Turkey Brine Recipes For Great Tasting Smoked Turkey!

This collection of turkey brine recipes provides you with the means to create many tasty versions of smoked turkey. The ultimate flavor of a well smoked turkey depends heavily upon the brine recipe used.

Turkey brines contain water, salt, sugar, and flavorings. A good brine recipe strike a balance between these components so that no single taste or flavor is overpowering in the smoked turkey.

Brining Turkey In a Red Water CoolerBrining a Thanksgiving Turkey

Smoked Turkey Brine Recipes For Savory Smoked Turkey

Thanksgiving 2005 Brine

This is the brine recipe I used for my Thanksgiving turkey of 2005. It turned out very tasty and moist. Give it a try and see what you think.

The addition of ginger to the turkey brine was an experiment that went well. I enjoyed the cool bite of the ginger along with the other spices.

  • 2 gallons water
  • 1 3/4 cups Morton kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Morton Tender Quick
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon white pepper
  • 1 tablespoon powdered ginger
  • 1 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sage
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg

Sweet Soya Turkey Brine

The rich flavor of the soy sauce is sweetened with brown sugar and can be warmed up with the red-heat of cayenne pepper powder. With this recipe, add the soy sauce when combining the two cooled pans of liquid.

  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Apple and Spice Brine Recipe

Apple Juice Being Poured Into Bowl for Apple and Spice Turkey Brine RecipeApple Juice Adds Sweet, Fruity Flavor to Brines

This is a good flavored sweet brine that imparts the flavors of apple, spice and citrus to the turkey. MMMmmmm! Cherry wood for smoke is tops!

Simmer spices in the orange and apple juices for 15 minutes. Boil the sugar and salt in the water until dissolved. Cool both, combine, and refrigerate overnight before adding turkey.

  • 1 gallon water
  • 3 quarts orange juice
  • 3 quarts apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
Brining a whole turkey in a 5 gallon bucket, bag of ice being held over the top.

Basic Brine for Smoked Turkey

This is the starting point for all brine recipes. Use this as a starting point for creating your own brine recipe. If you add juices or beverages, decrease the recipe amount of water by the amount of added liquids.

  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup white sugar

Hot and Spicy Jalapeño Turkey Brine

Fresh Jalapeno Peppers On Black Plate With SilverwareGreen Jalapeno Peppers Can Be Mild to Hot In Flavor

If you like it warm…or HOT!, this is the brine for you. The jalapenos give the turkey a nice peppery flavor. Increase or decrease the pepper amounts to satisfy your own craving for heat.

  • 2 gallons water
  • 2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 pound jalapenos, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red pepper flakes

Use the turkey brine recipes on this page as a guide to your own recipe adventures. Half the fun of smoker cooking is coming up with a unique and excellent recipe that produces safe, bragging-quality smoked food!