Turkey Brining 101

Brining is a surprisingly simple way to add loads of flavor and moisture to poultry and pork. In the most basic sense, it’s the marinating of leaner meats to add moisture and tenderize them. But more specifically, the herbs, salts, and spices of the brine can transform a typically dry turkey into the most tender and juicy entrée you can imagine.

During the cooking process, meat can lose up to 30% of its water. Proper brining can cut that moisture loss in half. The brining solution actually works to gently break down the meat fibers, allowing more moisture and flavor to be infused.

The truth is until you’ve tried brining, you’ll never know how tender and juicy a turkey can be!

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 Turkey, defrosted & entrails removed
  • 2.5 c. Kosher Salt
  • 1 c. Sugar
  • 1.5 Gallons Water
  • 6 c. Ice
  • 1 c. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. each Sage, Thyme, Rosemary
  • Large Plastic Tub or Food-Grade Bag


  1. Bring 4 cups of water to boil; add sugar and salt, stir until fully dissolved. Remove from heat and add herbs, vinegar, remaining water, and ice.

  2. Place the turkey in a container or in a resealable bag, pour in enough brine to completely cover the turkey with an inch or two to spare.

  3. Place in refrigerator. The turkey should sit in the brine for about 1 hour per pound of turkey. Brining too long is much worse than not brining enough so watch the time.

  4. When you are ready to start cooking your turkey, remove it from the brine and rinse it off thoroughly in the sink with cold water until all traces of salt are off the surface inside and out. Safely discard the brine and cook your turkey as normal.

  5. Roasting Time Roasting Time
    Weight (Unstuffed) (Stuffed)
    • 10-18 lbs. 3-3.5 hrs 3.75-4.5 hrs
    • 18-22 lbs. 3.5-4 hrs 4.5-5 hrs
    • 22-24 lbs 4-4.5 hrs 5-5.5 hrs
    • 24-29 lbs 4.5-5 hrs 5.5-6.25 hrs

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