Apple Cider Brined Roast Turkey Recipe

  • 1 can vegetable broth (14 ounce can)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice, crushed
  • 2 bay leaves, broken inch pieces
  • 4 slices fresh ginger
  • 1/2 gallon apple cider, chilled (8 cup)
  • 12 pounds turkey, thawed if frozen
  • 2 turkey-size oven-roasting bags or a large tub or bucket
  • For turkey
  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 leaves fresh sage
  • canola oil
For brining:

Crush whole peppercorns and allspice. Make sure to leave it in fairly large pieces. Do NOT grind into a powder. In a large 4-quart saucepan, combine broth, water, kosher salt, sugar, cloves, peppercorns, allspice, bay leaves and ginger. Stir as you bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil gently for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add chilled apple cider. Stir. Refrigerate until ready to brine turkey.

Remove turkey from wrapping, and remove giblets and neck. Discard or refrigerate parts for stock for making gravy, later. Rinse turkey inside and out under cold water. Tuck wing behind turkey. Place one of the cooking bags inside the other to create a double layer. In a large bucket, tub or cooler, add turkey to the bag and then add brine. Add an additional 2 cups ice cold water, with cubes into bag. Secure bag with twist tie. Refrigerate 12-14 hours.


Preheat oven to 500-degrees . Combine apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high 5 minutes. Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine. Place bird on a roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add apple/cinnamon mixture, rosemary and sage to cavity. Coat bird with canola oil. Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500-degrees for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil. Reduce oven to 350-degrees. Roast for 2-2 1/2 hours for a 12-14 pound turkey or until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast reads 165 degrees. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

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