Brined Whole Turkey Recipe



2 cups water
2 cups salt
2 cups packed brown sugar
¼ cup cracked black peppercorns
3 Tbsp chopped garlic cloves
2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp ground ginger
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup Worcestershire sauce
2 gallons ice water
1 fresh or frozen turkey (about 4.5 kg), thawed if frozen
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


  1. Brine turkey
  2. In a large stockpot, heat 2 cups water with salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, garlic, basil, rosemary, onion powder, ginger, soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring well. Let cool.
  3. When cooled, add 2 gallons ice water, stirring well. Place turkey, chicken or other meat in a container and pour brining mixture over.
  4. Cover and brine in the refrigerator for at least 8 or up to 12 hours.
  5. If the turkey is not completely covered, turn once during brining. Do not leave the turkey in the brine longer than 12 hours.
  6. Preheat smoker to 110°C.
  7. Remove turkey from brine and rinse well inside and out to avoid being too salty after cooking.
  8. This is a very important step. After thoroughly rinsing all salt off, pat dry.
  9. Baste turkey with olive oil.
  10. Cover the wings and drumsticks halfway through smoking so they do not burn, and place foil over the breasts once they reach 65°C so they are not overcooked when the rest of the turkey is done.
  11. Place turkey on middle rack of smoker and smoke for 5 to 6 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 75°C.

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