Pasture Raised Turkey Brine Recipe

turkey brine recipe

When it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I go all out with homemade all the things. I came up with this simple Turkey Brine Recipe in 2020 when I couldn’t find the one I’d been loving for years in stores. Needless to say, it was delicious and I’ll never look back. If you’re looking for a simple way to DIY this year for the holidays, give this easy recipe a shot!

This post contains some affiliate links, meaning when you click on some of the links and make a purchase, I receive a commission which supports my efforts to share with you in this space the products and resources I used and love most.

Gather Your Ingredients

If you’ve been around here long enough, you’ve noticed I’m pretty particular about my ingredients. I love to purchase fresh, organic spices from Mountain Rose Herbs. Most sugar cane grown in the US is heavily sprayed with pesticides and grown as a GMO crop, so I always opt for organic for that. I think the Himalayan sea salt really shines in this recipe, too.

If you don’t have dried orange or lemon zest on hand, fresh is always great too! Last year I used all dry, but this year I am using fresh rosemary as well as fresh orange and lemon zest instead of dried. You can even get more creative with optional add-ons like dried cranberries, if you’d like!

Sourcing Your Turkey

What’s the deal with pasture-raised? Most of the meat we eat in our home has been raised and processed with the utmost care in mind. This means they also contain higher levels of bio-available nutrients from being raised in natural, outdoor conditions. If you’re local to Houston or San Antonio, Texas Farm to Home delivers many farm to table meat and dairy products straight to your door. We’ve been utilizing his services for over three years now. Our turkey(s) will be delivered by him next week!

You can learn more about why it’s important to consider meat sources on my Weston A. Price Foundation Overview here.

Plan Ahead!

Don’t forget to consider thawing times based on the weight of your turkey, and gathering your necessary ingredients well before the need to prepare your brine. Your bird should be thawed completely and plan to brine for 12-24 hours before you plan to cook it. Print this recipe and get started!

Print Recipe
Pasture Raised Turkey Brine
When it comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas, I go all out with homemade all the things. I came up with this simple Turkey Brine Recipe in 2020 when I couldn't find the one I'd been loving for years in stores. Needless to say, it was delicious and I'll never look back. If you're looking for a simple way to DIY this year for the holidays, give this easy recipe a shot!
turkey brine recipe
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 12-24 hours
Servings
12-20lb turkey
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 cup cane sugar organic
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup dried sage or 1/2 cup fresh
  • 2 Tb dried rosemary or 6 sprigs fresh
  • 2 Tb dried thyme or 6 sprigs fresh
  • 2 Tb dried orange zest or zest from 1 orange
  • 2 Tb dried lemon zest or zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 Tb dried orange peel or peels from 1 orange
  • 2 Tb dried rosehips
  • 2 Tb onion powder
  • 1 Tb garlic powder
  • 2 Tb whole peppercorns
  • 2 Tb whole cloves
  • 2 gallons filtered water
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Passive Time 12-24 hours
Servings
12-20lb turkey
Ingredients
  • 2 cups Himalayan sea salt
  • 1 cup cane sugar organic
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/4 cup dried sage or 1/2 cup fresh
  • 2 Tb dried rosemary or 6 sprigs fresh
  • 2 Tb dried thyme or 6 sprigs fresh
  • 2 Tb dried orange zest or zest from 1 orange
  • 2 Tb dried lemon zest or zest from 1 lemon
  • 2 Tb dried orange peel or peels from 1 orange
  • 2 Tb dried rosehips
  • 2 Tb onion powder
  • 1 Tb garlic powder
  • 2 Tb whole peppercorns
  • 2 Tb whole cloves
  • 2 gallons filtered water
turkey brine recipe
Instructions
  1. Mix together well all dried ingredients in a large bowl (or pot large enough to hold 1 gallon of water).
  2. Add mixture and 1 gallon of water and stir. Bring contents to a boil, then lower heat and simmer, covered, for up to 20 minutes, or until salt and sugar dissolve completely.
  3. Allow to cool for 30 minutes-1 hour (until roughly room temperature but not hot).
  4. Prepare a container large enough to fully submerge your turkey in with this mixture plus the second gallon of water (see notes for what we use*).
  5. Place turkey in prepared container and cover with cooled mixture. Add the additional gallon of water and then allow to brine for 12-24 hours.
  6. Discard all liquid once your bird is brined. I do not personally rinse anything off as I don't want to miss any of the yummy goodness I just soaked it in. Follow whatever instructions you are using to cook your bird, and enjoy!
Recipe Notes

*We use a 5 gallon bucket specifically intended for use for brining our turkey each year. It's stored in our garage for the rest of the year and used only for this purpose. This fits well in our spare refrigerator and keeps my regular fridge from getting crowded while it brines.

Share this Recipe

Published by Nicole B.

As full-time mama and wife, Nicole spends most of her time at home with her three boys and hubby. She's a home-body, home-maker, and home-educator with a love for sharing truth in love. She feels honored to share her heart with you!

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: