Brined Turkey

  • Author: Stephanie
  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 12 hours brine + 3 1/2-4 hrs cook
  • Total Time: 16 hours 15 min
  • Yield: Depends on size of turkey


The juiciest brined turkey perfect for your Thanksgiving this year.



  • 14 to 18-pound turkey, cleaned, innards removed
  • 6 quarts water, divided
  • 1 pound kosher salt (reduce if you have a smaller turkey)
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 cups honey
  • 1 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried sage
  • 10 fresh thyme sprigs
  • A few fresh sage leaves
  • 2 heads garlic broken into individual cloves, unpeeled & crushed
  • 5 pounds ice cubes

Herb Butter

  • 16 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • 1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves


  • If frozen, thaw turkey according to weight
  • In a medium pot, boil 3 quarts of water. Add to the large mixing bowl CAREFULLY and mix in the salt until blended.
  • In the same bowl, add the molasses, soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, sage, thyme, garlic, and mix until blended. Add the remaining 3 quarts of cool water.
  • In your brining pot or large bucket/cooler, add the ice. Then pour the brine mixture over the ice and blend.
  • Place the turkey into the pot breast side down and push the bird down to allow the cavity to fill with the brine mixture. Cover the cooler and let the bird sit overnight for about 12 hours.
  • The next day, remove the bird from the brine and dry it fully inside/out with paper towels. Place bird on roasting rack+ pan.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Assemble the herb butter in a small bowl. Using your fingers, by the neck loosen the skin on the turkey so you can get under it and insert the herb butter. You can also use the extra herb butter to rub on the outside as well.
  • Put on the lower rack and roast until the internal temperature of the turkey on the thickest part (usually the thigh) registers 165-170 degrees. I test multiple spots to ensure it is fully cooked. Depending on the size of the bird 3 1/3-4 hours (you can google time based on lbs). The skin tends to brown quickly so if you see the skin getting too dark you can tent with foil while it continues to cook.
  • Remove turkey and transfer to a cutting board or serving dish and allow to rest for 15 minutes before carving/serving.


  • When brining make sure breast side is down and you allow the cavity to fill with liquid
  • Dry the turkey with paper towels after removing from the brine
  • If skin begins browning too much, tent with aluminum foil
  • Thickest part of turkey should register to 165-170 degrees, test multiple spots to ensure even cooking.

Keywords: Turkey, turkey brine, wet brine,