Easy Turkey Brine

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

Do we start with the fact that there’s a new video on WGC today or that I’m changing the game with this easy homemade turkey brine?!

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

First, happy November. This will serve as your formal announcement that What’s Gaby Cooking is turning into Thanksgiving central for the next few weeks. I’ll have everything you need when it comes to Thanksgiving recipes – from the tools you’ll need to make sure to buy before the big feast to a step by step / day by day prep timeline for the week of Thanksgiving. First… let’s start with the most important part of the meal according to my husband… the turkey.

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 but the hero of the recipe is the Kikkoman® Soy Sauce. Wait till you see the color it gives the bird – stunning doesn’t even come close to describing it. It infuses the bird with all the flavor you could possibly want! Just a few tips and tricks. Make sure your bird is thawed before you start. Grab a large vessel that will fit the liquid brine mixture and the bird AND that fits into your fridge. Let it brine for about 24 hours too! The longer it sits in the brine the more flavor!!! Get ready guys… THANKSGIVING this year is going to be insane.


Easy Turkey Brine


  • 16 cups water, divided
  • 1 cup Kikkoman® Soy Sauce*
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 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
  • *May substitute Kikkoman® Gluten Free Soy Sauce


  1. Combine 8 cups of the water, Kikkoman® Soy Sauce (or Kikkoman® Gluten Free Soy Sauce), salt, honey, 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 honey 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 24 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

** This post is brought to you by Kikkoman®. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thanks for supporting the sponsors that allow me to create new and special content like this for 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!!

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