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Up close photo of a golden turkey after brined in a Turkey Brine.

Best Turkey Brine

This Best Turkey Brine recipe creates the most tender, flavorful and moist turkey perfect for your Holiday table. This recipe is for a 21-24 lbs bird.
Keyword Best Turkey Brine, Turkey Brine Recipe
Prep Time 45 minutes
Total Time 2 days
Servings 14 people
Author Heather



  • 1/2 gal water
  • 1 qt chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp basil
  • 1 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp marjoram
  • 1 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups good quality salt *such as Kosher, pink Himalayan and/or sea salt
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar *either light or dark
  • 1 lg brown onion *roughly chopped
  • 2 trays ice cubes *about 24-30 ice cubes

For the Turkey

  • 21-24 lb all-natural turkey *fully defrosted if previously frozen
  • Olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 lg brown onion *cut into 1/4's
  • 3-4 stalks celery *cut into lg chunks
  • 4 cloves garlic *crushed, about 1 tbsp


  • Place all ingredients with the exception of the brown onion and ice cubes into a large stockpot. Bring to a boil over med/high- high heat until sugar and salt dissolves. Take off heat and add ice and brown onion. Let brine sit until ice has melted and brine has cooled to room temperature.
  • Open brining bag into a 36-42 quart stockpot and place turkey breast side down into bag. Pour brine over top of turkey and seal bag tightly following instructions on bag. Brine in refrigerator for 24-48 hours.
  • Once brined, remove turkey from liquid and dispose of brine. Throughly rinse off both the outside and inner cavity of bird and then pat dry with paper towels.
  • Preheat oven to 425℉.
  • Place turkey onto roasting rack inside inside large roasting pan. Add the onion, celery and garlic to the cavity of the turkey. Drizzle the outside of the turkey with olive oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  • Bake at 425℉ for 25 mins and then lower temperature to 350℉. Tent the turkey with aluminum foil (see below under Recipe Notes) and bake until internal temperature of the innermost part of the thigh reaches 165℉. If turkey has not acheived a golden brown color towards the end of roasting, remove foil for the last 30 mins of baking.
  • Once pulled from the oven let turkey rest for 30 mins before carving.


*Please use as many organic ingredients as possible.
Recipe Notes
  • All herbs and spices for the brine are measurements for dried vs fresh.
  • To tent a turkey means to cover with foil loosely similar to the shape of a tent, allowing some steam to be released on the side. In other words, the entire turkey and pan does not need to be covered. Tenting will prevent the turkey from over browning.
  • An unstuffed turkey (no bread dressing) will take approximately 13 mins per lb and a stuffed turkey will require anywhere from 30- 60 mins longer roasting time. 
  • See above under "Tips for roasting the best holiday turkey" for spatchcocking guidelines and cooking times.