culinary review

How To Make a Turkey Brine

Last Modified: 10/28/07
First Published: 10/28/07
Views: 7454
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Views: 7454

Once your turkey has thawed you can begin to think about a brine.

Brines are basically salt solutions with herbs and spices added for flavor.


  • 2 cups regular table salt (with or without iodine)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 large pot (we used a 24 quart stock pot)
  • 1 7 pound bag of ice


spices brinesalt brine


turkey brineMethod

To start the brine boil about a half gallon of water on the stove. Once the water has boiled add the salt and sugar and whisk to dissovle.

Chill the solution, then add another gallon of cold water to the pot.

Place the turkey in the pot and add enough cold water to cover the turkey. Add all of the ice. Because the pot was so large you must add the ice since you cannot put the pot in the refrigerator.

This method will work for any size turkey really since it is a very large pot.

Keep the turkey in the brine for at least two hours, check to see if you need to use more ice. You do not want the turkey coming to room temperature. Remember the danger zone is from 40 degrees to 140 degrees f.


ice brine turkeyWhat a Brine Does

A brine is basically a way to move salt into a body. If you keep something like a turkey in such a salt solution you allow, over time the salt to penetrate the cells of the bird. Over a period of time, such as two hours or more the salt and water will move in and out of the bird, distributing flavors and salinity.



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