If you are looking for the most flavorful, succulent, delicious Thanksgiving turkey you need this easy Thanksgiving turkey brine recipe. Follow my simple instructions for how to brine a turkey for Thanksgiving. This a recipe for a dry turkey brine mix and it is great for a hostess gift or a gift exchange.
Don’t forget to read up on how to thaw a frozen turkey and then how to roast a juicy turkey followed by how to carve a turkey breast. If you want to make a juicy turkey in less time, a spatchcock turkey is for you!
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The Best Turkey Brine
This is the best turkey brine because it has a lovely balance of aromatics, citrus, spice, sweetness and salt. The ingredients can be found in most spice cabinets.
What is brine mean?
Brining meat, in this case your Thanksgiving turkey, is the process of soaking the meat in a salt water solution that is full of other flavors. The salt water will help the meat to retain moisture. We all love a flavorful, moist Thanksgiving turkey and this is how I prepare my Thanksgiving turkey each year.
What do you need to make a turkey brine?
- orange peels, dried. (learn how easy it is to make your own dried orange peel.)
- bay leaves
- sprigs of sage
How to make a brine:
- Combine all the ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine.
- Store in an air tight container until ready to use.
Use dried orange peel in a turkey brine
This recipe calls for dried orange peels. I dried mine in a 350 degree oven for about 15 minutes. It is important for all the moisture to be out of the orange peels if you are going to be storing this dry bring recipe.
** you can substitute lemon peel if you don’t have an orange**
Combine all the ingredients and store in a tight container. I have a LOT of mason jars in the house that us in all my caning projects so I store this recipe in a mason jar with a lid and a ring.
Can I substitute fresh orange peel for dried orange peel in this brine recipe?
Yes. If you are not making this brine mix ahead of time (more than a few days) go ahead and use a fresh orange peel. The purpose of drying the orange peel is if you were go give this brine mix and a gift and it needed to sit for long term storage. When I make my Thanksgiving turkey, I just a fresh orange peel in my brine mix.
How to make a wet brine.
- Use 1 recipe of brine mix, stated above.
- Combine 2 gallons of water with the brine mix in a large pot.
- Stir to dissolve, or heat to dissolve.
- Cool completely.
- Brine the turkey.
How do you brine a turkey?
- Place your thawed Thanksgiving turkey (see how to Safely Thaw A Frozen Turkey in this post) in a large pot.
- Fill the pot with cold water until the turkey is submerged.
- Remove the turkey.
- Pour the brine mixture in the water and stir until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.
- Replace the turkey in the brine.
- Cover and store in the refrigerator for 12-18 hours.
- Remove the turkey and roast.
More Thanksgiving Recipes:
- How to roast the perfect Thanksgiving turkey
- How to thaw a frozen turkey
- 24 Recipes for a Crock Pot Thanksgiving
- Easy Pumpkin Ravioli With Brown Butter Sauce And Sage
- How To Carve A Turkey Breast
- 1 cup salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 mandarin orange peels, dried.
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 sprigs of sage
- 2 tablespoons rosemary
- 2 tablespoons thyme
- 2 tablespoons peppercorns
Combine all the ingredients.
Use the entire batch to make a brine.
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Amount Per Serving:Calories: 661Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 113189mgCarbohydrates: 167gFiber: 15gSugar: 141gProtein: 5g
Nutritional facts are just estimates. Please utilize your own brand nutritional values to double check against our estimates.
First published October 12, 2018