Our New Favorite Turkey Brine

Turkey Brine Recipe

With the holidays just around the corner, we’ve partnered with Food52 to create the definitive holiday turkey brine.

Turkey Brine with Sage Honey

After culling their extensive archive, they stumbled upon a 2011 reader-submitted recipe that delivered a mouthwatering turkey every single time.

With the foundation in place, attention turned to the flavor, “Which combination of spices pair best with the La Crema Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir?” A hint of honey adds the perfect sweet counterpoint to the Pinot’s balance acid. The red fruit note in the wine, adds a luscious fruit note to the lighter cuts of meat. In all, they took a classic pairing – turkey and Pinot Noir – and made it even better.

Honey and Sage Brined Roast Turkey

Recipe type: Holiday Dinner
Cuisine: Turkey
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 - 10

After culling their extensive archive, they stumbled upon a 2011 reader-submitted recipe that delivered a mouthwatering turkey every. Single. Time.


For the honey and sage brine
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • large handful fresh sage leaves
  • bunch thyme
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
  • 1/2 cup fresh whole black peppercorns
For the turkey
  • (10 to 12-pound) whole turkey, thawed
  • small handful fresh sage leaves
  • bunch thyme
  • lemon, halved
  • 2 to 4 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed


  1. For the brine: Put all the ingredients, plus 1 gallon of water, in a large pot and bring to a rolling boil for about 5 minutes. The salt should be dissolved and the herbs aromatic.
  2. Remove the brine from the burner and cool until it is room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use. (It should be completely cooled before brining the turkey.)
  3. Place the turkey in a large pot (or brining bag or non-corrosive plastic bucket) with the cooled brining liquid. You can weight down the turkey with a plate (or something else heavy), if needed. Brine the turkey for 12 to 24 hours, flipping the turkey halfway through.
  4. Once the turkey is brined, discard the brining liquid and run the turkey under cold water. Pat dry with paper towels (including inside the cavity) and truss the turkey.
  5. Stuff the cavity with the sage leaves, thyme, halved lemon, and smashed garlic cloves.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Let the turkey come up to room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  7. Roast the turkey at 350°F for about 13 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F in the innermost part of the thigh and the thickest part of the breast. Or, you can use your preferred roasting method.
  8. Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.




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