California Turkey Brine – Soaking Overnight Makes the Juiciest Turkey Ever!

Here’s my recipe for creating the best Thanksgiving turkey…ever! Juicy, flavorful, and perfectly prepared Thanksgiving turkey begins after defrosting your bird in the refrigerator for 48 hours, then brining (soaking) overnight before the roasting begins. The brining liquid is created from flavoring ingredients and water, cooked briefly, then cooled. It’s so simple and easy to add to your turkey to prepare it for roasting the next day!
Soaking Overnight Makes the Juiciest Turkey Ever! What an easy way to make sure your Thanksgiving turkey comes out juicy and flavorful!

California Turkey Brine
Prep time: 8 hours
Total time: 8 hours
Author: Linda Davis
Recipe type: Brining liquid
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8 cups
  • 8 C Water
  • 1 Whole Orange peel; removed in strips with a vegetable peeler (then juiced)
  • 1 Fresh Orange Juice (from 1 orange)
  • 1 C Kosher sea salt
  • ½ C Granulated sugar
  • ¼ C Whole Black peppercorns
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, peeled
  • 4 Bay Leaves
  • 4 Fresh Thyme Sprigs
  • 2 Fresh Sage leaves
  • 1 Fresh Rosemary Sprig, 1” long
  • 1 Whole Cinnamon Stick
  • 1 t Whole Cloves
  • 1 Brining bag
  • 1 10-12 pound turkey, defrosted
  1. Combine all ingredients into a large pot and place over medium-high heat.
  2. Stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  3. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium-low, and simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.
  5. Line a refrigerator drawer with a brining bag.
  6. Pour in brining mixture.
  7. Add turkey that has been defrosting for 48 hours in refrigerator, breast side down.
  8. Place drawer back in refrigerator.
  9. Pour in an additional 8 cups of water, or, enough to submerge entire turkey.
  10. Close bag tightly.
  11. Chill overnight, no more than 8 hours.
  12. Remove bird from brine, discard brine and roast as directed.