Citrus & Savory Brining Instructions
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Test Kitchen Approved Recipe

Brining is the best way to infuse your turkey with moisture and flavor, from the inside out!

1 turkey

Active Prep: 5 min


  • 1 whole turkey or other protein (See Serving Suggestions), plus enough water or other liquid to cover protein (See Notes)
  • For each gallon of water (or other liquid*) used:
  • 1 cup * Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar (optional)
  • 4 Tbsp. * Citrus & Savory Brining Spices

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*Add more flavor to your brine by supplementing up to a quarter of the water with one or more of the following: distilled alcohols, apple juice/cider, beer, citrus juice, tomato juice, broth/stock, tea, flavored vinegar, or wine. When preparing and cooking a turkey, be sure to follow proper food safety and handling guidelines.


1. Place turkey in a large non-reactive, food-safe container (glass, stainless steel, or brining bag) that is deep enough to cover the turkey with water and large enough to allow brine to move freely. The container should also fit in the fridge.

2. Cover the turkey with water, measuring by the gallon as you add.

3. For each gallon of water you measured, put 1 cup kosher salt, 1/2 cup sugar, and 3 to 4 Tbsp. Citrus & Savory Brining Spices in a separate saucepan.

4. Take about 1 1/2 cups of the water you used to cover the turkey and add it to the saucepan. Bring to a boil until salt and sugar dissolve and spices release their aroma.

5. Let seasoned liquid cool to room temperature. (Tip: Add ice cubes to speed up cooling time.) Once cool, pour seasoned liquid it back into the water surrounding the turkey.

6. Cover and refrigerate according to Brine Times chart (see Serving Suggestions).

7. When brining is complete, remove turkey from brine and discard brine. Thoroughly rinse turkey and pat it dry. Tip: Store turkey in the refrigerator until skin is completely dry. This extra drying time will help produce a nice, crispy skin when roasted.


Brine Times:

Use about 1 hour per pound of protein for brining time. Use average weight of the pieces (not the total weight) to calculate brining time; e.g. 4 (8 oz.) chicken breasts would brine for 30 min., not 4 hours.

Whole Turkey (12 to 14 lbs.): 12 to 14 hours

Turkey Breast (5 to 10 lbs.): 5 to 10 hours

Beef Brisket (5 to 6 lbs.): 5 to 6 hours

Ribs (Beef or Pork) (3 to 6 lbs.): 3 to 6 hours

Whole Chicken (4 to 5 lbs.): 4 to 5 hours

Chicken Pieces (8 oz. to 1 lb. each): 30 min. to 1 hour

Pork Loin Roast (3 to 5 lbs.): 3 to 5 hours

Pork Tenderloin (1 to 2 lbs.): 1 to 2 hours

Pork Chops (8 oz. to 1 lb. each): 30 min. to 1 hour

Fish Steaks/Filets (8 oz. to 1 lb. each): 30 min. to 1 hour

Shrimp (1 to 2 lb. total): 15 to 30 min.

Tofu or Tempeh (1 lb. total): 1 hour

Mike Johnston, Savory Spice founder


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