Wet Brined Turkey

overhead photo of a roasted turkey with crispy brown skin and herbs surrounding

This easy wet turkey brine leaves you with moist turkey meat and crispy browned skin for your Thanksgiving meal!



Herb Butter


  1. If frozen, thaw turkey according to weight [see notes]
  2. In a medium pot, boil 3 quarts of water and mix in the salt until salt is completely absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. 
  3. In the same pot, add the molasses, soy sauce, honey, red pepper flakes, sage, thyme, garlic, and mix until blended.
  4. In your brining pot or large bucket/cooler, add the ice, the remaining 3 quarts of water, and then carefully pour the brine mixture in and mix until fully combined.
  5. 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 18 hours, max 24 hours [see note].
  6. Once done brining, carefully remove the bird from the brine. Remember the cavity is filled with liquid, so allow it to pour out into the pot. Dry it fully inside/out with paper towels. Place bird on roasting rack+ pan.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  8. 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.
  9. Put on the lower rack and loosely tent with foil for the first half of cooking, then remove for final half for the skin to brown and crisp. Roast until the internal temperature of the turkey on the innermost part of the thigh and the thickest part of the breast is 165 degrees F [see notes].
  10. Remove turkey and transfer to a cutting board or serving dish and allow to rest for 20 minutes before carving/serving.


Keywords: Turkey, turkey brine, wet brine, thanksgiving turkey, turkey recipe