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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Recipe Summary

prep:
30 mins
cook:
6 hrs 30 mins
additional:
1 day
total:
1 day
Servings:
12
Yield:
1 20-pound turkey
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Ingredients

12
Original recipe yields 12 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • Gently lower turkey into the liquid with the breast facing down.

  • Brine turkey 24 to 36 hours, adding ice as needed to keep the brine and turkey cold.

  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).

  • Remove turkey from the brine and rinse well with cold water. Pat turkey dry with paper towels.

  • 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.

  • Bake the turkey in the preheated oven until the skin on the breast of the turkey is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

  • 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

1320 calories; protein 155.4g; carbohydrates 35.9g; fat 57.4g; cholesterol 454.6mg; sodium 9410.8mg. Full Nutrition
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Reviews (7)

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Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
12/06/2013
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 allrecipes.com. Bottom line is if your turkey was too salty you most likely did not rinse the bird or did not rinse it enough. If you rinse it well after the brining you will not have the over saltiness. You also do not need to add salt in the seasonings when cooking which also would cause the issue you mention. Try again with these things in mind. Happy Brining! Read More
(9)
8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 7
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
12/05/2013
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 allrecipes.com. Bottom line is if your turkey was too salty you most likely did not rinse the bird or did not rinse it enough. If you rinse it well after the brining you will not have the over saltiness. You also do not need to add salt in the seasonings when cooking which also would cause the issue you mention. Try again with these things in mind. Happy Brining! Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
11/27/2014
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 on what I had in the pantry and fridge. The turkey does cook faster after being brined so keep an eye on your bird! Thanks for the great recipe! Read More
(3)
Rating: 4 stars
11/25/2016
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 would probably also use an orange when baking. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/24/2016
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 recipe. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
04/23/2020
The turkey was delicious. Be aware if you decide to make gravy with the liquid, that it my be on the salty side. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/12/2015
Will try this! Read More
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Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2019
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. Read More
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