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Turkey Brine

Posted on December 19, 2011.


The secret to a great roasted turkey is to brine the turkey overnight. Try to use a fresh turkey and do not attempt to brine a ´butterball´ or pre-basted turkey, since they will already be infused with salt.


1 fresh whole turkey
7 quarts (24 ounces) water
1 1/2 cups coarse salt
6 bay leaves
2 tablespoons whole coriander seeds
1 tablespoon dried juniper berries
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon black or brown mustard seeds
1 bottle dry Riesling wine
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
6 crushed garlic cloves
1 bunch fresh thyme
Large brining bag (can substitute with a heavy duty garbage bag)


In a large pot, bring 1 quart water, salt, bay leaves, and spices to a simmer, stirring until salt has dissolved. Let mixture cool for 5 minutes. 

Line a 5-gallon container or cooler with a large brining bag. Place turkey in bag. Add salt mixture, remaining 6 quarts (24 cups) water, and the other ingredients. Tie bag. Refrigerate for 24 hours, flipping turkey once during this period.


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Posted By: Chief Foodie Officer