Brined Turkey

We use different spices and flavors in this brine all the time, but this is our favorite "classic" combination. Just make sure to keep the ratio of salt to water at 1 cup to 1 gallon. The rest is up to you.


1gallon water
1cup coarse salt
1/2cup brown sugar
1 orange, finely grated rind and juice
1tablespoon each; whole black peppercorns, cloves and allspice
1 (12- to 15-pound) turkey, thawed, giblets removed
Ice (to cover)


  1. Combine all ingredients except turkey and ice in a stockpot and bring to a boil to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove from heat and let stand 30 minutes.  Chill. (Overnight is best if you have the time.)
  2. Place turkey, brining liquid and ice in a stock pot or lidded container (such as a plastic storage box) overnight or up to 12 hours.
  3. Remove turkey from brine and rinse well, inside and out. Discard brine. Pat dry. Now you’re ready to stuff and roast the turkey.
—Recipe by Relish Cooking Show Chef Brian Morris