Apple Cider Turkey Brine

Apple Cider Turkey Brine
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 This Apple Cider Turkey Brine will create the most juicy and flavorful turkey EVER!

Want to know how to brine a turkey? This Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe is the key to roasting the most amazing Thanksgiving bird! Made with apple cider, brown sugar, spices and herbs, this turkey brine recipe will be your new go-to for every holiday meal!

Want to know how to brine a turkey? This Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe is the key to roasting the most amazing Thanksgiving bird! Made with apple cider, brown sugar, spices and herbs, this turkey brine recipe will be your new go-to for every holiday meal!

About ten years ago we stopped traveling for the holidays.  After getting stranded on more than one occasion, bad weather, and numerous airline delays and cancellations we made the conscious decision to stay at home in Virginia for Thanksgiving and Christmas. I now tend to make quite a few holiday meals for my own family, and often host other friends and neighbors for our holiday meals.

Over the past decade, I’m sure I’ve roasted a dozen turkeys, if not more.  I’ve come to the conclusion that brining a turkey is the absolute best way to add flavor, juiciness and take your bird from good to amazing!  This recipe for Apple Cider Turkey Brine is my go-to recipe for making the most amazing Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey!  Here’s how this simple, easy-to-make brine comes together:

Want to know how to brine a turkey? This Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe is the key to roasting the most amazing Thanksgiving bird! Made with apple cider, brown sugar, spices and herbs, this turkey brine recipe will be your new go-to for every holiday meal!

Step 1: Gather all of your ingredients for the Apple Cider Turkey Brine

Making a brine for your turkey is a relatively simple process. The main ingredients are salt and water, but beyond that, you can really customize the seasoning and spices to your tastes. The salt acts as a tenderizer for the meat, and the spices and seasoning add some really great flavor, without being overpowering.  A few years back, I began substituting part of the water with Apple Cider, and haven’t gone back. The results were incredible!

After quite a bit of trial, error and substitution over the years, I’ve come up with this brine recipe that has been my go-to recipe for many holiday meals.  The results with this Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe are not only spot-on with flavor, it’s now the only way I make a holiday turkey!

Here are the ingredients and a few other essentials you’ll need to brine your turkey:

  • Salt
  • Brown Sugar
  • Peppercorns
  • Dried Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage
  • Whole Cloves
  • Star Anise
  • Cinnamon Sticks
  • Garlic
  • Oranges (2)
  • Apple Cider (or apple juice)
  • Brining Bag (not oven bag)

(For exact recipe amounts of each ingredient, be sure to scroll down to the recipe card.)

Want to know how to brine a turkey? This Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe is the key to roasting the most amazing Thanksgiving bird! Made with apple cider, brown sugar, spices and herbs, this turkey brine recipe will be your new go-to for every holiday meal!

Step 2: Combine all ingredients in a stock pot and bring to a boil

When making this Apple Cider Turkey Brine, you’ll need a large stock pot to bring the salt, spices and liquid to a boil. In addition to a gallon of water, I’ve also added a half gallon of apple cider. With the oranges, cinnamon and cloves, this brine smells absolutely amazing when coming to a simmer. You’ll want to stir the brine mixture often while it comes to a boil, as the salt and sugar need to dissolve in the liquid.

Once the liquid comes to a rolling boil, remove the brine from the heat, and cover with a lid. Let the brine cool and come to room temperature. (I let mine sit and cool for at least an hour.) Never pour a hot brine over a thawed, uncooked turkey.

Want to know how to brine a turkey? This Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe is the key to roasting the most amazing Thanksgiving bird! Made with apple cider, brown sugar, spices and herbs, this turkey brine recipe will be your new go-to for every holiday meal!

Step 3: Pour the Cooled Brine Over the Turkey into a Brining Bag

Once the liquid has come to room temperature, you can then the Apple Cider Turkey Brine onto the turkey. Your turkey should be mostly thawed by this point, but it’s okay if there are still ice crystals on the inside of the bird.  Speaking of the inside of the bird, be sure to remove the bag of giblets that have been placed inside the turkey. These are not necessary to the brining process. The giblets typically include the neck, liver, heart, and gizzard of the turkey. Some like to include the giblet meat with their stuffing, or roast alongside the turkey – I personally discard these parts, as no one in my house eats them. 🙂

Okay, so back to the brining bag….I don’t recommend using a bucket or cooler to brine your turkey, although you can use it if you’re in a pinch. Brining bags are specifically designed for this exact technique. Unlike an oven bag (DONT use an oven bag – it’s not thick enough and you’ll surely spring a leak!) the plastic is much thicker, and can withstand the weight of the liquid and the turkey.

