Basic Rosemary, Garlic, and Chili Turkey Brine

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The perfect brine for Thanksgiving! This Basic Rosemary, Garlic, and Chili Turkey Brine is our go-to recipe every single year. With only 6 ingredients, this recipe is so simple to make, requires minimal effort, but has lots of flavor! This brine is herby, garlicky, with just enough spice from the chili peppers to really give it a wonderful depth of flavor. Perfect for your Thanksgiving turkey…or just whenever you wish to have a deliciously brine turkey or chicken!

front shot of brine in glass jar on marble surface with rosemary sprigs and garlic pod behind.

About The Recipe

It’s November and Thanksgiving is right around the corner. This time of year always seems to be a little hectic, but thankfully with this turkey brine, you have one less thing to worry about…your turkey for the big day!

Honestly, my mom has been making this brine for as long as I can remember. It’s so simple, really quick to make, and gives any food that it’s brined in a wonderful amount of flavor!

The best part? Even though we call this a turkey brine, since that’s mostly what we use it for, it can be used for almost anything! We found that chicken or even tofu tastes absolutely amazing when brined in this for a few days!

Oh, and did I mention that brining your poultry keeps it from drying out when you bake it? Yep! There is just nothing better than a brined piece of meat. Using a brine pretty much guarantees a no-fail holiday!

So, no matter what you may need this brine for, it’s sure to impress and be crowd pleasing!

What is a Brine?

A brine, or turkey brine, is essentially just water, some salt, and different flavorings. It’s a way to get a lot of flavor into your choice of protein! We personally like to use rosemary, garlic, peppercorns, and red chilis in our brine to give it a very savory, crowd-pleasing flavor.

Reasons You Will Love This Turkey Brine

  • Naturally gluten free and vegan.
  • Can be used for chicken, turkey, or tofu!
  • Full of flavor.
  • No sugar or citrus in this recipe, which makes it great for picky eaters!
  • Keeps your turkey juicy and flavorful.
  • Not too spicy.
angled shot of turkey brine in glass jar with rosemary, garlic, peppercorns, and chilis in brine with the same ingredients on marble surface around jar.

Equipment Needed

Ingredients

(Full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the bottom of the post)

  • Water
  • Salt
  • Peppercorns
  • Dried Red Chilis
  • Garlic Cloves
  • Rosemary Sprigs
water, salt, rosemary sprigs, dried chilis, peppercorns, and garlic cloves on marble surface.

How To Make Turkey Brine

Step 1: Cook

Place all ingredients in a large stock pot over high heat. Bring to boil. Turn heat to medium-low and simmer for 1 hour. Turn off the heat. Let brine cool completely.

Turkey Brine FAQ’s

What kind of turkey do I need to use?

This is important! You really just need a plain turkey or turkey breast. You do not need pre-brined, self basting, or anything like that.

How long should I brine a turkey?

We have experimented a lot with this over the years! Honestly, we found that anywhere from overnight to up to 2 days in the brine is just the right amount. We typically brine for 2 days. Though, this is really to taste. The general idea for brining a turkey is 1 hour of brining per pound of turkey.

Do I need to rinse the turkey after brining/before cooking?

No! All you need to do is pat the turkey dry. We have a recipe coming soon on how to bake a turkey with this brine!

Is brining a turkey worth it?

This is a really good question. Brining your turkey is a great way to keep it juicy and give it a lot of flavor without a whole lot of effort, but it is time consuming. If you have the time to brine a turkey, it definitely is worth it!

Why is there no sugar in this recipe?

Personally, we don’t like to add sugar to our brine. Sugar does aid in the browning of the turkey’s skin, but it also adds a sweet undertone that we don’t really care for.

Can I brine a turkey overnight/for a few hours?

Actually, yes! Just keep in mind that it may not absorb as much flavor as it would if left for 2-3 days. Though, if you’re only brining for a few hours, we do not recommend brining it for anything less than 6 hours.

Can I over-brine a turkey?

Honestly, yes. If a turkey is brined too long, it will become salty and almost sponge-y in texture.

Is this brine only for turkey?

Actually, no! We called this recipe turkey brine, as that’s we mostly use it for, but chicken, pork, or tofu can also be brined in this recipe. We don’t recommend brining red meat in this recipe.

Can I reuse turkey brine?

No! Once your turkey is brined, the brine needs to be discarded and not used again.

turkey brine in glass jar with peppercorns, rosemary sprigs, and chili peppers around on marble surface with spoon beside jar.

Expert Tips

  • To easily peel your garlic, place it in a jar with a lid and shake it. This trick is faster and genuinely a lot of fun!
  • Make sure you use kosher salt for your brine.
  • Always put your turkey in a cold brine!
  • This recipe is enough for a turkey breast. If you are brining an entire turkey, you will need to double the ingredients.

When you make these Basic Rosemary, Garlic, and Chili Turkey Brine, leave a comment down below! We love hearing from you and answering any questions you might have! Also, be sure to tag us on social media and hashtag it #BakersTable.

angled shot of turkey brine in glass jar with rosemary, garlic, peppercorns, and chilis in brine with the same ingredients on marble surface around jar.

Basic Rosemary, Garlic, and Chili Turkey Brine

Traci
This Basic Rosemary, Garlic, and Chili Turkey Brine is super simple to make with only six ingredients, but full of flavor. The perfect brine for Thanksgiving!
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 5 mins
Course Broths
Cuisine American
Servings 5 quarts
Calories 49 kcal

Ingredients
 

  • 5 quarts water
  • ½ cup kosher salt
  • cup peppercorns
  • 7 small dried red chilis
  • 6 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 sprigs rosemary

Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in a large stock pot over high heat.
  • Bring to boil.
  • Cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Let brine cool completely before using.

Notes

  • To easily peel your garlic, place it in a jar with a lid and shake it. This trick is faster and genuinely a lot of fun!
  • Make sure you use kosher salt for your brine.
  • Always put your turkey in a cold brine!
  • This recipe is enough for a turkey breast. If you are brining an entire turkey, you will need to double or triple the ingredients.

Nutrition

Serving: 5quartsCalories: 49kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 2gFat: 0.5gSaturated Fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.1gSodium: 11371mgPotassium: 229mgFiber: 3gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 623IUVitamin C: 93mgCalcium: 69mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

When you make this recipe, remember to tag @bakerstble or hashtag it #BakersTable!

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