Best Apple Cider Brined Turkey Recipe

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Thanksgiving season has already begun, and I’m sure you are on the lookout for some of the best turkey recipes. So, I have for you one of the best apple cider brined turkey recipe that makes this dish high on flavor.

Apple Cider Brined Turkey Recipe

The debate of bringing a turkey or not has always been debated. But let me tell you that if you brine a turkey, the end result turns out to be super flavorful. It takes your turkey from good to amazing. Most importantly, it helps to keep your turkey moist. So, if you skip out on this step, you must try doing it this time.

Making a brine for your turkey is a simple process. The main ingredients for making a brine are salt and water, but you can customize the seasoning and spices to your tastes. In this recipe, we use apple cider as the main brine ingredient.

Brining the turkey with apple cider before cooking tenderizes the meat and provides extra moisture and an added level of flavor to poultry. Other than that, we use a mix of spices and seasonings to add delicious flavors to the turkey.

The apple cider brine for this turkey recipe takes only 20 minutes to prepare. This turkey recipe is good enough for 12-14 servings. Let’s get started and make the best turkey for Thanksgiving this season.

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What Equipment Will You Need To Make Apple Cider Brined Turkey?

  • Stockpot – You will need a large stockpot to prepare the brine for the turkey.
  • Ladle – A ladle will be useful to stir the brining ingredients.
  • Roasting Pan – A roasting pan will be required to place the turkey for roasting once it’s brined.
  • Knife – A large knife will be needed to carve the turkey. 

How Much Time Will You Need To Make Apple Cider Brined Turkey?

Preparation TimeResting TimeTotal Time
20 Minutes8 Hours 1 day 2 Hours 30 Minutes

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make Apple Cider Brined Turkey?

Brine

  • Apple Cider – Apple cider is the most important ingredient in this recipe. We will need thirty-two ounces of apple cider. This acidity of the apple cider will help the turkey to tenderize.
  • Water – Water is the base of brine. You will need six cups of water.
  • Kosher Salt – To tenderize the turkey and balance the savory flavors, you will need one cup of kosher salt. Kosher Salt is perfect for brining because the flaky crystals dissolve extremely well in water and create a crystal-clear brine.
  • Brown Sugar – To add some sweetness to the brine, you will need one-fourth cup of packed brown sugar.
  • Cinnamon Sticks – To add warmth to the brining liquid, you will need four sticks of cinnamon.
  • Rosemary – Three sprigs of fresh rosemary will add peppery and minty flavors to the brine.
  • Orange – One orange will add a citrus flavor to the brine.
  • Cloves – You will also need one teaspoon of whole cloves. They will add a sweet, astringent taste.
  • Peppercorns – One teaspoon of whole peppercorns will add a kick of spice.
  • Turkey – Turkey, of course, is the most important part of the dish. We will need one eight pound turkey, giblets removed. 

Roasting

  • Apple – For roasting the turkey, you will need one apple to stuff the cavity.
  • Onion – One onion cut into large wedges will also be stuffed in the cavity.
  • Garlic – You will also add half the garlic head to the turkey cavity.
  • Kosher Salt – You will need some kosher salt to sprinkle the turkey.
  • Freshly ground black pepper – You will need some freshly ground black pepper to sprinkle the turkey.
  • Butter – Six tablespoons of melted butter will be required to brush the turkey.
Apple Cider Brined Turkey Recipe

Steps To Make Apple Cider Brined Turkey

1. Make The brine 

Take a stockpot and place it over medium heat. Add water and all of the brine ingredients except turkey to a boil. Let the mix boil until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. 

Place the turkey in the stock pot and make sure it’s completely covered. Refrigerate overnight.

2. Prepare The Turkey

Preheat the oven to 400° and remove the turkey from the brine. Pat dry the turkey using paper towels and stuff the cavity with red onion, apple, and garlic. Season the turkey with salt and pepper and brush it with melted butter. 

Tie the turkey legs together and place them on a roasting rack over a large roasting pan. Roast until the turkey turns golden in color and the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°. It should take 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours to cook. Let the turkey cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing.

What Can Be Served Along With Apple Cider Brined Turkey?

  • Savory Herbed Gravy- No turkey is complete without gravy. It is rich and full of herby flavors. So, make your turkey stand out by serving it with a savory herbed gravy.
  • Mashed Potatoes – Mashed potatoes are one dish that needs no introduction. It’s rich, creamy, full of great flavor, and always a crowd favorite.
  • Green Beans Casserole – Add some greens to your meal with a green beans casserole alongside apple cider vinegar brined turkey. It’s warm, creamy, and satisfying.
  • Sweet Potato Casserole – Thanksgiving isn’t complete without a sweet potato casserole. It is easy to make and can be prepared in advance. This dish usually comes with a pecan crumble topping that’s absolutely divine.
  • Mac & Cheese – Mac and cheese is a popular part of Thanksgiving spreads across the South. It’s silky, creamy, and packed with delicious cheese flavor. If you are looking for a heavier side, this dish will make for a perfect turkey side dish. 
  • Baked Beans – Baked beans are a classic cookout or BBQ food. They are a perfect side dish for many food items. Try serving your turkey with baked beans on the side. 
  • Rosemary Roasted Potatoes – Rosemary roasted potatoes are an incredible go-with-everything potato recipe. They’re super easy to make and have a powerful flavor of rosemary.
  • Salad- A light salad with a French vinaigrette dressing is always a refreshing side to serve with meat and poultry. You can toss up a delicious salad that will also add more color to your Thanksgiving spread.

