Brining a Turkey

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated November 27, 2013)

There are more ways to prepare a turkey than the traditional way of just sticking it into an oven. One of the best ways to be able to create a fantastically juicy and succulent turkey is to brine it. Simply put, brining a turkey is something like marinating a turkey, but only more so. The purpose of brining is to increase the ability of the meat to hold onto its juices, which leads to a much moister and tasty bird than you would normally get. Here is a fantastic way to brine a turkey that will simply leave your mouth watering for more when you taste it.

Be aware that this recipe is for brining the turkey, not for cooking it. This is simply something extra that you can do before you cook the turkey to add flavor and juiciness to your bird. Once you have brined the turkey, you should be ready to cook your turkey as you normally would.


  • 1 cup Kosher or non-iodized table salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1-1/2 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 gallon ice water (about 50/50 water and ice)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon black pepper
  • Large 5 gallon container (preferably a picnic cooler)


  1. Prepare the brine. About three days before you plan on cooking your turkey, you need to begin preparing the brine. Place all the ingredients, except the ice water, into a large stock pot. Bring these ingredients to a boil, stirring periodically. Once all ingredients have been dissolved, and the broth has been brought to a boil, remove the pot from the heat and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  2. Refrigerate the brine. Cover the stock pot and place into a refrigerator. By allowing the brine to refrigerate for a two days, you will be increasing its potency and flavor.
  3. Thaw the turkey. Two days before you are planning on cooking your turkey, begin thawing it out. This is usually a long process, so be sure that you start it two days prior to cooking.
  4. 4 Place the turkey into the brine. On the day before you plan on cooking your turkey into a large picnic cooler so that you can begin brining. You want to use a large picnic cooler (around a 5 gallon size) because these usually have a spigot that you can use to release melted ice water. In addition, a picnic cooler will also help to refrigerate the turkey overnight. Place the bird into the container, and then pour the brine over the bird. Once you have added the brine, add the ice water. Close the lid, and place your brining bird into a cool area. Let the turkey sit over night, for a minimum of 8 hours, or as long as 16 hours. The longer the bird is in the brine, the better the flavor.
  5. Remove turkey. Remove the turkey from the brine, and rinse it off at least two times. This will help to remove any excess brine from the bird, and aid in the cooking. Dispose of your excess brine, and then cook your turkey as you normally would. Enjoy!

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...


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