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Easy Citrus Herb Turkey Brine

The easiest aromatic brine for your Thanksgiving turkey. The brining method will help retain moisture and season the turkey with aromatic herbs and flavors.

Brining has become part of my Thanksgiving ritual. It's a method where you submerge food in a salty solution. There are two different methods to brining, dry brine and wet brine. This recipe features my go-to wet brine that I use for every Thanksgiving turkey. It involves citrus, herbs and plenty of garlic which are wonderful aromatics which will also help season the meat while re-absorbing the liquid in the salt and sugar solution. This results in a wonderfully juicy turkey.

Plate of the brining aromatics. Bay leaves not featured.


2 gallons water

1 1/2 cup kosher salt

1 cup sugar

1 orange

1 package poultry herbs (sage, thyme, rosemary)

4 bay leaves

1 head of garlic


1. Fill a large pot with filtered water and add salt and sugar.

2. Stir to dissolve and bring the pot of water to a boil then turn off the heat.

3. Remove pot from heat.

4. Add the herbs, garlic, bay leaves, and sliced orange then allow it to cool completely.

5. Once the brine solution has cooled, place the uncooked turkey into an oven bag or a brining bucket and add the solution so the turkey is completely submerged.

6. Brine turkey for 12 - 16 hours before roasting. Remove from the bag, drain liquid and thoroughly rinse turkey then dry before placing it in the roaster.

Soaking time varies based on the size of the turkey. Recommended to brine for 1 hour for every pound of meat.


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