Nutritional Information

Calories157 kcal
Fat9 grams
Saturated Fat5 grams
Carbohydrates16 grams
Protein1 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat0.3 grams
Monounsaturated Fat2 grams
Trans Fat0.3 grams
Fiber 2 gram
Cholesterol23 milligrams
Sodium14225 milligrams
Potassium190 milligrams
Sugar 12 grams
Calcium82 milligrams
Iron1 milligrams
Vitamin C11 milligram
Vitamin A322IU

What Will The Apple Cider Brined Turkey Look And Taste Like? 

Now that you have gone through the apple cider brined turkey recipe, are you wondering what it will taste and look like? This Thanksgiving dish is one of the most good-looking and delicious food items that you will come across.

After being roasted in the oven, the turkey takes on a beautiful golden color. While the outer skin becomes nicely charred, the inside remains moist and juicy. Moreover, this turkey will taste heavenly with all the flavors of spices and seasonings.

Recipe Card

Apple Cider Brined Turkey Recipe

Apple Cider Brined Turkey Recipe

Brined turkeys make the most sumptuous dish. Try out this easy apple cider-brined turkey recipe for the best-tasting turkey ever!
No ratings yet
Prep Time 20 mins
Resting Time 8 hrs
Total Time 1 d 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 8
Calories 157 kcal

Equipment

Stockpot
Ladle
Roasting Pan
Knife
Cutting Board

Ingredients
  

Brine

  • 1 8 lb. Whole Turkey, giblets removed
  • 1/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1 Orange, quartered
  • 32 ounce Apple Cider
  • 6 cups Water
  • 1 cup Kosher Salt
  • 4 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 4 sprigs Fresh Rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon Whole Clove
  • 1 teaspoon Whole Peppercorns

Roasting

  • 1 Red Onion, cut into large wedges
  • 1 Apple, quartered
  • 1 Garlic, halved
  • 6 tablespoon Melted Butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper

Instructions
 

  • Take a stockpot and place it over medium heat. Add water and all of the brine ingredients except turkey to a boil.
  • Let the mix boil until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
  • Place the turkey in the stock pot and make sure it's completely covered. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Preheat the oven to 400° and remove the turkey from the brine. Pat dry the turkey using paper towels and stuff the cavity with red onion, apple, and garlic.
  •  Season the turkey with salt and pepper and brush it with melted butter.
  • Tie the turkey legs together and place them on a roasting rack over a large roasting pan.
  • Roast until the turkey turns golden in color and the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°. It should take 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours to cook.
  • Let the turkey cool for 15-20 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition

Calories: 157kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 14225mg | Potassium: 190mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Vitamin C: 11mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword Apple Cider Brined Turkey Recipe, Main Course, Turkey
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What can I substitute for apple cider in a brine?

Instead of apple cider, you can also use white vinegar, red wine vinegar, rice vinegar, and balsamic vinegar.

Why should you add vinegar to a brine?

Vinegar, with its acidity, helps to tenderize meat and poultry. It also provides the poultry with extra moisture and an added level of flavor. So, a general rule is 2/3 vinegar to 1/3 water when making brine.

Should you rinse the turkey after brining?

You should not rinse the turkey after brining. Rinsing the brine will make the skin less prone to browning. You should only pat dry excess brine.

For how long should the turkey be brined?

Turkey should be brined for 8 hours in the refrigerator.

Do brined turkeys cook faster?

A brined turkey cooks slightly faster than an unbrined turkey, so check the internal temperature frequently.

Do you need to refrigerate a turkey while brining?

Set the bagged turkey in a roasting pan, a large stock pot, or an extra clean ice chest or cooler with ice. Keep the turkey refrigerated or cold while brining for 12-24 hours. Remove from the brine, and pat dry. Refrigerate uncovered for 12-24 more hours for crisper skin when cooked.

Should I put butter under the skin of my turkey?

Butter imparts a rich flavor and adds moisture to turkey. You can put some extra butter under the skin of the turkey before roasting.

Is brining a turkey worth it?

Brining a turkey is optional. However, a brined turkey turns out to be moist and more flavorful.

Conclusion

Apple cider brined turkey is one of the best and most delicious ways to prepare turkey. If you haven’t tried this recipe yet, do so this season and tell me how it was in the comments section below.

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