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5 from 11 votes
Brine for turkey with herbs, garlic, carrots, and lemon slices.

How to Brine a Turkey

9 9 9
WW Freestyle: 9
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time0 mins
Brining Time1 d
Total Time1 d
A simple blend of liquid, salt, sugar, herbs, citrus, and spices creates the most tender, deliciously moist turkey you will ever make! 
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Servings: 20 servings
Calories: 394


  • 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.
Nutrition Facts
How to Brine a Turkey
Amount Per Serving
Calories 394 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 4g20%
Cholesterol 174mg58%
Sodium 5946mg248%
Potassium 616mg18%
Carbohydrates 12g4%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 10g11%
Protein 53g106%
Vitamin A 720IU14%
Vitamin C 5mg6%
Calcium 41mg4%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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