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Brine for turkey with herbs, garlic, carrots, and lemon slices.

How to Brine a Turkey

Katerina | Diethood
A simple blend of liquid, salt, sugar, herbs, citrus, and spices creates the most tender, deliciously moist turkey you will ever make! 
Servings : 20 servings
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Brining Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day


  • 1 12-pound to 20-pound turkey, (not kosher, saline-injected, or previously brined)
  • 1 gallon warm water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 10 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced, slices cut into half-moons
  • orange peel of 1 large orange, torn into several pieces
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves


  • Place a gallon of warm water in a large pot, bucket, or bin.
  • Stir in salt and sugar; stir until dissolved.
  • Stir in chicken broth.
  • Add garlic, carrot slices, lemon slices, orange peel, peppercorns, thyme, rosemary, and parsley; stir to combine.
  • Carefully submerge the turkey in the brine. Add more water, if needed, to make sure the brine covers the turkey entirely.
  • Cover with a plastic bag and top with heavy item, like a brick or a heavy plate, to keep the turkey submerged.
  • Refrigerate for a minimum of 12 hours, and up to 24 to 48 hours.
  • If fridge space is limited, use a cooler. Place brine and turkey in a large brining bag. Seal the bag closed and place it inside the cooler. Cover with lots of ice and set in a dark, cool place until ready to use.
  • When ready to cook, take turkey out of the brine and pat dry with paper towels.
  • Continue to roast the turkey as usual.


Calories: 394 kcal | Carbohydrates: 12 g | Protein: 53 g | Fat: 14 g | Saturated Fat: 4 g | Cholesterol: 174 mg | Sodium: 5946 mg | Potassium: 616 mg | Fiber: 1 g | Sugar: 10 g | Vitamin A: 720 IU | Vitamin C: 5 mg | Calcium: 41 mg | Iron: 2 mg | Net Carbs: 11 g

Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: best turkey brine, easy turkey brine, how long to brine a turkey, how to brine a turkey, turkey brine recipe