The Best Turkey Brine



  • 2 gallons of cold water
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 oranges, sliced
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, quartered
  • 6 – 8 whole garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 4-5 cloves
  • 5-6 bay leaves
  • 1 – 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 4 cups of ice


  1. Combine about 4 cups of the water with sugar and salt in a medium saucepan. Heat over medium until the sugar and salt has dissolved.
  2. Add the liquid to a large stock pot or clean five gallon bucket. Stir in the cold water and remaining brine ingredients, including the ice to cool the brine.
  3. Prepare the turkey by removing giblets and any plastic packaging.
  4. Place the turkey breast side down in the brine and cover. Refrigerate or place in a cooler for 24 – 36 hours. Pat dry and allow to air dry for at least 30 minutes prior to cooking.

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