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Sugar Free Citrus Turkey Brine

Rated as 5 out of 5 Stars

"Soaking your turkey in a great brine for 24 to 48 hours before roasting will do wonders to make it tender and yummy. I had a hard time finding one that was sugar-free for my diabetic father, so I kinda made this up. I love it. Oh with this bird, you won't be stuffing it with stuffing."
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1 d 4 h servings 624
Original recipe yields 12 servings (1 whole roast turkey)


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  1. Rinse the turkey, inside and out, and set aside. Place the plastic bag into the cooler, and open out the bag.
  2. Pour the water into the plastic bag, and add the salt; smush the bag around several times with your fingers to dissolve the salt. Squeeze juice from the orange, lemon, and clementine chunks into the salty water, and drop the chunks into the bag. Mix in the rosemary and thyme, and place the turkey into the brine with the breast side down. Close the bag, squeeze out excess air, and tightly seal; close lid of the cooler, and place in a refrigerator for 24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  4. Remove turkey from the brine, and retain 4 or 5 chunks each of navel orange and lemon and the sprigs of rosemary and thyme from the brine. Discard remainder of used brine. Rinse the entire turkey, inside and out, and place into a roasting pan.
  5. Place the pieces of fruit and herb sprigs into the cavity of the turkey. Loosen the skin over the breast with your fingers, and spread butter over the breast underneath the skin. Rub the entire turkey with olive oil, and sprinkle with poultry seasoning and black pepper. If desired, cover the breast of the turkey with foil.
  6. Roast in the preheated oven until the turkey is golden brown and the juices run clear, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. Remove foil for last 30 to 45 minutes of baking. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh should read at least 165 degrees F (75 degrees C).


  • Cook's Note
  • I live in Michigan where it's VERY chilly around Thanksgiving, so I put it in the garage. (Locked and with bricks on it and under a chair in case of animals, which I've never had a problem with). Let your turkey soak for 24-48 hours. (I found 24 to be a winner, but a friend of mine swore by the 48 -- but I found it a tad salty.)
  • Editor's Notes
  • Always brine foods in a food-grade, nonreactive container such as a stainless steel or enameled stockpot, a brining bag, or a food-grade plastic bucket. Never use ordinary trash bags, plastic trash cans, or metal buckets or containers not meant for food use.
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the brine ingredients. The actual amount of the brine consumed will vary.
  • Partner Tip
  • Reynolds® Aluminum foil can be used to keep food moist, cook it evenly, and make clean-up easier.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 624 calories; 29.9 8.2 77.4 229 15402 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 3
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Used this for Thanksgiving. It was a hit. Followed instruction as is. Smells so good cooking.

My husband was going to attempt his first turkey smoking and thought a brine would probably be a good idea. This was also a first for us. Noticed that majority of brines had sugar. I am diabeti...

Made it just like the recipe said. Wouldn't change anything. Family asks for it every turkey holiday. Love it!! Thanks