Bay & Lemon Brined Turkey

I’m sure you know that the turkey is the most important part of any Thanksgiving feast! The first Thanksgiving we hosted for our family, I took a risk and made a turkey recipe that we had never tried before. To this day, that was the best turkey I have ever eaten!


What You’ll Need:

15 lb. Turkey {we made a 23 pound-er and it was perfect}
2 Gallons of Water {or enough to cover your turkey}
1 C. Sugar
1 C. Kosher Salt
2 Lemons
4 Bay Leaves
3 Cinnamon Sticks
Small Handful of Cloves

Your brine ingredients will all need to fit into a container or pot large enough to hold the turkey. We LOVE the Williams Sonoma brining bags; they’re super sturdy and help free up any large pots you may need for other recipes!

Take approximately 2 C. of water and heat it on the stove with your sugar and salt. Warm until the sugar and salt are fully dissolved.


Put your turkey in the brining bag, add the remaining water, and then pour in the sugar/salt water. Squeeze the lemons into the bag, zest 1 of the lemons, and throw the peels into the brining bag. We cut up the lemon peels into 1/4 before adding them to the brine. Place the bay leaves, cinnamon sticks, and cloves in the brine, and seal the bag.

Refrigerate your turkey at least 6 hours. Our turkey was left in the brine overnight and was AMAZINGLY moist…I would definitely recommend going this route. Plus, it’s nice to get it out of the way before Thanksgiving day.


Now, for the fun part {um…yeah…I always make the hubs do this}! Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and arrange the oven racks to fit the turkey. Remove the turkey from the brine and transfer it to a roasting pan with rack. I couldn’t find our exact pan, but it’s similar to this one from Cuisinart{that I LOVE}. Stuff the turkey with lemons, bay leaves, and cinnamon sticks from the brine.


Cook your turkey approximately 3.5 hours, basting every 40 minutes or so. If any part of the turkey get too brown toward the end of cooking, shield the pieces with tin foil. When the turkey is done, juices should run clear from the breast, and the legs should pull away easily. Remove from the heat and let rest 15-20 minutes before carving.
*It’s always best to use a digital thermometerto make sure the meat is cooked-through. We just got one last year, and it’s wonderful!

Serve up the turkey on a platter and enjoy…This recipe makes the moist and flavorful turkey you’ll probably ever taste!



  1. Rose says

    I love reading this every morning! What a little blessing you have become. This sound amazing.
    Have a very blessed day and keep up the amazing work you do. :)

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