Place your turkey breast-side down, and pour the brine over the top of the bird. If you have a very large turkey, like 18-22 lbs, add an extra 1/2 to 1 gallon of additional water.

 

Want to know how to brine a turkey? This Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe is the key to roasting the most amazing Thanksgiving bird! Made with apple cider, brown sugar, spices and herbs, this turkey brine recipe will be your new go-to for every holiday meal!

Step 4: Seal and Refrigerate the Brined Turkey

Once everything is in the bag, close up the bag tightly, and refrigerate the brined turkey for 18-24 hours. The brining bag will typically have a zip-lock type of closure, but in addition to that, I’ll roll up the bag and secure with a clip. (A good chip-clip or large binder clips are an awesome solution here!) I will also place the bagged turkey inside a large roasting pan. This is just to make sure that if the bag happens to spring a leak (I’ve never had this happen, but its possible) that the liquid is contained and doesn’t flood my refrigerator.

If you are really tight on refrigerator space, you can place the bagged turkey in a large cooler, and cover with ice. Just be sure to keep the turkey cold and well iced for the 18-24 hours. You may need to drain off some water and extra ice halfway through the process.

 

Want to know how to brine a turkey? This Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe is the key to roasting the most amazing Thanksgiving bird! Made with apple cider, brown sugar, spices and herbs, this turkey brine recipe will be your new go-to for every holiday meal!

Step 5: Rinse the Turkey before Roasting

Okay, so it is now likely Thanksgiving or Christmas day. Your turkey has been in the refrigerator brining for nearly a day – he’s now ready to come out and make his holiday debut!  The last step of brining your turkey is to give him a good rinse before roasting.

After nearly dropping my turkey on more than one occasion, I’ve discovered through much trial and error this easy technique. First, start with a CLEAN kitchen sink. Lay down some clean kitchen towels so the turkey doesn’t slip around. Next, with the water sprayer or faucet, give the turkey a really good rinsing. Be sure to rinse inside the inner cavity, and all around the wings and legs.  This will remove any excess salt and herbs, on the outer surface and prevent the turkey from being overly salty. Don’t worry, you’re not undoing or diluting the brine that you just did – the salt, herbs, and all the other ingredients from the brine have already permeated the meat and have adequately done their job.

That’s it. You’re now done brining your turkey – he’s all set and ready to be roasted to perfection!  Wanna know how to roast your turkey? Check out my post for 3 EASY TIPS FOR A MOIST AND DELICIOUS TURKEY here. I cover how to prep your turkey for roasting, and how to get that really awesome golden, brown skin.

Want to know how to brine a turkey? This Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe is the key to roasting the most amazing Thanksgiving bird! Made with apple cider, brown sugar, spices and herbs, this turkey brine recipe will be your new go-to for every holiday meal!

 From my family to yours, I wish you a blessed, happy and healthy holiday season!

Here are a few other holiday recipes that are perfect for your Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner table:

If you love turkey, but don't want to roast an entire bird, this Slow Cooker Turkey Breast recipe is for you! Roasted with butternut squash, apples and cranberries, this easy recipe has all the flavors of Thanksgiving dinner without all the work!

Slow Cooker Turkey Breast

 

This stuffing recipe will be an instant Thanksgiving dinner favorite with everyone at the table! Loaded with apples, sausage, mushrooms, pecans and more, this dressing is the ultimate side dish for your holiday meal!

Everything Thanksgiving Stuffing

 

Perfectly creamy, these Parmesan Mashed Potatoes are nothing short of spectacular. Russet potatoes are lightly seasoned and combined with sour cream, cream cheese and Parmesan cheese making these potatoes the ultimate side dish for any meal! A must for every holiday meal as well!

Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

 

The perfect side dish for your holiday dinner, this Cranberry Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese Crumbles and sweet Brown Sugar Pecans is flavorful and delicious! Mandarin oranges, cranberries, goat cheese crumbles and pecans make the flavor combination the perfect partner for just about any meal. The perfect Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner side dish!

Cranberry Citrus Salad with Goat Cheese & Pecans

 

One of the most flavorful, delicious ways to prepare butternut squash! Roasted with apples, bacon, pecans and shallots, this savory and slightly sweet side-dish is easy enough for a weeknight meal, and fancy enough to accompany your Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner!

Roasted Butternut Squash Medley

 

Get the Easy Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe here:

Apple Cider Turkey Brine

10 minPrep Time

15 minCook Time

25 minTotal Time

Save RecipeSave Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 c. salt
  • 1/2 c. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. peppercorns
  • 2 Tbsp. dried rosemary
  • 2 Tbsp. thyme
  • 2 Tbsp. ground sage
  • 2 Tbsp. whole cloves
  • 2-3 star anise
  • 3-4 cinnamon sticks
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 medium oranges, sliced
  • 2 quarts apple cider (or apple juice)
  • 1 gallon, water

Instructions

  1. In a large stock pot, add all of the ingredients. Heat over medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Bring to a rolling boil, and then immediately remove from heat, and cover with lid. Let brine come to room temperature. (Do NOT add a hot brine immediately to a turkey.)
  2. Place thawed, uncooked turkey into large brining bag, and pour cooled brine over the top of the turkey, including all ingredients that were cooked in the brine. Seal the bag, and secure with clips if necessary. Refrigerate the turkey and brine for 18-24 hours.
  3. Once brining is complete, discard brine and brining bag.
Cuisine: American | Recipe Type: Dinner/Main Dish

Notes

Feel free to customize brine ingredients to your tastes. Wine and beer are great to add to a brine. Fruit, such as apples and pears are a great addition also.

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https://delightfulemade.com/2017/11/07/apple-cider-turkey-brine/

 

Are you hosting Thanksgiving, Friendsgiving or Christmas this year? Set your holiday table with a gorgeous, flavorful turkey in just three easy steps. I'll show you how to make a brine for your turkey, which is the secret to getting a moist, juicy and flavorful bird every time!

Be sure to check out my post on 3 Easy Steps to a Moist and Delicious Turkey – I have great brining, roasting and prep tips for roasting the ultimate holiday turkey!

 

Want to know how to brine a turkey? This Apple Cider Turkey Brine recipe is the key to roasting the most amazing Thanksgiving bird! Made with apple cider, brown sugar, spices and herbs, this turkey brine recipe will be your new go-to for every holiday meal!

 

 

 

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Comments

  1. Kathy Roche says:
    Hi made this brine for the first time for friendsgiving. I have made plenty of turkeys however never brined them. I must say this is my new go to recipe. It was extra work to brine it but well worth it !! I am already planning to make this again. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe ☺
  2. We're brining our turkey this year - this looks like a great recipe to try! Thanks for sharing at the What's for Dinner party!
  3. Jacqueline says:
    How much wine Can I add and do I add less water if I’m adding wine?
  4. This recipe looks fabulous! I'm bringing the turkey this year and plan to brine it first. These ingredients sound perfect!
  5. Jacqueline says:
    If I add wine do I not add as much water? Do I not add Apple juice?
    • Try to keep the amount of liquid the same. For example, if you're adding 1 qt. of wine, remove 1 qt of water. I haven't tried the brine with both apple juice AND wine. I would recommend doing one or the other but not both. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving! ~Erin
  6. This Turkey will be amazing! Wishing you a bountiful Thanksgiving and thanks so much for sharing with us at Full Plate Thursday. Our Party for this week will start Tuesday Morning at 8:00 am CST. Hope to see you then! Miz Helen
  7. What a beautiful looking turkey. I have to try this recipe. I will be featuring this tomorrow night at my Fall into Fall party. Please stop by and pick up an I've Been Featured button. Thanks. http://diybydesign.blogspot.com Happy Thanksgiving!
  8. Congratulations! Your post is featured on The Thanksgiving Edition of Full Plate Thursday! Thanks so much for sharing with us, enjoy your new Red Plate and come back soon! Miz Helen

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