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Cider Marinated Turkey

Total Time

Prep: 20 min. + marinating Grill: 2 hours


12 servings plus leftovers

Make Thanksgiving dinner memorable by serving this golden-brown turkey from our Test Kitchen. Marinated in apple cider, kosher salt and spices, the turkey can be grilled or roasted.


  • 8 cups apple cider or unsweetened apple juice
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon whole allspice, crushed
  • 2 medium navel oranges, quartered
  • 3 quarts cold water
  • 1 turkey (12 pounds)
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 2 medium carrots, halved and quartered
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage or 1 tablespoon rubbed sage
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil


  1. In a large stockpot, combine the cider and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until salt is dissolved. Stir in oranges. Remove from the heat. Add water; cool to room temperature.
  2. Remove giblets from turkey; discard. Place a turkey-size oven roasting bag inside a second roasting bag; add turkey. Place in a roasting pan. Carefully pour cooled marinade into bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible; seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate for 12-14 hours; turn several times.
  3. Drain and discard marinade. Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry. Place onion, carrots and sage in cavity. Rub oil over skin. Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together.
  4. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack. Prepare grill for indirect heat, using a drip pan. Place turkey over drip pan; grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 2 to 3 hours or until a thermometer reads 180°, tenting turkey with foil after about 1 hour. Cover and let stand 20 minutes before carving.
  5. If desired, thicken pan juices for gravy. Remove and discard skin and vegetables in cavity before carving turkey. Serve with gravy.
TEST KITCHEN TIP It is best not to use a prebasted turkey for this recipe. However, if you do, omit the salt in the recipe.
<B>Editor's Note:</B> To bake the turkey, place breast side up on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake, uncovered, at 325&deg; for about 3 hours or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°.

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