How to Brine Turkey or Chicken

I have never in my life brined a turkey or a chicken before. It always sounded like a really complicated project to take on. I was recently asked to brine a chicken using Kikkoman Soy Sauce, so I thought I would finally give brining a try and see exactly what it entailed.

This was sort of a pre-Thanksging run for me, and I can’t wait to brine my Thanksgiving turkey now. Prior to this I had no idea how to brine turkey or chicken, but it was not a complicated process at all, and the results were amazing!!

To brine my chicken, I simply poured water, Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce, dried sage, dried thyme, dried celery seed and Kosher salt in a 5 gallon bucket. I put my chicken down into the mixture, covered the bucket, and put it in my refrigerator for 8 hours.

Then, I took my chicken out of the mixture, placed it in a roasting pan with about 6 cups of the liquid from the bucket, and cooked it according to the package instructions.

I was a little skeptical about brining my chicken with soy sauce. I’ve only used soy sauce in Asian dishes before, and I really had no idea that you could do so much more with it.

I was extremely impressed with the flavor of the chicken, however. Whenever I have flavored a chicken in the past, I’ve only flavored it on the outside, so only the skin really got flavor. Brining the chicken allowed the flavor to soak through the entire chicken. Every single bite was full of flavor, and the chicken was very moist and tender.

If you’d like to try brining a chicken, or your Thanksgiving turkey, here’s how you do it:

How to Brine Turkey or Chicken

Master the art of a perfect holiday meal with our Kikkoman Brine Recipe, tailored for an unforgettable Turkey Brine experience
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Refrigerate 8 hours


  • 2 Gallons cold water
  • 10 oz. Kikkoman Naturally Brewed Soy Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons dried sage
  • 2 tablespoons dried celery seed
  • 1 tablespoons dried thyme


  • The night before roasting, remove giblets and turkey neck; rinse turkey or chicken inside and out.
  • In a large stockpot or 5-gallon bucket, mix water with remaining ingredients.
  • Stir well until all the salt is dissolved. Place the turkey in the pot or bucket, cover with a lid and refrigerate overnight or at least 8 hours.
  • Remove turkey or chicken from the brine.
  • Follow your regular turkey or chicken cooking instructions.

Alternate Kikkoman to Brine Turkey Recipe:



  • 2 cups Kikkoman Soy Sauce
  • 2 Gallons water
  • 1 1/2 Cups Kosher Salt
  • 8 Cloves minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1/4 Cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3/4 Cup brown sugar


Combine all ingredients in a large food safe container.

Whisk until salt and sugar are totally dissolved. Place meat into brine. Leave in brine about 1 hour per pound of meat. Once done brining, pat meat dry before cooking.

Roast the chicken and baste with Kikkoman Soy Sauce.

Frequent Asked Question Related to How to Brine Turkey

What is brining?

Brining is a process of soaking meat in a mixture of water, salt, and other flavorings to enhance its moisture and flavor.

Why use Kikkoman Soy Sauce for brining?

Kikkoman Soy Sauce adds a unique depth of flavor to the brine, resulting in a chicken or turkey that’s flavorful in every bite.

Is brining with soy sauce complicated?

No, the process is straightforward. The article details a simple method using common ingredients.

How long should I brine the chicken or turkey?

It’s recommended to brine for at least 8 hours or overnight for the best results.

Do I need a special container for brining?

A large stockpot or a 5-gallon bucket works well. Ensure that the chicken or turkey is fully submerged in the brine.

Will the chicken taste like soy sauce?

While the soy sauce adds flavor, the chicken will not taste overwhelmingly of soy. The combination of ingredients ensures a balanced and flavorful result.

Can I use this brine for both chicken and turkey?

Yes, the brine recipe provided is suitable for both chicken and turkey.

What other ingredients are in the brine?

Apart from Kikkoman Soy Sauce, the brine includes cold water, Kosher salt, sugar, dried sage, dried celery seed, and dried thyme.

Do I cook the chicken or turkey in the brine?

No, after brining, you remove the chicken or turkey from the brine and cook it according to your regular cooking instructions.

Is the brined chicken or turkey moist and tender?

Yes, brining helps the meat retain moisture, resulting in a moist and tender chicken or turkey.

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