Honey-Apple Turkey Brine

Go the extra mile by brining your turkey overnight in this lightly sweetened brine. You'll end up with the juiciest, most flavorful turkey ever and maybe even a bellyache from eating too much! The brine also works well on chicken. This makes enough for a 14- to 16-pound turkey.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
10 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs
Total Time:
1 hrs 25 mins
12 servings


  • 4 cups water

  • 1 cup kosher salt

  • 1 cup honey

  • 1 large red apple, cored and thinly sliced

  • 1 medium onion, quartered

  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed

  • 3 large bay leaves

  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 sprigs fresh sage

  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns

  • 8 cups apple cider

  • 4 cups ice

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar


  1. Pour water into a large stockpot and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Add salt and honey and stir to dissolve. Remove pot from the heat and stir in apple slices, onion, garlic, bay leaves, rosemary, thyme, sage, and peppercorns. Let brine cool to room temperature. You can set the pot in a sink full of ice water to speed up the cooling process.

  2. Stir in apple cider, ice, and apple cider vinegar. Allow brine to fully chill to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees C), or colder, before using.

Cook's Notes:

Once brine is cool enough, submerge turkey and brine for 1 hour per pound, preferably overnight. For prebrined frozen turkeys, you may wish to reduce the salt by half.

For ease of brining, I like to use jumbo-sized brining bags set inside a small cooler. Place turkey and brine into the bag, squeeze the air out and seal, then surround the bag with ice.

Keep in mind that brined turkeys cook faster, so keep an eye on the thermometer.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of brine ingredients. The actual amount of brine consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

194 Calories
0g Fat
49g Carbs
0g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 194
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 7617mg 331%
Total Carbohydrate 49g 18%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Total Sugars 45g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 2mg 11%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 0mg 2%
Potassium 73mg 2%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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