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Turkey Brine Recipe

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Category: smoker recipes
  • Method: brine
  • Cuisine: american


This Turkey Brine Recipe is the secret weapon for a succulent, juicy, and flavor-packed smoked turkey. Say goodbye to dry turkey and hello to a mouthwatering masterpiece with our easy and aromatic brine.


  • 2 gallons cold water
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup kosher salt (or 3/4 cups table salt)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh, whole rosemary leaves
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 5 whole bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • zest of 3 large oranges


  1. Combine water, apple cider, salt, sugar, rosemary, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, thyme, red onion, and orange zest in a large, sturdy pot.
  2. Bring the brine to a gentle boil. Stir it to make sure the salt and sugar dissolve into the mix.
  3. Carefully remove the pot from heat and place it in a sink filled with ice water.
  4. Once your brine is cool, place your turkey into the brine solution and set it in the refrigerator for 16 to 24 hours. That’s roughly 1 ½ hours per pound of turkey. 
  5. Next, carefully take turkey out of the brine. Submerge it in a pot or sink filled with fresh, cold water for 15 minutes. This will wash away any excess salt from the outside.
  6. Then, take turkey out and place it on a cutting board; pat it down with paper towels until it’s dry.
  7. Now, you’re all set to continue with your flavor injector (if using) and smoking turkey.


This is a Yummly original recipe created by Marrekus and Krysten Wilkes of Cooks with Soul that has been upgraded and adapted for this website.

Keywords: turkey brine recipe, smoked turkey, turkey brine