Beer in the Kitchen: How To Beer-Brine Turkey

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Beer in the Kitchen: How To Beer-Brine Turkey

Thanksgiving is almost upon us, which means it’s time to make the most important decision of the holiday: how do you plan on cooking your turkey?

There are tons of different ways to season and prepare a bird for the big day (including some awesome bourbon options), but one of our personal faves in beer brining. It’s simple to do, and the beer can ensure your turkey stays tender and juicy while it’s hanging out in the oven all day.

If you’re looking for other ways to incorporate beer into your Thanksgiving dinner, we also recommend checking out some of our previous Beer in the Kitchen posts for things like Mac N’ Cheese and Bacon and Beer Green Beans.

Here’s what you need:


1 Turkey
10 cups of water
6 cups of beer (4 12oz bottles) or either a brown or holiday ale
1 1/2 cups of sea salt
1 cup of brown sugar
4 cloves of garlic (chopped)
Sealed container large enough to hold your bird and the brine (think giant Tupperware or oven bags)

Brining is something you do overnight, so talking this one is going to mean that you have your turkey defrosted and oven-ready Wednesday morning.


1. In a large pot bring your water to a boil, and then add the sea salt, brown sugar, and garlic. Reduce the heat, and then stir the mixture until the sat and sugar dissolve.

2. Take the mixture off heat, and when it begins to cool add cold beer to the mix. Wait until the brine reaches room temperature.

3. Put your turkey in your container (or double bag it in oven bags) and then fill the container with brine, so as to cover the entire turkey.

4. Refrigerate for 24-48 hours.

5. Remove the turkey from the brine before cooking and rice it thoroughly. Pat dry with paper towels and then cook according to directions on the package for a bird the size you’ve chosen (until meat reaches 165 degrees).

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