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I know Thanksgiving is over and we are all getting very tired of turkey. But the truth is, for many folks Christmas dinner includes turkey! I decided to post this brine recipe just in case you haven’t ever brined a turkey. It is fabulous. Pure and simple. The turkey turns out moist, busting with flavor and a total family pleaser! Win-win!
In cooking, brining is a process similar to marination in which meat or poultry is soaked in brine before cooking. Salt is added to cold water in a container, where the meat is soaked usually six to twelve hours. The amount of time needed to brine depends on the size of the meat. More time is needed for a large turkey compared to a broiler-fryer chicken. Brining makes cooked meat moister by hydrating the cells of its muscle tissue before cooking.
Some years ago we spent $12 on a jar of turkey brining spices from Williams Sonoma. It turned out so well we have brined them ever since. But now I use a recipe I adapted from the Food Network. I save the $ and enjoy it that much more!
My official turkey carver was very happy with this brined and BBQ grilled turkey!
- 1 (12 to 15) pound turkey, fully thawed and rinsed
- 2 gallons water
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 2 lemons, sliced in quarters
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon sage
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon whole cloves
- Combine all brine ingredients in a large pot. Bring to boil just long enough to make sure all the sugar and salt are dissolved. Cool to room temperature.
- In a large Ziplock bag add the turkey and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
- When ready to bake empty the brine and rinse the turkey well.
- Bake or grill according to your favorite recipe.