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Excellent brine, I had a shadybrook turkey that had been injected with a brine solution so I cut the salt back by 1/3 and it was a really nice flavor, not overpowering at all. Also stuffed the turkey with oranges and lemons before cooking and doubled the brine recipe.
Easy, effective in adding the moisture and flavor. This is the only Brine recipe I have tried. If it works don’t change it……
Omgoodness, I used this recipe for Thanksgiving this year(minus the citrus because I’ve tried it with chicken before and did not like the taste) and whoa!!! My turkey was so juicy and delicious. It was packed with so much flavor and I even got a thumbs up from my teenager who doesn’t even like turkey. This recipe has been tagged, bookmarked, and printed for the rest of my living Thanksgiving days. Thank you for a simple but awesome brine!
sounds delicious. i forgot to buy oranges can i use clementines?
Hi, Cathy! Sure! Clementines sound delicious.
Should a Butterball Turkey be brined since it already has a solution injected? If so for how long.
Hi, Connie — If the solution is below 8 percent I say go for it. If it’s 8 percent or above, reduce the salt in the brine recipe by a 1/4 but leave everything else. Brine it for as long as you can and all the other flavors of orange, garlic, lemon and sage will still infuse the turkey with flavor. Happy Thanksgiving!
I bought the ingredients for this brine without knowing it was already brined. Any recommendations on how I can incorporate the sage, citrus, and garlic? Thanks
Hi, Clay! I’d recommend chopping up the sage, citrus zest, and garlic very fine, mixing it with olive oil or butter, and rubbing it both under the turkey skin and over top. Enjoy!
Can I use poultry seasoning instead of sage leaves and if so how would you recommend?
Hi, Christopher! You can use poultry seasoning, but the dried herbs may stick to the turkey. Not a huge deal, just something to think about. You could also skip putting sage or poultry seasoning in the brine, and wait to mix the poultry seasoning with oil or butter, then rub the turkey under and over the skin with the oil/poultry seasoning mix just before putting the turkey in the oven.
I want to try this recipe. Looks amazing. However, it doesn’t call for any sugar?? All the recipes I’ve see have you add sugar. I’ve only brine a chicken before and it bad honey in it. It was excellent. Will this recipe be too salty?
Hi, Yvette! This is great without the sugar, and not too salty!
Just made the brine. It smells AWEFUL! Smelled-up the entire house. My husband had a fit and put the pot outside. I don’t know if I should soak the turkey in it. Will the turkey smell/taste like the brine smells? Should I just soak the turkey in salt water instead?
No, it shouldn’t smell awful! Don’t put the turkey in it! I use this recipe or a variation of it every year. The brine is for aromatic purposes. You want it to smell incredible. Are you following this recipe to T? Try adding 3 cups of apple cider, and 2 cups of brown sugar. That makes a big difference! One year instead of the Apple cider, I used 3 cups of orange juice and it came out just as good. You want to make sure you completely cool down the brine well before you put the turkey in it. You don’t want the brine to start cooking the turkey 24hrs before. It will be no good. So bring the pot of liquid to a boil so it releases all good smells. Take it off and put it in the fridge or outside if it’s cold out to cool down completely. I also rinse my turkey with water from the package before submerging it in the brine. I’m sure you’ll figure it out! Good luck & Happy Thanksgiving!
Hi, Lisa! I’m Summer, an editor here at Simply Recipes. A brine of orange, lemon, garlic and sage shouldn’t smell bad, unless you don’t like any of those flavors. I’m not sure what could’ve caused that. Since I’m not in your kitchen, it’s really hard to say if you should move forward with the recipe. You could try to make the brine again, or try one of our other turkey recipes. We have a Dry Brine (no soaking just letting the bird sit in spices in the fridge) or the Mom’s Roast Turkey.
I’m a first time briner and am preparing a 30 lb. turkey. With the reduction of cooking time for brined meat, about how long will it take to cook?
