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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.
Making the brine as we speak, love the smell going thru the house. I was in the supermarket by 7am getting all the items needed. Looking forward to tomorrow am. This bird is going to be great! Thanks so much for the easy idea! Happy Thanksgiving!
I am using this recipe this week. Correct me if I am wrong. Do we only use the peel of oranges and lemons for the brine?
Hi, Belinda! Yes, only use the peels for the brine. Save the leftover oranges and lemons to stuff inside the turkey during roasting. Enjoy!
I will try this recipe. Thank you kindly.
So my local stores are out of sage. Would rosemary be an okay supplement ?
Hi, Jessica! Yup! Rosemary should be great. Enjoy!
That sounds like a good thing. But I have a question that I hope you can answer. My husband is on a salt-restricted diet. How much extra salt are we adding when we brine? I’ve been leery of brining because I am afraid of adding too much salt to the turkey.
Hi, Joan! Unfortunately, I don’t have the exact information on sodium levels after brining. All I can say for sure is that the turkey tastes seasoned, but not actually salty. I’m sorry that I can’t be of more help!
Thanks. While I think that brining sounds like the way to go, I will probably not do it.
Ok, imma try this … just need to know the temp of the oven for a 19 lb Brined Turkey should be ? 350 degrees or 325 degrees. Thank you for the Recipie .. I am excited to Surprise my family with a Juicy turkey , Happy Thanksgiving
Hi, Ruth! I like roasting at 425F for about 20 minutes, until the skin starts to brown in spots, and then lowering the oven to 350F for the remainder of cooking. Roast until the turkey registers at least 160F in the thickest part of the meat in the breasts and thighs. For a 19 pounder, I’d estimate 2 1/2 to 3 hours or so of total cooking time.
I’ve used a turkey brine recipe from this site in years past that seems similar to this one but I can’t find it. Any suggestions? I absolutely love that one but never printed it off.
Hi, Meg! This is the only turkey brine recipe we have on the site and we haven’t made any changes to the recipe since posting. Hopefully is the recipe you’re looking for! Enjoy!
This will be my first time brining a turkey. I usually rub the turkey down with oil before putting it in the oven. Should I still give it a good rub down or just brine?
Hi, Sakina! Pat the turkey dry and, if you have time, let it air dry for 15 minutes or so. Then rub with oil just before it goes into the oven and roast as usual. Enjoy!
This brine was perfect for whole chickens! It incorporated a few of the ingredients I already used when roasting a whole chicken, which made it perfectly flavored. This is my first attempt at brining anything and it went off without a hitch.
I halved the recipe and stuck my chicken in a one gallon glass jar with lid (that I use for dough proofing during bread season). Half the amount of brine covered the entire chicken up to the rim nicely. Roasted it at 325 for 1.5 to 2 hr and it came out incredibly moist and very flavorful without being overwhelming to the point you couldn’t taste the meat. It got rave reviews at Thanksgiving! So thank you for a very simple and highly flavorful brine with every day ingredients I already had handy. :)
This was my first time ever making a whole turkey & this made my life so much easier for someone whose never done this before. This recipe really did a good job of infusing bright flavor & made my house smell amazing. The only thing I did differently was I used orange zest and some rosemary in a butter rub & rubbed down on top of & under the skin. Super juicy turkey, crisp skin, & all the glory. Thanks for posting!
We were gifted with a 20lb turkey for Thanksgiving and it will be our first time to try to roast a turkey for said holiday. I saw this brining recipe PLUS Elise’s mom’s roasting recipe and we would love to try both. Anything we should consider or change for the roasting part considering this brining recipe? Nervous but hoping for a successful first attempt :)
Note: Super LOVE the recipes. :)
Hi Ann, very good question! We never brine a turkey but Emma does, which is why she is the author of this brine recipe, not me. That said, if I were to brine a turkey, and then roast it following our turkey instructions (for cooking a turkey breast side down) I wouldn’t add any salt to the turkey. That’s the only change I would make.
Ann, I think brining + Elise’s mom’s recipe would be a winning combo! Just be sure to rinse the turkey before roasting (to rinse of the brine solution). And yes, as Elise says, you won’t need to salt the turkey. I also find the cooking time for brined turkeys is sometimes a little shorter, so start checking the temperature about halfway through so you can gauge how quickly it’s cooking. Happy holidays!
Can a brined turkey be stuffed with dressing ?
Christina — Sure! Just be sure to drain it from the brine and then rinse it inside and out before stuffing it. :)
Your brine looks amazing and I made it for my turkey. But one gallon of water doesn’t cover my 16 lb. bird.
I’m adding more water hoping it doesn’t delute it too much.
Jeff, if you only need to add a cup or two to cover, I think that’s fine. But if you need to add 4 cups or more, then I’d add more salt (1/4 cup per 4 cups) so that the brine stays at the correct concentration.
Can I brine if I cook mine in a bag? Thank you!
I’ve never cooked a turkey in a bag so I’m not 100% sure, but I think it would work just fine! If you’re brining and cooking your turkey inside the same bag, then just be sure to drain off all the brine before you bake and pat it dry — don’t bake the turkey IN the brine!