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Cooking Tips: How to Brine a Turkey

These tips come courtesy of Julie Goodwin. I met Julie last year when I was invited to participate in the filming of the Women’s Weekly Christmas Special. It was great day of cooking and laughing and I learnt so much.

Your turkey needs to be brined overnight; so you need to start this process the night before you intend to cook it.

Brining ensures you get a juicy, moist, full flavoured turkey.  So if you are not confident in your turkey roasting skills then brining is the way to go.  The salt in the brine breaks down the muscle proteins in the bird, allows it to absorb moisture, thus helping it stay more moist and juicy during the cooking process.  The other advantage is you can add aromatics to the brine to infuse subtle flavours.


  • Mix 2 cups of salt with 4 cups of sugar in a tub/container of water (about 8 litres) large enough to submerge the whole turkey (a small esky is a good option)
  • Stir to make sure the salt and sugar dissolve
  • Place the turkey in the tub/esky making sure it’s completely covered with water
  • Add large blocks of ice to the tub/esky to act as ice cubes (water frozen in ice cream containers or takeaway containers works well)
  • Add more ice cubes to the tub/esky as required – this effectively keeps the turkey refrigerated
  • Remove the turkey from the water at least an hour before cooking
  • Pat the turkey inside and out and allow it to come to room temperature

For cooking your turkey, see our Guide to the Perfect Roast Turkey.


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