Apple Cider Turkey Brine is an amazing spin on your classic turkey brine! Learn how to brine your turkey with this simple recipe!
Easy Apple Cider Turkey Brine
Brining a turkey is such a great way to infuse both additional moisture and flavor into your Holiday turkey recipe! While your typical turkey brine uses water + salt, we will be switching out the water for apple cider to also infuse a touch of sweetness as well! Want to learn even more about turkey brining – check out our How to Brine a Turkey 101.
Why This Recipe Works
- Liquid + Salt Ratio: the classic brine ration is 1/4 cup kosher salt for every 4 cups of water. We are keeping that same ratio here except we are just switching out the water for apple cider (Note: we are NOT using apple cider vinegar.
- Sweetness: a lot of brine recipes do include brown sugar … I don’t feel like adding any extra sugar is necessary when you have the natural sweetness of the apple cider.
- Aromatics: we add in some complimentary aromatics such as rosemary and a bay leaf.
What You Will Need
- apple cider: this is our brining liquid base.
- kosher salt: the salt is the other half of our brining equation.
- ice cubes: in order to get the salt to dissolve we add it to a small portion of the apple cider – that then needs to be cooled down before being added to the remaining brine ingredients and poured over the turkey.
- apple: we are adding in some extra apple flavor here!
- fresh thyme: love the smell and flavor of fresh thyme and it pairs nicely with the sweet apple flavor.
- black peppercorns: this adds just a little bite to the recipe.
- bay leaf: this always adds a lovely flavor to any recipe!
Brining Vessel (what to brine your turkey in)
- cooler + a brine bag
- bucket (food-grade plastic or with a brine bag)
- large stock pot
How to Make Apple Cider Turkey Brine
Place 4 cups of apple cider vinegar and ALL of your salt (see recipe card below for how much salt you will need) in a small saucepan. Bring a simmer, allowing the salt to dissolve. Remove from heat and add ice cubes to cool liquid.
Add the turkey to your brining vessel along with the the cooled apple cider/salt mixture and the remaining ingredients.
Brine for 24 hours – ensure your turkey is refrigerated while it is brining.
Before cooking, remove turkey from brine and pat dry. I love rubbing with some garlic butter and some turkey seasoning and then cook however you want!
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Apple Cider Turkey Brine – a simple, easy apple cider turkey brine recipe that will work with your favorite turkey recipes!
- 16 cups apple cider, divided
- 1 cup kosher salt
- ice cubes
- 1 apple, sliced
- 3–4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 bay leaf
- ice cubes
- Take 4 cups of apple cider and add to a medium sauce pan along with ALL of the salt.
- Bring a to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Continue simmering and stirring until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
- Remove from heat and add ice cubes. It’s very important to fully cool down the water since we will be adding it to the rest of the water/submerging the turkey in it.
- While the salt mixture is cooling down, add turkey to your brining vessel along with the remaining water and other ingredients.
- Then pour the cooled salt/water mixture into the same brining vessel on top of the turkey.
- Stir to combine
- Refrigerate (covered) for 24 hours.
- Remove from brine (discard brine), rinse (optional), pat dry and cook as planned (we love this Smoked Spatchcock Turkey recipe).
- Additional Brine: if you need more liquid to fully cover your bird simply use the formula: 1/4 cup salt for every 4 cups apple cider added.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: do NOT use apple cider vinegar as a substitute for apple cider.
- Refrigerate: you have to refrigerate your turkey while it is brining.
Keywords: apple cider turkey brine