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Do I Brine the Turkey or Not? Try Joe’s Recipe and You Be the Judge!

Thanksgiving turkey in a pot filled with brine solution

Joe’s No Fail Brine to Make Your Thanksgiving Turkey Delicious!


Thanksgiving turkey in a pot filled with brine solution


Last September my friend Joe Lembo invited my family over to dinner. I was blown away with the Turkey he had prepared. It was so moist and full of flavor and I had to know what he did to give it all it’s flavor. Of course I had to ask him to please share with Dig This Design and he said yes! I hope you watch the video because it’s full of Joe’s tips for the perfect Thanksgiving Turkey and I would love it, if you try this recipe to give us your feedback in the comment section below.

Let’s Get Started

If you’re looking for a way to infuse your Thanksgiving turkey with flavor and make sure this year’s turkey doesn’t end up dry, look no further than the brining method. For this method, you’ll need to consider the size of your turkey because this determines how much time you’ll need to set aside for the brine part. This recipe is one of many tasty ones from my good friend Joe, he’s a wonderful cook and loves creating his own spice recipes. Truly, all you really need for a brine is salt, so don’t be afraid to customize the other ingredients with your own flavor preferences or Thanksgiving dinner theme.



  • 1-1/2 cup of sea salt or Kosher salt, but NOT table salt
  • 2.5 oz. dried apple chips
  • 1 Tbsp black pepper
  • 10 bay leaves
  • 4 Tbsp thyme
  • 5 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 5 Tbsp lemon pepper
  • 1 lemon cut in quarters
  • 5 Tbsp dried onion
  • 1 cup of brown sugar
  • 1 gallon of water (to be brought to boil with spices)
  • 1 gallon + 2 cups of cold water
  • 6 cups of cold apple cider, NOT apple juice
  • Cleaned turkey


DIY thanksgiving turkey brine recipe using sea or kosher salt for brine solution

Aromatic spice ingredients for thanksgiving turkey brine recipe



In a container with a lid, combine salt with all dry ingredients and shake well. In a large pot combine all dry ingredients and 1 gallon of water. Bring this mixture to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely in the refrigerator. Once cold, add 1 gallon and 2 cups of water and 6 cups of apple cider. Be sure the turkey has been cleaned, then place in a brining bag or large pot with lid that can hold all the ingredients. Add the brining solution over the turkey, cover and refrigerate for 12 – 36 hours depending on the turkey weight, (see below). After the time is up, rinse the excess salt and spices and cook as desired.

How long should I brine my turkey?

The amount of time your turkey should spend chilling in the refrigerator in the brining solution depends on the weight of the bird.

10 – 13 lbs = 12 – 15 hours

14 – 20 lbs = 16 – 24 hours

20 – 30 lbs = 24 – 36 hours

Happy brining!


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