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Grilled Apple-Brined Turkey

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. + brining Grill: 3 hours + standing


14 servings

Producing a juicy, amber-colored turkey infused with flavor is possible with this apple juice turkey brine. You won't regret planning for the long marinating time. This tasty turkey is worth every minute. —Trudy Williams, Shannonville, Ontario
Grilled Apple-Brined Turkey Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 2 quarts unsweetened apple juice
  • 2-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 4 ounces fresh gingerroot, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 6 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 medium oranges, quartered
  • 3 quarts cold water
  • 1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil


  1. To make the brine, in a large kettle, combine the first 7 ingredients. Bring to a boil; cook and stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Stir in oranges. Remove from the heat. Add cold water to cool the brine to room temperature.
  2. Remove giblets from turkey (discard or save for another use). Place a turkey-sized oven roasting bag inside a second roasting bag; add turkey. Carefully pour cooled brine into bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible; seal bags and turn to coat. Place in a roasting pan or other large container. Refrigerate for 18-24 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Prepare grill for indirect heat. Drain turkey, discarding brine. Rinse turkey under cold water; pat dry. Rub oil over skin. Skewer turkey openings; tie drumsticks together.
  4. Place breast side up on a rack in a disposable foil roasting pan. Grill, covered, over indirect medium heat for 30-40 minutes. Tent turkey with foil; grill, covered, until a thermometer reads 165°, 2-1/2 to 3 hours longer. Cover and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.
Test Kitchen Tips
  • Roasted Apple-Brined Turkey: Place rinsed turkey on a rack in a roasting pan. Bake at 325° for 3 to 3-1/2 hours or until a thermometer inserted in the thigh reads between 170°-175° (cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly). Proceed as directed.
  • This recipe was tested with Morton brand kosher salt. It is best not to use a prebasted turkey for this recipe.
  • Nutrition Facts

    8 ounces cooked turkey: 473 calories, 23g fat (6g saturated fat), 210mg cholesterol, 213mg sodium, 1g carbohydrate (1g sugars, 0 fiber), 62g protein.

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