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Turkey Brine

Recipe photo courtesy of JOHN KERNICK

Keeping your bird juicy isn't that hard -- all you need is the right seasoning and a really large fridge. Brining is the first step in our Roasted Turkey recipe.

Source: Martha Stewart Living, November 2007



Cook's Notes

The turkey needs to soak for about 24 hours, so plan accordingly.

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How would you rate this recipe?
  • ALR12123633DW
    21 NOV, 2018
    couldn't find the jniper berries in time for Thanksgiving, but, found them on ebay for the next time I brine. i had this recipie at a friend's house and it was fabulous! Though this is my first time for myself, I have no doubt it will be just as Great!
  • jedwardsallian
    21 NOV, 2018
    Great flavor! Best turkey I've ever made!
  • halvorsenj
    19 NOV, 2018
    I've never actually found juniper berries, but I've used this brine recipe at least 10 times now, and it always turns out great. I change the way I cook turkeys regularly, but never change the brine. Every method of cooking a turkey comes out perfect with this brine. I have a turkey-sized cooler just for this now.
    • jedwardsallian
      21 NOV, 2018
      I'm more of a ham person. So this brine made my turkey worth eating. Great flavor! I got my juniper berries at Whole Foods.
  • ACX63657698
    19 NOV, 2018
    I used this brine last year and it was hands down THE best turkey I have ever made. My mother who is a retired chef, handed me the family "Golden Spatula" award. Now they are coming back down for Thanksgiving this year just for my turkey! I also never found the juniper berries.
  • MS10347944
    8 NOV, 2018
    1 1/2 cups of salt seems like a lot. Do you all rinse the turkey after it's brined? My fear is rinsing away the flavor the turkey absorbed over night.
    • JohnR101
      15 NOV, 2018
      It’s COARSE KOSHER SALT not TABLE SALT which most readers seemed to ignore and then complain of a salty bird! I’ve used this exact recipe for over 10 years with ALWAYS perfect results! And given close to 32 cups of liquid, the amount of salt, is not excessive!
    • durosolac
      12 NOV, 2018
      Yes, always rinse your turkey afterwards. Some chefs even say to soak it in clean water to prevent over-salty drippings. No amount of rinsing the bird can take away from the 24 hours of brining in salt solution. Hope this helps.
  • kristinammilano
    7 NOV, 2018
    I've been using this brine for the past 10 years and every year a moist, delicious turkey. I've been omitting the juniper berries because of cost, but this year I'm going to bite the bullet and pay the $8 for a bottle of the berries.
    • MS10347944
      8 NOV, 2018
      Do you rinse your turkey after it's brined?
  • dinamaria0591598
    5 NOV, 2018
    I've used other brines in the past but I always come back to this one. I've stopped looking for other recipes on brines and stick to this one. Every time I come back my turkey is always the most delicious and juicy.
  • larb35Yahooco
    26 NOV, 2015
    What could I substitute the wine with?
    • kitkellison
      5 NOV, 2018
      Any juice would be a good acid replacement for the wine.
    • MS10717236
      27 DEC, 2017
      I used a bottle of Heineken
  • kitkellison
    5 NOV, 2018
    Turkey has a wonderful flavor on it's own. Only salt is needed; the bringing will keep the bird juicy and tender if it isn't too overcooked.
  • margamo9
    25 NOV, 2017
    It was very tender and delicious.

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