If you are looking for a way to make a deliciously juicy turkey you need to try this amazing turkey brine recipe! Brining a turkey takes a little extra effort but the result is a flavorful delicious Thanksgiving meal!
Several years ago my husband decided that he wanted to start cooking Thanksgiving. We had previously gone to my parent’s house every year, but he wanted to move the festivities to our house and do the cooking.
And the thing that mattered most to him was that the turkey was moist. He HATES dry turkey!
So he started doing research on the best way to get a nice flavorful moist turkey and time and time again he kept coming back to brining.
But it seemed like a hassle. Brining takes planning ahead, and we wondered if it would be worth it.
Let me tell you it is.
We’ve spent the last few years tweaking the recipe and getting it just right. And this turkey brine recipe is the result of all of those trials. It is the perfect blend of sweet and savory and the resulting turkey is always a hit.
This turkey brine has a delicious apple, sweet, smoky flavor, it compliments the turkey perfectly!
How do You Brine a Turkey?
Brining a turkey is mostly just marinating it for a long time. It has the same effect as marinating. It adds flavor to the meat, imparts it with moisture, and helps make it nice and tender.
The first step is to thaw your turkey, clean it out, rinse it and pat it dry.
Not sure how long it needs to thaw? Check out this great guide!
Prepare your turkey brine
Place your turkey in the brine. We like to use a food-safe 5-gallon bucket for this part., you can line it with a brining bag, but you can also use a large pan or a cooler.
Now refrigerate it for at least 16 hours. You can go up to 48 hours to really impart a lot of flavor. The only caution with doing it a long time is that if you make gravy with the drippings it may be super salty. We usually do ours for about 36 hours and have found that is perfect.
An issue can be finding space in the fridge. So you’ll want to make sure you have space before you get started. Some years that is has been really cold here we’ve sat ours outside. (If you do this PLEASE check your forecast and make sure that it is staying 38 degrees or less)
When you’re ready to roast your turkey you want to submerge it in water for about 15 minutes, pat dry and roast in whatever way you like best!
Here is our favorite turkey brine recipe-
1- Gallon Apple Juice
1- Gallon Apple Cider
3-Tbsp Onion Powder
3- Tbsp Garlic Powder
11- Shakes of Liquid Smoke
2- Cups Brown Sugar
1 1/2- Cups Salt
First you want to heat your apple juice and apple cider in a large pan until almost boiling.
Then mix in the brown sugar, and salt and stir until dissolved.
Once the sugar and salt are dissolved remove it from the heat and add in onion powder, garlic powder, and liquid smoke, mix until well incorporated.
Allow the mixture to cool completely.
Now place your turkey in whatever you’ll be brining it in. Pour the brine over the top. If the brine doesn’t cover the top of the turkey add in water until it’s covered.
Let it brine for 18-48 hours. When ready to cook soak it in water for about 15 minutes, pat dry, and then roast in whatever way you’d like.
We like to roast ours in a basting bag to keep it nice and juicy!
- 1- Gallon Apple Juice
- 1- Gallon Apple Cider
- 3- Tbsp Onion Powder
- 3- Tbsp Garlic Powder
- 11- Shakes Liquid Smoke
- 2- Cups Brown Sugar
- 1 1/2 - Cups Salt
- In a large pan combine apple juice and apple cider and heat until almost boiling.
- Mix in Sugar and salt until dissolved.
- Remove from heat and add in garlic powder, onion powder and liquid smoke. Allow brine to cool completely.
- Place turkey in a sterile container or large pan, pour brine over the top.
- Allow to brine for 18-48 hours.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1115Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 17577mgCarbohydrates: 235gFiber: 4gSugar: 216gProtein: 17g