Great for turkeys or chicken, this best ever poultry brine will transform your bird into a magical moist flavor packed dinner!

There are so many ways to prepare a chicken or your Thanksgiving turkey, and I’m fully aware that you might already have your favorite!

I want to introduce you to mine… a super simple, completely delicious brine that will totally transform the flavor and moistness of your bird – inside and out!

For me, my sister is the one who first introduced brines to me since that’s the way she does her Thanksgiving turkey. I grew up feeling like ham was way superior to turkey since the turkey always tended to be on the dry side, but once I had hers I realized it didn’t have to be the case!

Not only does brining allow the bird to retain much more of its moisture while it cooks, it also is nicely seasoned throughout, rather than all of the flavor being concentrated on the outer skin!

Don’t be nervous if you’ve never made a brine. If you can boil water and add in a few ingredients, you’ll be fine! It’s as easy as adding water and apple juice to a large pot, then throwing in some extra tasty spices and aromatics.

The end result is a mind blowing bird that’ll convince you that it’s ALWAYS the right decision to make this Best Ever Poultry Brine.

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Best Ever Poultry Brine

  • Author: Jessie


Great for turkeys or chicken, this best ever poultry brine will transform your bird into a magical moist flavor packed dinner!


  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 16 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 3 cloves peeled and roughly chopped garlic
  • 3/4 cup coarse salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar (affiliate)
  • 2 tablespoons whole peppercorns
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Peel of 2 oranges


  1. Boil all ingredients together until sugar and salt dissolves then allow to cool completely.
  2. Rinse your chicken or turkey then add to a large pot or bucket and pour brine over top.
  3. Cover and let sit in the fridge for 16-24 hours.
  4. When you’re ready to roast the bird, remove from brine and rinse off then allow to set in clean cool water for 10-15 minutes to remove excess salt from skin.
  5. Remove bird from water, pat dry, then proceed to prep for roasting.


*This makes enough brine for a chicken. If you’re making it for a turkey, I recommend doubling it!

Recipe adapted from Ree Drummond

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.