Can You Brine a Turkey in Pickle Juice?

The answer is definitely yes! Brining a turkey in pickle juice is a great way to make sure the bird is juicy, flavorful, and extremely delicious. With its distinct acidity and salty-savory undertones, pickle juice works like a miracle to elevate your Thanksgiving turkey beyond the ordinary.

Why Brine a Turkey in Pickle Juice?

There are several reasons why brining a turkey in pickle juice is a culinary game-changer:

  • Moisture Magic: Pickle juice is a natural humectant, meaning it attracts and retains moisture. This translates to a juicy, succulent turkey that won’t dry out even after hours in the oven.
  • Flavor Explosion: The tangy, briny flavor of pickle juice infuses the turkey, adding a depth of flavor that’s simply unmatched by traditional brines.
  • Tenderness Triumph: The acidity in pickle juice helps break down the turkey’s muscle fibers, resulting in a more tender and melt-in-your-mouth texture.
  • Crispy Skin Perfection: The salt in pickle juice helps draw out moisture from the skin, creating a crispy, golden-brown masterpiece after roasting.

How to Brine a Turkey in Pickle Juice:

Brining a turkey in pickle juice is a simple process that yields incredible results Here’s a step-by-step guide:


  • 1 gallon pickle juice (choose dill or bread and butter chips flavors)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorns
  • 2 teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 lemons, quartered
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 1 bunch fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Prepare the Brine: In a large stockpot, combine pickle juice, water, salt, brown sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns, celery seeds, onion, lemons, garlic, and dill. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  2. Submerge the Turkey: Add the turkey to the brine, ensuring it’s completely submerged. If necessary, use a heavy plate or lid to weigh it down.
  3. Refrigerate and Brine: Cover the pot and refrigerate for 12-24 hours. For a more intense flavor, you can brine for up to 48 hours.
  4. Remove and Rinse: Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it thoroughly under cold water. Pat it dry with paper towels.
  5. Prepare for Roasting: Stuff the turkey cavity with the quartered onion, lemons, garlic, and dill. Brush the entire turkey with melted butter and season generously with salt and pepper.
  6. Roast to Perfection: Roast the turkey according to your preferred recipe, ensuring the internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh.
  7. Rest and Enjoy: Let the turkey rest for at least 30 minutes before carving and serving.

Tips for the Perfect Pickle-Brined Turkey:

  • Choose the Right Pickle Juice: Opt for dill or bread and butter chips pickle juice for the best flavor. Avoid pickle juice with artificial ingredients or preservatives.
  • Don’t Over-Brine: While longer brining times can enhance flavor, over-brining can make the turkey mushy. Stick to the recommended 12-24 hours for optimal results.
  • Rinse Thoroughly: Rinsing the turkey after brining removes excess salt and ensures a balanced flavor.
  • Use a Thermometer: A meat thermometer is your best friend when roasting a turkey. It ensures the bird reaches a safe internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Let It Rest: Resting the turkey allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a more tender and flavorful bird.

Brining a turkey in pickle juice is a culinary hack that will elevate your Thanksgiving feast to a whole new level. The combination of juicy, flavorful, and tender turkey will have your guests raving and begging for seconds. So, ditch the traditional brines and embrace the magic of pickle juice for a truly unforgettable Thanksgiving experience.

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Pickle Juice Brined Turkey | Bubbies Thanksgiving |


Can you brine meat in pickle juice?

Yup, believe it. A big ol’ jar of leftover pickle juice is like a perfectly pre-seasoned pour over for meat. The salt and garlic flavors are already there and the acid in the juice acts as a great meat tenderiser, helping particularly to break down tougher cuts.

Can I use pickling salt to brine my turkey?

Brine a Turkey for Maximum Flavor and Tenderness. Your basic brine ratio (adapted from Charcuterie) should look like this: one cup of kosher/pickling/sea salt for every gallon of water. You can also add 1/4 – 1/2 cup of sugar per gallon, plus any number of other seasoning accoutrements.

What should you brine a turkey in?

Create a Salt Solution The basic ratio for a wet turkey brine is to use 2 cups of kosher salt or coarse sea salt for every 2 gallons of water. The benefit of a wet brine is that it can work slightly quicker than a dry brine because it infuses the entire turkey in a salty solution.

How can I speed up my turkey brine?

To speed things up you can add some ice to it. Combine cooled brine with 1 gallon of ice water and submerge the turkey in the brine bath so that it is completely covered. I used a brining bag to do this, but a large container or a 5 gallon bucket would even work. Refrigerate overnight.

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