Buttermilk Brined Turkey

"Buttermilk brined turkey brings together the plump juicy texture of brined turkey with the tang of buttermilk and an infusion of rosemary, thyme, and sage. It’s a simple approach to making a delicious Thanksgiving turkey that you will want to come back to year after year."

Renee Nicole's Kitchen


– turkey - innards removed Brine – cold water – coarse kosher salt salt – black peppercorns – sprigs fresh thyme – sprigs fresh sage – sprigs fresh rosemary – bay leaves – buttermilk Aromatics – yellow onion – garlic



prep time




Buttermilk Brined Turkey Recipe

1. In a 3 quart or larger saucepan bring 1 quart of water and 1 cup of salt to a boil, stirring to dissolve salt. Once salt is dissolved remove pan from heat and stir in 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 3 - 4 sprigs fresh thyme, 2 - 3 sprigs fresh sage, 2 - 3 sprigs fresh rosemary, 4 bay leaves. Cover and allow to steep 5 minutes. Uncover, add 1 additional quart of cold water and allow to cool 5 minutes more.


2. Prepare the turkey by lining a large container with a turkey brining bag. A large roasting pan, stock pot, or 5 gallon bucket works well. Place the turkey inside the bag, add 2 quarts of cold buttermilk, the last quart of cold water, and the salty herbal infusion. Secure the top of the bag and squish to combine the brine together and coat the turkey. Make sure the turkey is covered with the brine. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours or up to 48 hours.


3. Adjust the oven racks so that the turkey can sit in the center of the oven. Depending on the size of the turkey, you'll need to use the lowest or second to lowest rack placement, removing additional racks as necessary. Preheat oven to 400º.


4. Remove the turkey from the brine, discarding the herbs, peppercorns, and liquid brine. Pat the turkey dry with paper towels and place breast side up in a large roasting pan lined with a rack. Cut onion into quarters, cut garlic in half, place both inside the turkey cavity.


5. Place the turkey in the oven, with the breast centered and the legs pointing towards the back right of the oven. Roast 30 minutes, then rotate the legs to the back left of the oven, keeping the breast centered, and reduce the oven temperature to 350º.


6. Continue to rotate the legs from left to right every 30 minutes until a meat thermometer in thickest part of the thigh reads 180º, the breast meat reads 165º, and the skin is crispy and golden brown. For a 14 lb turkey, it should take about 3 - 3 1/2 hours total roasting time.


7. Remove turkey from oven, cover and allow to rest 15 minutes or more before carving.


Serve alongside my Creamy Mashed Potatoes!

Visit Renee Nicole's Kitchen for MORE Notes and Tips on Making the BEST Buttermilk Brined Turkey!

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