Cider-Brined Turkey Recipe
Cider-Brined Turkey Recipe photo by Taste of Home
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Cider-Brined Turkey Recipe

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My family had been going through some rough times, and when we were finally able to get together for Thanksgiving one year, I made this turkey. It brings back such good memories of joyful family gatherings. —Nicole Keller, Waterford, Pennsylvania
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 50 min. + marinating Bake: 3-1/2 hours + standing
MAKES:18 servings
TOTAL TIME: Prep: 50 min. + marinating Bake: 3-1/2 hours + standing
MAKES: 18 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 gallon apple cider or juice
  • 1-3/4 cups kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon whole peppercorns
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon crushed juniper berries
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 3 bottles (12 ounces each) dark beer, chilled
  • 6 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) chicken broth, chilled
  • 2 turkey-size oven roasting bags
  • 1 turkey (18 to 20 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. In a stockpot, combine the first 10 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from the heat. Add cold beer and broth to cool the brine to room temperature.
  2. Place one turkey-size oven roasting bag inside the other. Place turkey inside both bags; pour in cooled brine. Seal bags, pressing out as much air as possible; turn to coat turkey. Place in a shallow roasting pan. Refrigerate for 18-24 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Remove turkey from brine; rinse and pat dry. Discard brine. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Brush with melted butter; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Bake, uncovered, at 325° for 3-1/2 to 4 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thigh reads 180°, basting occasionally with pan drippings. Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly. Cover and let stand for 20 minutes before carving. Yield: 18 servings.
Editor’s Note: It is best not to use a prebasted turkey for this recipe.
Originally published as Cider-Brined Turkey in Taste of Home's Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook Annual 2013, p98


Reviews for Cider-Brined Turkey

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(2)
RATING DISTRIBUTION
5 Star
 (2)
4 Star
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3 Star
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MY REVIEW
turkeytime74 User ID: 8961975 256228
Reviewed Nov. 1, 2016

"They have Good memories of EVERYONE being drunk?"

MY REVIEW
rebelwithoutaclue User ID: 4288906 255649
Reviewed Oct. 20, 2016

"The brine is 5 star. The cooking instructions will leave you with a dry bird. 180 degrees internal is WAY to long. 165 degrees internal is the new govt. standard that was revised in 2004. I usually remove my turkey/chicken out at 160 degrees internal and wrap it in bath towels and place it in a cooler for 20 min. The temp will rise to 165 degrees and the bird stays nice and hot and the juices have had time to distribute evenly."

MY REVIEW
sgronholz User ID: 1473861 195887
Reviewed Mar. 23, 2014

"This recipe is outstanding! Since I was roasting a 6 3/4 pound chicken instead of an 18 pound turkey, I only used 1/3 of the brine recipe. My family enjoys the flavor of herbs, so I did use the full amount that the recipe called for. (I didn't have juniper berries, so I substituted rosemary). The chicken was moist and flavorful and absolutely delicious! I will definitely be making this again."

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