Mexican Citrus Turkey Brine Recipe

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Roasting a turkey can be intimidating. It’s big and gorgeous, but can also be tasteless and dry if you don’t handle with care. Below is a recipe for a Mexican Citrus Brine that will infuse your turkey with flavors of oranges, lemons, limes, garlic (lots of it), and aromatic herbs.


You’ll have a hint of heat from the dried chile de arbol. The heat is not overwhelming and will balance the sweetness from all the citrus juice. Give yourself enough time so the bird sits in the salty brine for at least eight hours or longer in your refrigerator. Oh, that’s right. Be sure to make room in your fridge for the large stock pot and have it covered. 


Think about your brine as your insurance. Because turkey is a lean meat, by giving your bird a long, luxurious soak in a salty brine you’ll enhance the flavor and moisture. What’s nice about brining, the bird will absorb the salt, adding seasoning to the bird but also the salt breaks down the protein to make it juicier. Adding other flavors to your brine like we did will also improve the flavor and seasoning of your turkey. 

Mexican Citrus Turkey Brine Recipe

Citrus, chile, and aromatic herbs takes this brine to the next level.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 20 minutes


  • 2 cups coarse sea salt
  • 4 limes, quartered
  • 3 oranges, quartered
  • 3 lemons, quartered
  • fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage
  • 2 tbsp. Mexican dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 large onion, quartered
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 5 bay Leaves
  • 20 chile de arbol
  • 2 cups mojo criollo marinade
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups sugar
  • Water to cover


  1. Place turkey in large stock pot
  2. Add all brine ingredients
  3. Cover with water
  4. Place lid on stock pot and refrigerate


It's best to refrigerate over night up to two days.

Be sure to remove the giblets and neck from the cavity of the turkey before brining.



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