This turkey brine recipe is the EASIEST method for producing the most flavorful Roasted Turkey you have ever had. With these step by step directions for how to brine a turkey, you will be a rock star this at your holiday meal with very little effort on your part!
Place the salt, sugar, herbs, peppercorns, carrots, onions, celery, and apples into a large stock pan.
Cover with cold, filtered water or chicken/turkey stock.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or until sugar and salt have dissolved in water into the brine.
Remove from the heat and cool for 30 minutes, before storing in the refrigerator to cool the remaining way.
At this point, you can strain off the solids from your brine. I typically leave them in the brine and then discard with the brining bag in the morning after removing the turkey from the brine.
How to Brine Turkey
On the night before you plan to roast your turkey, place your thawed and cleaned out turkey into the large Ziploc Bag or brining bag.
Pour the brining liquid over the into the bag.
Pour cold water in to cover the bird completely in liquid–this is about 1 gallon of cold water.
Seal the brining bag and refrigerate the turkey in the brine overnight--for at least 8 hours or up to 18 hours.
Before roasting the turkey, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse off the excess salt on the turkey. Blot the turkey dry with paper towels.
Preheat your oven to 500 degrees F.
Roast the turkey on the lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16-pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 ½ hours of roasting.
Remove the turkey from the oven after it reaches the desired temperature and let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil for 15 minutes before carving.
This recipe is for a 10-14 pound turkey. Double for a larger turkey or cut in half for a turkey breast.
It is best to brine a fresh turkey that has not been injected with a sodium solution.
Instead of veggie and fruit scraps, you can use 2 chopped onions, 6 stalks of celery, 1 chopped apple, and 2 large carrots.
Feel free to use more or less vegetables (the salt is the most important part of the turkey brine.)
Use water, stock, broth, or apple juice for the brining liquid.