Turkey honey spice brine

Turkey honey spice brine

  • Prep: 48 hr
  • Cook Time:
  • Total: 48 hr
  • Serving:

This brine recipe is sufficient for a 12 to 25 pound turkey. Vary the herbs and spices to your tastes.


  • 2/3 cup Diamond Crystal brand kosher salt
  • 1 cup honey
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole juniper berries, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice berries, crushed
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups hot water
  • 4 cups ice water
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 1, 12 to 25-pound turkey


  1. To make the brine: In a large saucepan over high heat, stir together the salt, honey, cloves, juniper berries, peppercorns, and allspice. Stir in the sage and bay leaves along with the hot water. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Boil for 3 minutes, then remove from the heat. Add the ice water and stir to cool the mixture. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Place a turkey roasting bag inside another to create a double thickness. Place turkey in the double bag and add cold water. Seal the inner bag, removing as much air as possible, and securing it with a twist tie. Do the same with the outer bag.
  3. Place turkey, breast side down, in a roasting pan and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, turning turkey 3 to 4 times while brining.
  4. Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the bags, brine, and any solids. Rinse the turkey under cold water and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey back in the roasting pan and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. Remove from the refrigerator and roast.