Dr. Tina's Blog

Dr. Tina’s Brined Turkey Recipe

Brined TurkeyI’ve been brining my turkey for years. This is the recipe that works, and I’m sticking with it.

Brined Turkey


1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey. I purchase my GMO free, organic turkey from Fresh Direct

*Brine, recipe follows

4 tablespoons unsalted organic butter at room temperature

1 large yellow onion, cut into 8ths

1 large orange, cut into 8ths

1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces

2 bay leaves

2 sprigs thyme


1 cup coarse sea salt

1 cup brown sugar

2 oranges, quartered

2 lemons, quartered

6 sprigs thyme

4 sprigs rosemary



Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turey. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water.

Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place breast side down in a large, heavy roasting pan, and rub on all sides with the butter. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and thyme. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string.

Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, turn, and baste with pan drippngs. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking time. Baste the turkey once every hour with pan drippings

Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving


To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a  large stockpot, or a brining bag. Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.

*Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon


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