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How to Brine a Turkey

a raw turkey in a brine bag with turkey rub on a white background

How to Brine a Turkey?

There are 2 ways to brine: wet & dry. Wet brining a turkey not only adds moisture, but also flavor to a turkey and dry brining packs on the flavor. Watch The Grill Dads video on how to dry brine HERE.

During wet brining, the salt and sugars in the brining solution are absorbed into the turkey which adds extra moisture that helps the bird stay juicy while it’s cooking. The salt also breaks down some of the proteins in the meat making your bird much more tender. Sorry Grandma, no need to douse in gravy to make it juicy anymore!

Here’s the ratio of water to brine blend:

  • 2 gallons cold water
  • 1/2 cup Spiceology Turkey Brine Blend
  • 3-4 Bay Leaves
  • Optional add ins: sliced fresh oranges, fresh herbs, peeled garlic cloves
  • Add all of the above to a large stock pot and bring to a boil. Stir until all of the salt has dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Use to brine your bird in a bag or pot.

What to Brine In

The easiest way to brine a bird is in a large stock pot, but this will take up some precious fridge real estate. We also like using a Turkey Brine Bags for ease of use and can be used for the “cooler method”. See below for some links on where to buy:

Chill that Bird

Brining = chilling, which ultimately = finding a large space in the fridge. You want to keep your bird cold, so if you have to resort to a cooler, make sure you are monitoring it very closely and you keep it on ice. Brining is your opportunity to clean out all of that stuff in the fridge you’ve been meaning to toss.

Pick the Right Bird

Here’s the kicker. Most turkeys at the grocery store are “pre-salted”, “enhanced”, “self-basting” – which means they’ve been injected already with a salt water solution. These types of birds should not be brined or you will be making a salt lick, not a turkey.

Look for “natural” or “all-natural” or contact a local butcher or farmer to get yourself a bird that has not been pre-injected.

How to Cook It

Once you’ve brined your bird for 12 hours, give a good rinse under cold running water to wash away the salt and spices remaining on the surface. Pat it dry inside and out and now it’s time to season it with your blend of choice. We’ve put together a quick guide on cooking times below to help you cook the best bird ever.

a grid of cooking times for a turkey

Thanksgiving Recipes

Click HERE for a full list of Thanksgiving recipes to get you inspired.

Used in this Recipe

Out Of Stock

Turkey Brine


Turkey Rub


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