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Smoked Turkey Brine

  • Author: Erin Jensen
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 24-50 hours
  • Total Time: 38 minute
  • Yield: 1 turkey brine 1x
  • Category: Brine
  • Method: Brine
  • Cuisine: American


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
  • 34 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • 510 thyme sprigs
  • 45 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 tablespoon peppercorn
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (optional)


  1. Determine the amount of water you need to fully submerge your turkey.
  2. Determine the amount of kosher salt you will need: 1/4 cup kosher salt for every 4 cups of water.
  3. 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.
  4. Bring a to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer. Continue simmering and stirring until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
  5. 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.
  6. While the salt mixture is cooling down, add turkey to your brining vessel along with the remaining water and other ingredients.
  7. Then pour the salt/water mixture into the same brining vessel on top of the turkey.
  8. Stir to combine.
  9. Refrigerate (covered) for up to 48 hours.
  10. Remove from brine (discard brine), rinse (optional), pat dry and cook as planned.


Keywords: smoked turkey brine