sodium vegetable broth
1/2 gallon apple juice
3/4 cup sea salt
1 tablespoon crushed dried rosemary
1 tablespoon dried sage
1 tablespoon dried thyme
1 tablespoon dried savory
10 black peppercorns
3 sliced garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
1 gallon ice water
How to Make a Turkey Brine
1) In a large stockpot, combine the vegetable broth, apple juice, sea salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, savory, peppercorns, garlic cloves, and bay leaves.
2) Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook until salt is dissolved.
3) Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
4) Have a clean 5-gallon bucket ready with a food safety bag inside – you can find them here. Place broth in the plastic bag. Stir in the ice water.
5) Make sure you wash and dry your turkey. Remove the innards from inside the chest cavity.
6) Place the turkey with the breast side down into the brine. You’ll want to make sure the cavity gets filled with the broth.
7) Put the bucket with the turkey in the refrigerator (at minimum overnight).
8) Remove the turkey and drain off the excess brine. Pat the turkey dry.
9) Discard brine.
10) Cook the turkey according to instructions. Reserve the drippings for the most fabulous gravy.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Brined turkeys cook 30 minutes faster than turkeys that haven’t been brined. Keep an eye on the temperature gauge.
Printable Version Turkey Brine Recipe
- 1/2 gallon low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1/2 gallon apple juice
- 3/4 cup sea salt
- 1 tablespoon dried crushed rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dried crushed sage
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried savory
- 10 black peppercorns
- 3 sliced garlic cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 gallon ice water
- In a large stockpot, combine the vegetable broth, apple juice, sea salt, rosemary, sage, thyme, savory, peppercorns, garlic cloves, and bay leaves.
- Bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook until salt is dissolved.
- Remove broth from heat, and let cool to room temperature.
- Have a clean 5-gallon bucket ready with a 10 gallon food safety bag inside. Place broth in the plastic bag. Stir in the ice water.
- Make sure you wash and dry your turkey. Remove the innards from inside the chest cavity.
- Place the turkey with the breast side down into the brine. You'll want to make sure the cavity gets filled with the broth.
- Put the bucket with the turkey in the refrigerator (at minimum overnight).
- Remove the turkey and drain off the excess brine. Pat the turkey dry.
- Discard brine.
- Cook the turkey according to instructions. Reserve the drippings for the most fabulous gravy.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Brined turkeys cook 30 minutes faster than turkeys that haven't been brined.
Tips for Making Best Turkey Brine Recipe:
1) Make sure you pick a turkey that hasn’t already been brined or injected with salt water.
2) If you don’t have savory or can’t find it, you can omit this herb.
3) When it’s time to cook the turkey, make sure you rub melted butter all over the turkey and season with salt and pepper.
4) If you don’t have room in your refrigerator, you can use a cooler filled with ice. Look online for the best safety precautions.
5) The amount of brine made is good for a turkey that’s 10-18 pounds. For a larger turkey, make more brine.
6) You can add a sliced up onion and celery pieces to the brine while cooking for more flavor.
7) Chicken stock can be substituted for vegetable broth, just make you get low-sodium.
8) Make sure you use a food-grade vessel for brining your turkey. You don’t want to use a garbage bag or place the turkey directly in the bucket because of the PCB’s in plastic.
9) When cooking your turkey, turn up the heat the last 15 minutes to give your turkey the perfect browned look.
10) Because the turkey already tastes seasoned, it eliminates the need to season it after roasting.
Best side dishes for the Turkey Brine Recipe:
1) Mashed Potatoes
Turkey and mashed potatoes go perfectly together. I can’t imagine my turkey dinner without a fluffy side of buttery mashed potatoes. I bet you can’t either.
2) Homemade Cranberry Sauce
Making your own cranberry sauce is super easy. Here’s my favorite recipe for cranberry sauce.
3) Rustic Candied Sweet Potatoes and Apples
This recipe not only looks delicious, it tastes that way too. Sliced sweet potatoes and apples topped with brown sugar and butter makes this recipe divine.
4) Green Bean Casserole
This is my favorite dish to bring to holiday gatherings. It’s the one thing everyone gobbles up. You can’t go wrong with this recipe.
Oh how I love stuffing, let me count the ways. There’s so many different varieties of stuffing to pick from, it’s hard to choose a favorite.
If you’re planning on cooking your turkey with the stuffing inside, be aware that the temperatures sometimes don’t get high enough to guarantee all the dangerous bacteria is cooked off.
It is much better to prepare the stuffing in a separate pan.
6) Potato rolls
There’s rolls, and then there’s potato rolls. I can’t get enough of them. If you’ve never tried them before, you don’t know what you’re missing out on. My aunt always ordered potato rolls from her local bakery ahead of the holidays because everyone loves them so much.
We’ve reached the end of Best Turkey Brine Recipe. I hope you enjoyed it.
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