Bring on the Brine: Easy Smoked Turkey Brine

15 mins
8 hrs
1 Brine

You’ve got big plans for a perfect, smoked turkey dinner. Don’t let the flavor fall flat by skipping on a vital step of preparing your turkey: brining.

Use a brine before smoking to help keep meat moist while cooking and to add flavor. Brines can be simple with salt and water, or you kick things up a notch with spices, fresh herbs, or powerful aromatics like lemon and garlic. Give our easy smoked turkey brine a try and taste how brining a turkey can make all the difference.

Ingredients

FOR THE BRINE

  • 2 gallons water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 lemons, cut in slices
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons sage
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3/4 tablespoon cumin
  • 3/4 tablespoon smoked paprika

Directions

Step 1 Of 4
1
In a large sauce pan, combine water, sugar, salt, bay leaves, lemon slices, thyme, sage, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and smoked paprika over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
2
Add ice or place in refrigerator until completely cooled.
3
Select a container large enough to hold all of the brine and turkey. Add turkey, making sure to stretch the skin of the turkey away from the legs. This will allow the brine get as close as possible to the surface of the meat. Let sit overnight in refrigerator.
Hot Tip
Place a bag of ice or plate over the turkey to keep it fully submerged while brining.
4
Remove the turkey. Rinse to wash off any excess salt or spice on and under the skin. Smoke and enjoy.
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