Whatever the instructions are on the turkey packaging per pound, is what I would stick too. The last hour of roasting just keep checking the internal temp. Usually for a 30 pounder it’s 4.5-5 hours at 325-350 temp range. I keep mine covered with tin foil and the last hour or so, I raise the oven temp to 450 and keep it uncovered for a nice crispy skin and perfect golden coloring. Good luck & Happy Thanksgiving!
Also, every year I brine my turkey, roughly between 20-25 pounder and I never need to reduce the time. I suggest having an internal meat thermometer to check when the turkeys done. Also, it depends if you are roasting it with stuffing or not. If it’s stuffed, it will take longer.
Hi, Jeanette — I’m Summer, an editor here at Simply Recipes. Brining a turkey still requires ample cooking time. The time it takes depends on the temperature of your oven and if you cook your turkey stuffed or unstuffed, but on average you can assume you need about 4 to 5 hours to cook an unstuffed 30 pound turkey. I would start checking the temperature at the breast and thigh at the 4 hour mark. Remove the turkey from the oven when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh and breast without touching bone registers 160°F. It will continue to cook once you remove it from the oven. Let it rest for 20 minutes before carving. Happy Thanksgiving!
I am planning to use this recipe on a 10.4 lb. Butterball turkey that says it has up to 8% of a solution of water, salt, spices and natural flavor. How much, if any, would you recommend cutting back on the salt?
Hi, Tara! Because your turkey has already been injected with a saline solution, it will already be pretty well salted. I’d recommend skipping the brine this year. Instead, aim for crispy skin! Here’s our recommendation for how to do that.
Mine says 4% and Ive already put it in the water ahhh, will it be too salty?
Hi, Eyleen! I’d go ahead and take it out of the brine and let it air dry in the fridge overnight. I think you’ll be fine — not too salty! For more flavor, mince up your leftover sage, citrus zest, and garlic, mix it with olive oil, and rub it under the turkey skin and over top. Enjoy!
My turkey says basted with approximately 3 % of the turkey broth, salt, sugar and natural flavors. I wanted to double check that it means its brined already. Would i need to brine it? Would you suggest that
Hi, Melissa — Most commercially sold turkeys are brined to keep it moist, but not necessarily flavored. A 3% brine as is the case with your turkey, will help prevent it from drying out, but it won’t add the additional flavors that a home brine will do. I recommend doing a home as well. You could also try a dry brine.
Will this recipe give the turkey a very orangy taste? I love the orangutans te my husband not so much. Trying to see if this recipe calls for mild or strong citrus taste? Ty
Hi, Lam! This recipe does have a slight orange flavor, whether it’s too much for one person and not enough for another, I really can’t say. We do have other turkey recipes on the site. We have this Dry Brine Turkey that uses lemon or this Mom’s Roast Turkey. The orange, however, is lovely with turkey.
I used this recipe last year and plan to again this year because the turkey turned out soo great! Thanks for the recipe1
We did this for Thanksgiving and have had it requested several times since then by my family!! GREAT RECIPE!!! Thank you!
Didn’t seem to do much for my turkey. It might have just been my bird, but I’ll go in a different direction next time.
Best brine I’ve ever used, this was by far the best, juiciest and most flavorful chicken I’ve ever made! I added some additional fresh herbs to the brine, some parsley, rosemary and thyme. Delicious! Completely worth the extra effort. Thanks for a great recipe!
Which brand of kosher salt did you use when developing the recipe? I ask because Diamond is half the weight of Morton for the same volume. I’m using Morton do need to adjust if you used Diamond. Thanks!
Hi, Karin! I used Morton! And I’ve updated the recipe with that info. Thanks!
If you stuff with the oranges and lemons can you still use the drippings for gravy?
Hi, Brittannia! Yes, you can still use the drippings to make gravy. The citrus flavor doesn’t infuse the drippings very much, as far as I’ve found. Enjoy!
I’m doing this brine today. Do you put some of the leftover oranges and lemons in the cavity?
Hi, Patty! Yup, that’s exactly what I do! Enjoy.