10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (2024)

  • 01 of 10

    Basic Turkey Brine

    10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (1)

    This is a good recipe if this is your first time brining, and you want to keep it simple. Dissolve kosher salt, garlic, herbs, and allspice berries in water. Submerge and refrigerate your turkey for up to 24 hours in the brine, turning it every few hours so the bird brines evenly.

    Remember that you're using 2 gallons of water, so you need a plastic container that can hold that much liquid, the turkey, and the necessary space in the fridge.

  • 02 of 10

    Savory Turkey Brine

    10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (2)

    This turkey brine combines vegetable stock with kosher salt, sugar, and herbs to create a rich flavor. The mixture is simmered until the salt dissolves, then water is added to thin out the brine. ​

    Use a salt-free or low-sodium store-bought or homemade vegetable stock. Remember that you'll add plenty of salt to the brine, so you don't want to overdo it. Always use kosher salt as it has no iodine, which can alter the flavor of your meat.

  • 03 of 10

    Apple Spice Brine

    10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (3)

    Since brine is typically water and salt with a bit of sweetness for balanced flavors, using fruit juices instead of water is a great option. Plus, the acidity in the juices helps to tenderize the meat.

    Your kitchen will smell incredible as you simmer apple and orange juice with warm holiday spices like cloves, brown sugar, and nutmeg.

  • 04 of 10

    Smoked Turkey Brine

    10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (4)

    This simple brine adds a soft herbal flavor to the bird because it includes fresh tarragon and whole bay leaves. This brine is suggested for smoked turkey.

    Water, salt, and sugar are boiled together and then removed from the heat. Spices are added, and the mixture is cooled before adding more water.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.

  • 05 of 10

    Cranberry Turkey Brine

    10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (5)

    Bringing a turkey in cranberry, apple, and orange juices is a festive choice. Adding salt, garlic, and fresh herbs makes this brine an excellent option for any holiday.

    When served, your turkey will be permeated with a slight acidity from the fruit juices and be beautifully moist and tender.

  • Poultry Brine

    10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (6)

    Pickling spices are a natural choice for moist and flavorful turkey. The combination of vinegar, brown sugar, tarragon, allspice, and garlic powder infuses the bird with a lot of flavor.

    Always wash the brine off and pat the bird dry before cooking. Try this brining option for chicken, too.

  • 07 of 10

    Maple and Brown Sugar Brine

    10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (7)

    Sweet maple syrup is a delicious addition to any poultry but works exceptionally well with turkey. This brine's ingredients also include soy sauce, spices, and brown sugar, making a quick and easy brine.

    You can also use this brine for large roasts and pork chops. Halve the ingredients for best results.

  • 08 of 10

    Apple Turkey Brine

    10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (8)

    Apple juicegives the slightest hint of tart-sweetness that balances the flavor of this perfect brine recipe. Brown sugar, cloves, cinnamon, black peppercorns, and orange zest are added for a bright, flavorful, and tangy brine.

    Use regular apple juice; don't overspend on the organic pressed apple version. The result will be great regardless of the quality of the juice.

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.

  • 09 of 10

    Citrus Turkey Brine

    10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (9)

    The citrus fruits in this citrus turkey brine add a tangy flavor while helping to tenderize the meat. Onion and garlic infuse into the turkey, adding deep, savory notes.

    Slice the fruit (no squeezing necessary), cook with water, salt, and sugar. Cool the brine and add more water before submerging the turkey.

  • 10 of 10

    Hawaiian Turkey Brine

    10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (10)

    Fruit juice is a common way to tenderize meat. For this Hawaiian-style brine, you'll use pineapple juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, maple syrup, garlic, and crushed red pepper for a spicy kick.

    This tropical option pairs wonderfully with any poultry, adding a lively tang to your holiday bird. Place chunks of raw pineapple and onions into the bird cavity before cooking for extra flavor.

The Perfect Brine

For a successful brining, remember to:

  • Brine your turkey for 1 hour per pound. For example, a 12-pound turkey will require 12 hours of brining.
  • Purchase a brine-free turkey. Be sure to purchase a turkey that hasn't been pre-brined.
  • Defrost. The turkey must be completely defrosted.
  • Kosher salt and filtered water. Use kosher salt and filtered water for best results.
  • Weight the turkey to keep it submerged. Use a weight (like a can of tomatoes on a plate) to keep the turkey submerged in the brine.
  • Rinse the bird. Carefully rinse the brine from the turkey, and pat dry inside and out before roasting. Sanitize the sink and countertops afterward since raw poultry juices are unsafe to consume.
10 Turkey Brine Recipes to Keep Your Meat Moist (2024)
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