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Apple Cider Turkey Brine


The apple cider in this turkey brine give the slightest hint of tartness that fills out the flavors of this recipe. Add to this the herbal flavors of the rosemary and bay leaves and this is a great brine. I suggest trying to match up any additional flavorings to the brine to reenforce the flavor profile.

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: About 2 gallons of brine


  • 2 gallons water
  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 3 oranges
  • 2 cups salt (or 3 1/2-cup Kosher salt)
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons fresh rosemary (2 tablespoons dried rosemary)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons peppercorns
  • 5 whole bay leaves


Heat apple cider in a two gallon pot. Dissolve sugar in cider. Cut oranges into quarters and add to pot. Add remaining ingredients except for the water and stir to combine. Cover and set aside for 20 minutes. Pour the 2 gallons of cold water into the container to be used for brining. Add apple cider mixture and stir well to combine. Add turkey, turning to remove any air bubbles. Refrigerate and brine for 1 hour per pound of turkey.


Thoroughly rinse all the brine from the turkey before cooking. Otherwise there will be a salty flavor to the turkey. For a more detailed explanation, see my article on brining turkey.

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