How To Brine A Turkey Breast

Turkey Brine - Moist, tender, juicy meat every time!

Learn how to brine a turkey breast and your Holidays will shine.  I promise if you just try this method once you will NEVER roast a turkey without it again.  

My brother-in-law introduced this method to us years ago and I have not roasted a turkey without doing it since that eye-opening Thanksgiving.  

You will not believe the difference it makes in the meat.  It is so tender, so moist and so flavorful your guests will talk about it for years to come.  We do!  By the way, a turkey breast is perfect for a small family gathering.

Try our homemade Cranberry Sauce!

Turkey Breast Brine

Turkey Brine ingredients on a wooden cutting board

It’s so simple too!  You can mix up your flavorings any way you prefer.  I chose rosemary, garlic, onion, bay leaves, and peppercorns.  Other options include citrus, fresh sage, thyme, etc.

dissolving the brine in a pot

Most recipes tell you to heat the brine to dissolve the salt and sugar, then let it cool.  I don’t find this necessary at all.  (another tip from my brother-in-law)  And really, who has time for that?

herbs and spices added to the dissolved Turkey Brine in a pot

I just stir the salt and sugar in the room temperature water until it dissolves, about 1 minute. Then add all your flavorings.

Turkey breast submerged in the brine

Dunk the bird in the brine and let her soak!

Turkey breast on a wire rack in a foil lined roasting pan

Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse and let dry for several hours in the refrigerator.  Yes, you have to plan ahead for this process. But it’s so worth the effort that you will not regret it at all. Remember, I promised earlier?

When you are ready to roast the turkey. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place a roasting rack in the and put the turkey breast on the rack.

Check out our Peanut Butter Balls!

cutting the meat off the turkey breast on a wooden cutting board

Roast at 350 degrees for 20 minutes per pound.  Start checking the temperature with a reliable thermometer at about 1 hour of cooking.  

My turkey breast was 7.5 lbs and took about an hour and 45 minutes. Let rest for 15 minutes, slice and devour.

sliced turkey breast on a pumpkin platter

Easy and succulent!

Since this recipe was posted we have discovered a dry brine method that delivers less mess, more flavorful moist meat, and a golden brown crispy skin. While this recipe produces very moist meat, this new dry brine is our go-to recipe for perfect turkey from now on. Check it out here:
Simple Succulent Dry Brined Roast Turkey

Serve our Bread Pudding for dessert!

Turkey Breast Brine Recipe

Turkey Brine - Moist, tender, juicy meat every time!
Print Recipe
3.67 from 18 votes

How to Brine and Roast a Turkey Breast

The best method of roasting a turkey breast or whole turkey. Moist, tender and so flavorful!
Prep Time1 d
Cook Time2 hrs
Total Time1 d 2 hrs
Course: Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: brine, poultry, Thanksgiving, turkey, turkey breast
Servings: 6
Calories: 221kcal
Author: Don’t Sweat The Recipe


  • 1 Cup Kosher salt
  • 1 Cup White Sugar
  • 1 Onion, cut into quarters
  • 3 Garlic cloves, cracked
  • 2 Tablespoons Peppercorns
  • 3 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 Gallon Water


  • In a large pot or bag (large enough to accommodate the turkey) stir water, sugar, and salt until dissolved.
  • Add rosemary, garlic, onion, and peppercorns.
  • Add the turkey, cover pot and refrigerate for 10 to 24 hours.
  • Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse, place in roasting pan then refrigerate to dry for 3 to 4 hours. (or overnight)
  • Roast at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes per pound or until reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Watch closely after one hour of cooking.


If you use a bag place it in a pot or large bowl in case there is some leakage.


Calories: 221kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 28344mg | Potassium: 116mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 51g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 78mg | Iron: 1mg

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  1. Reply

    Looks so good. My mom is making the turkey breast this year and I am sort of scared!4 stars

    1. Reply

      LOL Kristy I’m sure it will be good. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. Reply

    I’ve never tried brining our turkey but have always wanted to try. Thanks for sharing these great tips! The turkey looks fantastic!

    1. Reply

      Thank you Kelly! Try it once and you will never roast a turkey without again.

  3. Reply

    What size turkey breast did you use? Did you use 1 cup of Kosher salt or table salt?

    1. Reply

      Hi Tammy, the brine is just a method it doesn’t really matter the size of the turkey breast. And thank you for noticing I didn’t specify the type of salt. We used kosher.

  4. Reply

    Sounds like a great idea! How long should you brine a 7 lb breast?

    1. Reply

      Hi Karen, I would suggest about 12 hours. Thank you so much for coming by. Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. Reply

    Is one day the longest you should brine your turkey?

    1. Reply

      Yes, with a wet brine 24hrs is the longest we recommend. But we have now started using a dry brine and it’s SO much better. Also, much easier and you can brine up to 3 days. Check these two recipes out.

  6. Reply

    Would you suggest a wet brine or a dry brine for a previously frozen turkey breast?

    1. Reply

      Hi, Zoie! We wet brined for years and loved it until we discovered dry brining. I HIGHLY recommend dry brine and don’t think we will ever wet brine again. The dry brine imparts so much more flavor and tenderness into the turkey. Thank you so much for coming by!

  7. Reply

    Yours looks the easiest, going to try it this Thanksgiving.4 stars

    1. Reply

      Hi, Michelle! Although we loved our wet brine for many years we now do this method and have never gone back! It is even easier and less messy. Thanks so much for coming by!

  8. Reply

    Do you put anything in the roasting pan like water or vegetables and do you cover the roaster?

    1. Reply

      Hi, Connie. I usually don’t add anything to the pan. But you can certainly add veggies if you like. And I do not cover it. But we now ONLY use this recipe and I highly recommend you try it.

  9. Reply

    Hi Do you leave the turkey in the refrigerator coverd or uncoverd after the brine is rinced off?5 stars

    1. Reply

      Hi, Nora! Uncovered so it will dry. I hope you enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!

      1. Reply

        Thanks so much happy Thanksgiving to you!

  10. Reply

    Hi,I usually smoke turkey breasts for Thanksgiving and always brine but with seasonings and then a good rub.This will be my first Using your brine and am looking forward to it.We organically grow our own Rosemary and Sage along with other herbs so I’m hoping it turns out well.Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

    1. Reply

      Happy Thanksgiving, Mark! We hope you enjoy the turkey.

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