So last year I made a phenomenal brine with kosher salt, pure maple syrup and a few seasonings. I loved the turkey, it was awesome. However the pan drippings that became my gravy turned out very sweet and tasted like maple syrup. I really want to brine. I need help with a brine that will make it flavorful yet give me normal tasting gravy when done.

  • Did you properly rinse and dry the turkey before cooking it ?
    – Max
    Nov 23, 2016 at 14:27

2 Answers 2


In my opinion it can't be done without cheating. A fully brined turkey will always make overly salty drippings, and a maple brined turkey will produce overly sweet/salty drippings. Some cooks have successfully made gravy with brined turkey drippings (see Can you make pan gravy if the turkey was brined?), but I suspect that those turkeys were under brined.

A solution is to buy inexpensive turkey parts. Necks, wings, backs and giblets (if you like them) are all good for this. Don't brine them, just roast them in a another pan at the same time you roast the brined turkey. Use those drippings for your gravy. You can cook those parts way past the temperature that you cook the brined turkey to give you more drippings and yummy brown bits for gravy. The meat can then be shredded to add to your dressing or gravy if you like.

Little by little you can add some of the drippings from the brined turkey to the drippings from the miscellaneous parts, tasting after each addition. Carefully adding some of the brined drippings to the plain drippings could result in a spectacular gravy.


Using unsalted offal bits may temper the saltiness but I agree it will probably always have a strong taste of salt.

If you can get a chicken with the Giblets then you may want to roast it with the Giblets present, this may also improve the meaty flavour of your gravy.

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