Can You Brine a Turkey With the Giblets Inside

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Have you brought a fresh or frozen turkey that includes the giblets?

And thinking of trying out a new brine recipe?

This is a sure way to achieve moist meat on that beautiful turkey.

But can you do this with the giblets still in the bird cavity?

Let us find out!

Can You Brine a Turkey With the Giblets In The Cavity?

Yes, you can technically brine a defrosted or fresh turkey with the giblets inside.

However, like always there are a few more details to understand!

Like the kind of brine you want to apply.

Is it a wet brine or a dry brine?

Or do you want to retain a depth of flavor for a tasty and savory giblet gravy?

Read on as we explore brining a turkey with or without the giblets.

With a few little tips and tricks on the way.

Note: Some manufacturers will leave a package of giblets.

So make sure you check and remove any packaging first.


What Are Turkey Giblets?

The giblets typically apply to the neck meat, offal, and even the tail.

These are the offcuts that are processed when the bird is being butchered.

Some might shy away from using these cuts.

But believe me when I say they can add a richer flavor to your meal. 

The Right Brine for a Turkey With Giblets

A brine is treating food with a salt concentration which in our case will be the raw meat of a turkey.

The two main types of bringing are wet and dry.

Wet Brine

A wet brine is created by adding coarse salt into cold water.

Which in turn creates a water and salt solution.

Dry Brine

A dry brine is applying a concentration of kosher salt to the meat before cooking without water.

It is liberally covering every area to form a crust which is then removed.

What Is Best for a Turkey With Giblets?

The ideal brine type of brine for a raw turkey is dry brine.

This is because none of the salt will permeate the giblets.

You should brine an average 12-pound turkey overnight.

The salt from the dry brine will not reach the giblets through the turkey skin.

If giblets are exposed to salt then they will become bitter and lose their strong flavor.

Which is what they are good for!

What if I Want to Wet Brine?

The more popular and widely used brining process is with water.

Wet brining with the giblets inside will not affect the precious turkey meat.

A bit of salt won’t hurt.

But being in a solution of salt for hours will render the giblets bitter and useless.

So I reccomend taking them out.

Tip: Don’t waste the giblets!

Make a giblet broth with plenty of garlic cloves and thicken with a stick of butter.

Pour it over the breast meat for the ultimate indulgence.

What Are the Ratios When Brining a Turkey?

Still interested in making a simple brine for your roasted turkey and giblets? 


Ratio of Wet Brining

– 1 cup of water (230ml) to a tablespoon (14 grams) of salt.

The brine solution should be enough to cover the whole turkey in how many cups of water it takes.

Warm up the water to medium heat to help absorb the salt.

But then wait a while to submerge in cool water.

Do I Keep the Meat Refrigerated When Brining?

Keep the turkey refrigerated while brining it to avoid food poisoning.

How Long Should I Brine My Turkey & Giblets?

Brine the entire bird overnight or 1 hour per pound.

Summarizing Brining a Turkey With Giblets

– It is best to remove the giblets before wet brining so they don’t lose their flavor.

– Dry brining will not ruin the giblets.

– Check if your giblets are stored in extra packaging.

Turkey Recipes

Smoking Turkey in a Gas Smoker

Smoked Turkey Tails

Smoking Turkey in an Electric Smoker

Turkey Gravy

Smoked Turkey Wings

Smoked Turkey in a Pit Boss

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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