Best Turkey Brine Recipe
If you are looking for a way to give your turkey the best flavor with a tender and juicy outcome, this best turkey brine recipe is exactly what you are looking for. I have finally found a way to make my turkey come out perfect ever. single. time.
It’s all about the brine recipe and process. I’m not sure exactly how to explain the chemical process that happens to break down the meat proteins but I can tell you that the outcome is spectacular and you may never try to make your turkey another way. There is something that happens when you mix salt, sugar and spices that causes the turkey to soak up all the juices and trap them with in the meat causing a juicy, flavorful turkey! Trust me. It’s the best.
You can double or triple this recipe if needed. The brine must cover the whole turkey. I always purchase a really big turkey so it requires me to use a cooler to let it soak overnight. You want to start this process at least 12 hours before you are ready to bake your turkey. I made this below recipe for a 12 pound turkey. This exact recipe would be great for 15 pounds or less. Double the recipe if you have a bigger turkey.
Tip #1 Use the Reynolds Oven bags (turkey size) when baking your turkey. It’s an easy way to trap all the juices in while baking and the clean up is easy too. You can find these bags at your local grocery store or online too. We use these to make pot roast also. Basically, it steams the meat and comes out perfect every time.
Tip #2 One of my favorite seasonings to use in this brine recipe is the McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning !
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorn or black pepper
- 2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 3 bay leaves
- 4 - 6 cloves of garlic (or 3 tablespoons)
- 6 cups of water
- ½ cup of light brown sugar (packed) or regular sugar
- ½ cup kosher salt
- Optional: 1 tablespoon McCormicks Grill Mates Montreal Steak seasoning (LOVE THIS STUFF) or any of your other favorite seasonings that work well with Turkey
- Peel the rosemary off of the steam and dice a few of them to get the oils from the leaves.
- Add all the ingredients to a large sauce pan and bring it to a boil. This allows all the sugars and salts to combine and dissolve.
- Allow it to cool.
- Add the defrosted turkey to a large poultry bag or cooler (like I did) and add the cooled turkey brine mixture.
- Add a bag of ice over the turkey to allow it to stay cool for the next 12+ hours. Or put your poultry bag in the refrigerator if you have room.
- For each pound of meat you should refrigerate it for one hour. For example, if you have a 12 lb turkey, you need to refrigerate this for 12 hours. Add ice to the cooler if needed.
- Remove the turkey from the brine recipe and bake it as directed on the package.