How To Brine A Turkey Breast

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.  

Sliced turkey on a serving platter.

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, moist, and flavorful that 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.

And while we’re talking turkey (yuk yuk yuk), take a look at our homemade cranberry sauce. You can even make it look like it came out of a can!

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. Remember, I promised earlier?

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

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 then 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 the perfect turkey. Check it out here: Simple Succulent Dry Brined Roast Turkey

Sliced turkey on a serving platter.

How to Brine and Roast a Turkey Breast

The best method of roasting a turkey breast or whole turkey. Moist, tender and so flavorful!
4.08 from 28 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dinner, Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 1 day 2 hours
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.
    1 Cup White Sugar, 1 Gallon Water, 1 Cup Kosher salt
  • Add rosemary, garlic, onion, and peppercorns.
    1 Onion, cut into quarters, 3 Garlic cloves, cracked, 3 Sprigs Fresh Rosemary, 2 Tablespoons 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.
You do not have to rinse the turkey. It’s a step we don’t find necessary any longer.
Use a shallow metal roasting pan so that the oven air can flow completely around the turkey breast.
To achieve crispier skin brush the turkey breast with melted butter before roasting.
Use an instant read meat thermometer to determine when your turkey is done baking.
Let the turkey breast rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing.


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. I have a boneless turkey breast from Aldi. It’s only about 3 lbs. Will putting dry brine on it decrease the cooking time? Do I use the entire amount in the recipe? Thanks!

    1. Cut it all in half. You can dry brine for up to 24-36 hours on that side, no issues! 🙂 If you can, use an internal temperature gauge.

  2. I brought 4-7lb frozen bone in turkey breast what size large pot I can use for the brine or what size large bag I can use for the brine?

  3. Thanks so much. Dying to use this. Have to teach my son the chef the best way to do this. Found you at just the right time.

  4. 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. 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.

    1. 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!

    1. 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.

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

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