Maple-Sage Brined Turkey

Total Time

Prep: 40 min. + brining Bake: 2-1/2 hours + standing


20 servings

Updated: Nov. 07, 2022
When the leaves start turning, it’s turkey time at our house. We use maple-sage brine to help brown the bird and make the meat incredibly juicy. —Kim Forni, Laconia, New Hampshire
Maple-Sage Brined Turkey Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 4 quarts water
  • 1-1/2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 1 cup maple syrup
  • 1 cup cider vinegar
  • 24 fresh sage leaves
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons yellow prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 4 quarts ice water
  • 2 turkey-size oven roasting bags
  • 1 turkey (14 to 16 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt, optional


  1. In a large stockpot, combine first 10 ingredients; bring to a boil. Cook and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat. Add 4 quarts ice water to cool the brine to room temperature.
  2. Put 1 turkey-size oven roasting bag inside the other; place in a large stockpot. Place turkey in inner bag; pour in cooled brine. Seal bags, pressing out as much air as possible. Refrigerate 18-24 hours.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°. Remove turkey from brine; rinse and pat dry. Discard brine. Place turkey on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, breast side up. Tuck wings under turkey; tie drumsticks together. Rub oil over outside of turkey; sprinkle with pepper and, if desired, salt.
  4. Roast, uncovered, until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of thigh reads 170°-175°, 2-1/2-3 hours. (Cover loosely with foil if turkey browns too quickly.)
  5. Remove turkey from oven; tent with foil. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Nutrition Facts

7 ounces cooked turkey with skin: 384 calories, 18g fat (5g saturated fat), 172mg cholesterol, 168mg sodium, 0 carbohydrate (0 sugars, 0 fiber), 51g protein.