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Brined Thanksgiving Turkey

Rated as 4.86 out of 5 Stars

"I love brined turkey. This is a lovely sweet and savory turkey great for Thanksgiving. Cook time and serving size will vary depending on the size of your turkey. The brine is made the same way regardless of the size of your turkey. Only the cook time and amount of filling will vary. You will need a cooler or clean, food safe bucket large enough to hold your bird as well as lots of icy water. I use a cooler so my directions will be written for a cooler. If you use some sort of bucket just use your judgment to match the directions. You can customize the brine using fresh herbs, seasonings, fruits, and vegetables you prefer."
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1 d 7 h servings 1320
Original recipe yields 12 servings (1 20-pound turkey)


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  1. Stir chicken broth, apple juice, brown sugar, salt, dried sage, and peppercorns together in a large stock pot; add apple halves and crushed garlic cloves. Bring the mixture just to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar and salt. Remove from heat immediately.
  2. Pour enough ice into a large food-safe container to be about half full. Pour chicken broth mixture over the ice; stir to cool liquid completely and evenly.
  3. Gently lower turkey into the liquid with the breast facing down.
  4. Brine turkey 24 to 36 hours, adding ice as needed to keep the brine and turkey cold.
  5. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
  6. Remove turkey from the brine and rinse well with cold water. Pat turkey dry with paper towels.
  7. Mix apple quarters, onion wedges, whole garlic cloves, and fresh sage leaves in a bowl; loosely stuff into cavity of turkey. Move the turkey to a shallow roasting pan. Lightly coat the turkey's skin with olive oil.
  8. Bake the turkey in the preheated oven until the skin on the breast of the turkey is golden brown, about 30 minutes.
  9. Reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), cover turkey with aluminum foil, and continue roasting the turkey until no longer pink at the bone and the juices run clear, about 6 hours. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh should read 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Remove the turkey from the oven, cover with a doubled sheet of aluminum foil, and allow to rest in a warm area 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.


  • Nutrition:
  • The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the brine ingredients. The actual amount of the brine consumed will vary.
  • Always brine foods in a food-grade, non-reactive 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.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 1320 calories; 57.4 35.9 155.4 455 9411 Full nutrition

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There are many recipes for brining, and many people do this each year. I personally use this every year, that is why I submitted this recipe for review by Bottom line is, if you...

This is the second year in a row I have used this brine. I will not cook a turkey any other way after having brined one for the first time last year. I substituted a little this year depending ...

I used this recipe this Thanksgiving. EASY!!! It didn't smell all that great when I boiled it; but boy did this turkey come out GREAT!!! EVERYONE loved it. Moist,tender & VERY flavorful. I woul...

This is the second year in a row we're using this brine. Excellent flavor! We make some minor adjustments since we only need a very small turkey, but stay as close as we can to the original rec...

Most amazing, beautiful turkey ever! The skin just wasn’t crispy, so I’ll try uncovering it for the last 20-30 min next time.

Will try this!