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Brine for Chicken and Turkey


Brine Turkey in cooler
andrewmalone/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

Brine for Chicken and Turkey

Brining chicken, turkey and other poultry is a great way to add flavor and moisture to the meat before cooking it. This easy brine recipe can be used for brining a whole turkey breast, a whole chicken, even a whole turkey.

In its simplest form, brine is a solution of salt in water. But generally for brining chicken, turkey and other poultry, we add sugar and also a few simple spices.

When you add your poultry to the brine solution, the liquid should be icy. Room temperature brine can be a food safety hazard.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Brining time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 15 minutes


  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup Kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp whole black peppercorns
  • 1 Tbsp whole allspice
  • 8 cups ice


  1. Combine the water, salt, sugar, peppercorns and allspice in a large stockpot. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.

  2. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat. Allow the brine to cool completely.

  3. Add the ice, and then immerse the turkey breast or whatever item you are brining. Weight it down if necessary.

  4. Transfer to a refrigerator for eight hours or overnight.

  5. When you're ready to roast, remove the turkey breast and rinse it thoroughly. YOu can pour out the brine solution at this point.
Makes 1½ gallons (after adding the ice) of brine.
Related Video
How to Brine Turkey
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