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Close up of a fresh christmas turkey recipe

Whole Turkey Brine

  • Author: Michelle Minnaar
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 2L (8 cups) 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Want to learn how to make a whole turkey brine to bring that extra flavour to your favourite bird? It’s easier than you think and quite easy too. 


  • 2L/quarts water
  • 144g (½ cup) kosher salt or sea
  • 100g (½ cup) sugar, firmly packed


  1. Place all the ingredients in a large pot over a medium heat. 
  2. Bring to the boil, while stirring. 
  3. Once the salt and sugar have dissolved, remove the pot from the heat and let it cool down completely. 
  4. Place in the fridge for at least 2 hours or until well chilled.
  5. Use immediately, or it can keep in the fridge for up to a week.


  • You can use granulated, light or dark brown sugar. The latter will add a deeper dimension to the flavour.
  • For this recipe, you can brine a turkey breast for 12-24 hours, a whole 12-16lbs turkey and a whole +17lbs turkey for 12-48 hours. 
  • Always ensure the turkey is completely submerged in the solution. If not, make extra batches until the job is done. 
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Category: Brine
  • Method: Brining
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: turkey brine recipe, whole turkey brine, basic brine recipe, how to brine a turkey, brining turkey