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It's Turkey Time!

Apple Cider Brined Turkey Recipe

Apple Cider Brined Turkey will have subtle sweet apple flavor, robust herbs and hints of garlic laced in each juicy bite!

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Brining Time: 2 days

Total Time: 2 days 30 minutes

Servings: 16 to 18 servings

Calories: 570kcal

Recipe by: HungerThirstPlay


  • 16 to 20 pound turkey fresh or frozen

  • ½ gallon fresh apple cider

  • 3 quarts warm water

  • 4 quarts cold water

  • ¾ cup kosher salt

  • 10 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 10 large sage leaves

  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 4 bay leaves

  • 2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

  • 1 large onion roughly chop

  • 2 ribs celery

  • ½ head of garlic cut through equator (or 10 smashed garlic cloves)


  • Remove the turkey from it’s packaging and remove the giblets and neck from the cavity. See notes about what to do with the organ meat. Pat the skin dry and set aside.16 to 20 pound turkey

  • In a large stock pot, add salt, herbs, bay leaves and peppercorns. Toast over medium-high heat for 1 to 2 minutes just until fragrant.¾ cup kosher salt,10 sprigs fresh rosemary,10 large sage leaves,5 sprigs fresh thyme,4 bay leaves,2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns

  • Carefully add the warm water. Water may steam and bubble when first added to the hot pan.3 quarts warm water

  • Stir continuously until salt dissolves. Remove from heat immediately to allow to cool.

  • Add apple cider, onion, celery, and garlic. Let cool for 15 minutes.½ gallon fresh apple cider,1 large onion,2 ribs celery,½ head of garlic cut through equator (or 10 smashed garlic cloves)

  • Set brining bag in a large roasting pan with top open wide (or inside a brining bucket.) Add the turkey breast side down and cover with the cooled brining liquid. Add the remaining cold water. Massage the liquid until all the ingredients are evenly distributed.4 quarts cold water

  • Let sit for 24 to 48 hours in the brine.

To prepare for cooking:

  • Remove turkey from the brine. Rinse thoroughly and pat completely dry. For crispy skin, let sit over night unwrapped in the refrigerator.


  • The neck and giblets can be added to the bottom of the roasting pan during the cooking process if desired. They add flavor and richness to the pan drippings. Because of this brining liquid, the pan drippings may end up a touch sweet thanks to the apple cider.

  • Don’t worry if your turkey isn’t fully thawed in the cavity, it will continue to thaw in the brine. At least one day of thawing before brining should be sufficient to remove the insides.

  • Pour the brining liquid into the bag slowly in case the liquid attempts to spill out. Setting the bag inside a roasting pan is usually the best option. Or to have a second pair of hands to hold the bag open.


Calories: 570kcal | Carbohydrates: 15g | Protein: 79g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 261mg | Sodium: 5737mg | Potassium: 953mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 227IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 71mg | Iron: 3mg


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