Easy Turkey Brine

Listen up!!! We need to get into this recipe for an Easy Turkey Brine so we’re ready to go for Thanksgiving this year! Brining your turkey is the most important prep step ever!

Easy Turkey Brine from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)

Who here has brined a turkey before?! If you haven’t, prepare for your life to change. It’s everything and this year’s recipe is beyond. It’s loaded with all sorts of aromatics that will infuse the bird with even more flavor. Just a few tips and tricks needed to get this process started!

1 – make sure your bird is thawed before you start.

2- Grab a large vessel that will fit the liquid brine mixture and the bird AND that fits into your fridge. If you have an extra fridge in your garage, that’s the perfect place to store this as it won’t be in your way when you’re stocking your fridge with the rest of the Thanksgiving ingredients.

3 – Let it brine for about 12 – 24 hours at least! The longer it sits in the brine the more flavor so I opt for 48 hours if I can afford the refrigerator space that long!!!

Get ready guys… THANKSGIVING this year is going to be insane.

Easy Turkey Brine from www.whatsgabycooking.com (@whatsgabycookin)


Easy Turkey Brine

Easy Turkey Brine


  • 16 cups water, divided
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 2 heads garlic, sliced in half
  • 14 to 18-pound turkey, cleaned, innards removed


  1. Combine 8 cups of the water, salt, dark brown sugar, red pepper flakes, sage, thyme and garlic in a large pot and place over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes until everything is evenly combined and the sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Stir in remaining water and cool completely.
  2. Pour the brine into a container just large enough to hold the turkey comfortably. Add the turkey; adding more water if needed to cover the bird entirely. Turn bird a few times and then leave breast-side down in the water. Chill for at least 8 hours, and up to 48 hours. Remove bird from brine, discard brine and roast as needed.

Photo by Matt Armendariz / Food Styling by Adam Pearson / Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

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  1. Mmmmmm. Can’t wait for all the holiday goodness! We brined with you last year, and will try this new recipe this year!

  2. I definitely want to try this brining method. Any recommendations how to marinade this after brining?

  3. This sounds AMAZING Gaby!! Thank you!! I’m going to try your recipe for my first ever turkey brining experience AND my first ever Thanksgiving hosting experience. So excited! Have you ever tried brining a turkey in a cooler or do you recommend it? Thanks!!

  4. In your recent “HERB ROASTED TURKEY” post you say you opt for a dry brine. Do you have a recipe for one?

  5. Hi Gaby!

    I have been scouring all your posts for your dry brine recipe & cant seem to find it. Do you have a link?


  6. I use a large plastic igloo cooler. I put enough ice to keep the water temp. close to the fridge temp. The insulation maintains it very well.

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