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How to brine A Turkey

Turkey Brine Spices.jpg

It's not a required step to cooking a turkey,  but brining can take your Turkey from being great to being, over the the top extraordinary. Why? Turkey doesn't have a lot of fat to help keep the meat from becoming dry and tough. Learn how to brine a turkey with our simple step-by-step recipe, and you’ll never want to prep it any other way.

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How Is Apple Cider Vinegar Good for Brine?

The brine adds so much flavor and also keeps the turkey tender and moist! 

Brining the turkey breast with an acid, such as apple cider vinegar, before cooking tenderizes the meat and provides the poultry with extra moisture and an added level of flavor.

Do you rinse a turkey after wet brining?

You should always rinse the turkey after brining. Once rinsed, you can let the turkey air dry, or pat it dry with a paper towel. Acidic ingredients like vinegar, lemon juice and wine weaken collagen and protein in meat. Once the proteins are broken by acid, one loose protein can bond with another and trap liquid in the meat, making it juicy and tender.

What can I use instead of apple cider in turkey brine?

If you don't have apple cider Vinegar, you can substitute with apple juice., red wine or white wine vinegar. Red wine vinegar has a little stronger taste than  a white wine with a bolder flavor. You can also used un-seasoned rice vinegar, this type of vinegar is made from fermented rice and used in Asian cuisine. It has a similar acidity to apple cider vinegar. Please make sure not to use seasoned rice vinegar, though: it’s already seasoned with sugar and salt.

To Baste or not to baste Turkey?

Basting the turkey is up to you, some say do, others say don't. I do,  except in the middle of the night. Let's face it, I'm not getting up all overs of the night to soak my turkey in broth without even a thank you. (lol) It's just not necessary. It's going to be fantastic either way.. but make sure to save the broth for incredible our incredible Turkey Gravy!

You Will Need

1. 4  Quarts Cold water (more to cover turkey completely.  (divided)

2. 8 Garlic Cloves.

3. 2 Sprigs Rose Mary

4. 1/2 container fresh Thyme

5. 1/2 TBSP Pepper (or Peppercorns) 

6. 1 Cup Brown Sugar

7. 4 TBSP Lemon Juice 

8. 3/4 Cup Kosher Salt (or 3 TBSP) table salt

9. 2 large bay leaves

10. 1/2 TBSP Sage (I used ground sage)

11. 1 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar 


  •  Prep the actual bird, removing all of the innards Set aside to make the best Giblet Gravy.

  • Bring the water to a boil and then add in all of the seasonings and salt. Bring to a rapid boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.

  • At this point, the brine must be cooled to at least 40° to prevent bacterial growth in the meat. To speed the cooling process, pour the brine over 6–8 cups of ice cubes.

  • When brine has no heat left,  carefully transfer the liquid and the turkey to wherever you plan to store it. Place in refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours.

  •  Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse with cold water, this will remove the excess salt so it won’t be too salty. Pat dry and then prepare your turkey according to desired recipe. 

  • This Recipe was used for a 14.88 sized turkey. and was brined for 21 hours

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