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pouring apple cider onto turkey for brine

Turkey Brine

The best Turkey Brine recipe is made with lots of apple cider, salt, and all the right spices. Your turkey will be so incredibly moist and delicious.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Soak time 12 hrs
Total Time 12 hrs 20 mins
Servings 16 people
Calories 57


Turkey Brine:

  • 8 cups apple cider (unfiltered recommended (apple cider like juice aka the kind you drink - NOT apple cider vinegar))
  • cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns ( coarsely crushed)
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice ( coarsely crushed)
  • 6 whole cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups ice


  • 12 pound turkey (ensure its fully thawed if previously frozen, turkey size can vary)
  • 2 valencia oranges (quartered)


  • Combine apple cider, salt, peppercorns, allspice, cloves, and bay leaves in a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Cook 5 minutes until salt dissolves. Cool completely in refrigerator.
  • Remove giblets and neck from turkey, refrigerate until ready to use, and reserve for gravy. Rinse turkey with cold water and pat dry. Trim excess fat. Stuff body cavity with orange quarters. Place a turkey-sized oven bag inside a large stockpot. Place turkey inside bag. Add cold cider mixture and ice. Squeeze as much air out of bag as possible. twist top and secure with twist tie or tuck end so that it stays put. Refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours, turning turkey occasionally.
  • Once done, remove turkey from bag, and discard brine, orange quarters, and bag. Rinse turkey with cold water and pat dry.
  • Cook turkey using your favorite method.


  • Nutritional information is based on the brine only, but you don't really eat the brine, so I'm not sure why I bothered.
  • I use my canning pot to hold the turkey with the brine. It works perfectly and fits on the bottom shelf of my refrigerator as long as I clear everything else out.


Calories: 57kcal | Carbohydrates: 14g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 4721mg | Potassium: 132mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg