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super delicious apple cider turkey brine

(2 ratings)
Blue Ribbon Recipe by
Sanity Chek
Annapolis, MD

Made turkey last year in this wonderful brine solution and it was hands-down the best turkey my family had ever had. It was moist and flavorful as expected! Plan ahead because the brine needs to be boiled first and then cooled before you insert the turkey.

Blue Ribbon Recipe

Trust the process for brining a turkey, and this recipe will produce one of the best roasted turkeys you've ever tasted. Once baked, the turkey is nice and juicy, and full of flavor. It's savory with a hint of garlic and citrus. The breast is not the least bit dry. This apple cider brine does take a little bit of patience and time, but the outcome is well worth the wait.

— The Test Kitchen @kitchencrew
(2 ratings)
yield 8 -10
prep time 1 Hr
method Stove Top

Ingredients For super delicious apple cider turkey brine

  • 1/2 gal
    apple cider
  • 1 1/2 gal
  • 1 c
  • 1 c
    brown sugar
  • 5 clove
    garlic, minced
  • 3 lg
    oranges, quartered, reserve 1 for when cooking turkey
  • 6 sprig
    fresh thyme
  • 4 sprig
    fresh rosemary

How To Make super delicious apple cider turkey brine

Test Kitchen Tips
We opted for the method of putting the turkey and brine in a large plastic bag in a cooler and covering it with ice. Our 10.5 lb turkey sat in the brine for 20 hours.
  • Salt, sugar, cider, garlic, oranges, thyme, and rosemary in a stock pot.
    Dissolve the salt and sugar in combined 1.5 gallons of water and 1/2 gallon of cider in a large stockpot. Add garlic, oranges, thyme, and rosemary. Note: This recipe is designed for a 10-12lb turkey. If you have a big turkey and need more brine, then use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water. Bring the solution to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat and cover. Let the brine cool to room temperature.
  • Prepping the turkey.
    Remove neck, giblets, and liver from a 10-12lb thawed or fresh turkey and save for gravy. Rinse turkey, inside and out in cold water.
  • Turkey and brine in a bag and in a cooler.
    Soak the turkey in brine. Either: A) Carefully immerse your turkey into cooled brine, in the stock pot. This is best done in the sink, as brine will spill out. Cover and refrigerate. --OR-- B) Put the turkey into a large plastic brining/roasting bag. Pour the entire brine liquid over the turkey. Seal the bag tightly. Put the turkey bag into the stock pot. Refrigerate. --OR-- C) Buy a new clean 3-4 gallon big paint bucket from your hardware store. Line it with your brining bag or a giant Reynolds cooking bag. Put your turkey inside and pour the brine mix over it so it is covered. Seal it and then cover and surround the bucket with 3-4 bags of ice from your grocery store. If you have a large cooler that you can turn on its side and slide the bucket in there, even better. Let brine in your cool garage or on your deck.
  • Ice added to the cooler and turkey is ready to brine.
    Brine for at least 4 hours and up to 24. *my personal experience is 4-6 hours is perfectly fine*
  • Rubbing orange over brined turkey.
    Remove turkey from brine and rinse well inside and out. Pat dry. Discard the brine solution. Before cooking your turkey in whatever favorite way you do, use the 3rd orange you have set aside and rub the whole outside, especially on the top breast area.
  • Turkey coated in butter and roasting.
    Then apply your butter and favorite seasonings. Cook however you like.