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Originally posted to Recipezaar by Mean Chef. This makes enough brine for a 12 lb turkey. Halve the recipe for smaller birds.


  • 3 quarts water
  • 1 1/2 cups soy sauce
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh ginger, chopped or sliced thin (no need to peel)
  • 3 heads garlic, cloves separated (no need to peel these either)
  • 2 teaspoons dried chili pepper flakes


  • Place all ingredients in a large pot. Bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Place brine in a non-reactive container.
  • Wash poultry and place breast side down in the brine; add more water if necessary to cover the bird. Refrigerate for 2 to 4 days. (smaller birds such as chicken or Cornish game hens can be brined for 12 to 24 hours or up to 2 to 4 days).
  • Remove poultry from brine and rinse well in cold water; pat dry with paper towels. Brush skin with melted butter or olive oil; roast as usual. Makes 1 gallon

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