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The Perfect Brined Turkey

If making a roast turkey scares you, or it always comes out dry, then you need these instructions on how to brine a turkey! You will never make it another way again!
Author: Lisa Longley


  • 1 thawed turkey


  • 16 cups of cold water
  • 1 cup of kosher salt see note in the post about turkey brands - some are pre basted and require less salt
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 5 black tea bags
  • 2 limes
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock
  • 1/3 cup honey do not substitute with agave syrup
  • juice of one lime bringing the total lime count to 3
  • For the Rub
  • 3 TBSPs Mrs. Dash original
  • 1 1/2 TBSPs black pepper
  • 3 TBSPs dried rosemary or sage


  • Fresh Rosemary Sprigs
  • Reserved limes from brine & basting sauce
  • 2 whole leeks


  • Rinse your thawed turkey inside and out, removing the neck and all the innards from inside. Set aside
  • Dissolve the brown sugar and salt in the water. Squeeze two limes into the water, and then throw in the rinds. Add the bunch of mint, and the tea bags (I usually cut off the paper tag).
  • Add the turkey to the brine. If it doesn't cover your turkey, add more water/brown sugar/salt mixture (see the tips and tricks section).
  • Keep cold and brine overnight (see tips and tricks on keeping cold).
  • Preheat your oven to 325. Mix together your basting sauce and pour it into the bottom of the roasting pan. Add the leeks. Set the rack in the roasting pan.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine, reserving the lime rinds. Rinse the turkey, and pat dry. Spread the rub all over the turkey.
  • Put the reserve lime rinds inside the turkey along with some of the fresh rosemary. Put the rest of the rosemary around the turkey in the roasting pan.
  • Place the turkey breast side down in the roasting pan and roast for one hour. Remove the turkey from the oven, baste it, and flip it over, basting again. (I use two large set of tongs and some prayer to flip).
  • Continue roasting until a thermometer reads 165 degrees in the thickest part of the thigh and juices run clear.
  • Remove from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes, tenting the whole bird with aluminum foil before carving.