Smoked Turkey Brine – a classic, go-to smoked turkey brine that is going to leave your turkey juicy, tender and so flavorful!
- water (enough water to fully submerge your turkey)
- kosher salt (use 1/4 cup kosher salt for every 4 cups of water needed)
- 2 cups apple cider
- 1 apple, sliced
- red onion, peel off outer skin and then slice
- lemon, sliced
- 3–4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 5–10 thyme sprigs
- 4–5 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 tablespoon peppercorn
- 1/2 cup brown sugar (optional)
- Determine the amount of water you need to fully submerge your turkey.
- Determine the amount of kosher salt you will need: 1/4 cup kosher salt for every 4 cups of water.
- Take 4 cups of the water and add to a medium sauce pan along with ALL of the salt and any sugar you are using.
- 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 salt/water mixture into the same brining vessel on top of the turkey.
- Stir to combine.
- Refrigerate (covered) for up to 48 hours.
- Remove from brine (discard brine), rinse (optional), pat dry and cook as planned.
- Kosher Salt: It’s important to make sure you are using kosher salt and not regular table salt – if you use table salt you would need to at least cut the salt in half or you will end up with a salty bird!
- Brining Vessel: Suggestions for a brining vessel include a clean, plastic bucket (you can put a brining bag inside),
- Brining Turkey 101: Want to learn even more about brining your turkey – check out my post on Brining a Turkey 101
- Smoked Turkey: Here is a great smoked turkey recipe (which also has another brining recipe option for you!).
- How to Carve a Turkey: here is a great video on how to properly carve your turkey!
- USDA: Check out this post by USDA about safely brining a turkey.
Keywords: smoked turkey brine