Roasted turkey on a platter with Thanksgiving trimmings

How To Brine A Turkey

Learning how to brine a turkey is the key to dependably tender and moist turkey every holiday season.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword best turkey brine, how to brine a turkey, turkey brine recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Resting time 20 hours
Total Time 20 hours 10 minutes
Servings 1
Author Cheryl Malik


  • 1 1/2 cups table salt
  • 3 gallons water
  • 2/3 cup packed brown sugar optional
  • 1 tbsp peppercorns optional
  • 3-5 sprigs fresh thyme optional


  1. The day before roasting, first thing in the morning, make your brine. Mix salt and water together until dissolved.Place the brining bag in the bucket and put the bird in breast-side down. Pour the brine into the bag, making sure the entire bird is covered--no naked bits. Zip the bag up, cover, and put in the fridge. If you don't have space in your fridge, you can use a cooler.
  2. Refrigerate for 12 hours.

  3. Take the turkey out and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels, making sure to dry the inside of the cavity, too.


  1. Return to the refrigerator in a roasting pan and let air-dry overnight. This helps develop crispy skin, since there will be no excess moisture in or on the turkey to create steam when roasting.

Recipe Notes