How to Brine a Turkey Recipe

How to Brine a Turkey

Serving size varies

To brine a turkey, be sure you have a container large enough to hold your bird and ample refrigerator space.


  • 1 turkey (12 - 18 pounds), thawed, giblets and neck removed
  • BRINE:
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 quarts water


  1. For the brine: In a large container, dissolve salt and sugar in the water.
  2. Rinse inside and outside of turkey in cool water.
  3. Place turkey, breast side down, in brining bag. Place bag in a large container. Add prepared brine to bag. Turkey should be submerged in brine. Press air out of bag and seal. Refrigerate container with turkey 12 to 16 hours. Turn turkey halfway through brining time or adjust to make sure it's all getting brined.
  4. Before cooking, remove turkey from brine. Thoroughly rinse inside and outside of turkey under a slow stream of cool water. Pat skin and both cavities dry.
  5. Cook as desired.
  6. Cook's Tips:
  7. The brining process of immersing turkey in salted water is a popular way to season a bird, and results in moist meat. During brining, water is absorbed into the turkey. During cooking, heat cooks the proteins in the meat and forms a barrier that keeps the liquids from escaping.
  8. A large container is required for the brining process, along with lots of space in a refrigerator. We recommend using a brining bag placed inside a container to hold the turkey and brine. You can also use a clean, covered, non-corrosive (glass or stainless steel) pan or stockpot or a food-safe plastic container.
  9. Since brining does not preserve poultry, the turkey must be kept below 40°F throughout entire brining process. If refrigerator space is limited, the brining process should be done with the use of ice packs to ensure turkey stays below 40°F during the brining time.

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