Mallard duck flying - Waterfowl brine recipe

Upland Game and Waterfowl Brine

Here’s a way to make your upland game and waterfowl taste better.  After you’ve carefully cleaned and rinsed your game, drop them into this brine overnight or for at least 3 – 4 hours.  What it does is replace game blood with a slightly salty flavor that will enhance, not cover up the flavor of the cooked meat.  Once you’ve made a batch of the basic brine, add your own dry ingredients for extra flavor, but don’t dilute the mixture with additional liquids.  It’s important to keep the water to salt ratio the same as the recipe.

Upland Game and Waterfowl Brine


  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/3 cup Italian Seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper


  • In a saucepan, mix 1 cup of the water with the salt and heat while stirring until salt is dissolved.
  • In a large, deep container add warmed salt solution to remaining ingredients. Place game in brine and refrigerate overnight.
  • Rinse game, pat dry and discard brine. Game can then be refrigerated, frozen or slapped onto a hot grill after rubbing with olive oil, salt and pepper.


  1. David Kelly on January 28, 2023 at 11:53 am

    I used this method before a 4 hour confit in Dartagnan duck fat with tree duck, grays and teal legs. Let fat set overnight and then seared them off to top a salad. Boy oh boy!

  2. Josh McGuire on January 30, 2024 at 7:41 am

    This is my go to wild duck and wild turkey brine. Every time

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating