Thanksgiving may be a ways off; however, it isn’t too early to think about the perfect way to cook your Thanksgiving Turkey this year. If you follow along with my Instagram, you might have noticed that I put together a full Thanksgiving meal in August, yes, August, where I tested out this apple cider turkey brine. We had some friends come over to enjoy the meal and enjoyed the comforting meal on a rather gloomy summer day (it was a bit fitting).
If you are going to brine a turkey, make sure that you have a brining bag, and a roasting pan large enough to hold the turkey + brine in the fridge.
- 2 quarts Water (separated)
- 2 cups kosher salt
- ½ cup brown sugar
- 2 Tablespoons ground cinnamon
- 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
- 1 Tablespoon ground nutmeg
- 2 quarts Apple Juice
- 2 Pints Hard Apple Cider (Dry or Semi-Sweet)
- 2 cups Orange Juice
- 1 Turkey (defrosted and guts removed)
- In a large pot, heat 1 quart water with the salt and sugar
- Heat until salt and sugar has dissolved
- Remove from heat and stir in the cinnamon, nutmeg, and garlic
- Allow to cool (about 30 minutes)
- Stir in the remaining water, apple juice, apple cider, and orange juice
- Place brine in the fridge until chilled
- Place Turkey in the brining bag breast side down and pour in the brine
- Brine overnight in the fridge
- When ready to cook, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse thoroughly (even the inside)
- Cook the turkey with your favorite method (I like to oven roast it with a nice butter rub).
I love brining my Thanksgiving turkey because the meat is super moist after cooking. I also realized that I need more practice cooking a turkey because it was done about an hour before I thought it would be (convection oven FTW).
We had Kevin, Renee & their boys over to enjoy our appleThanksgiving meal and it was such a fun evening. In addition to this amazing apple cider brine turkey, we had a full Thanksgiving dinner with mashed sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, and my favorite cranberry sauce. I’ll be posting more about the green bean casserole and mashed sweet potatoes later so make sure to come back for those recipes!
There is nothing worse than a dry turkey (ok, maybe a burnt one, but that will be dry as well, so technically my statement is still accurate). Once I brine the turkey, my favorite way to cook it is by roasting it in the oven with some butter rubbed on the breast and inside the cavity.
You could also smoke or deep-fry a turkey after it is brined, but I don’t like smoke flavor (plus it always seems to dry out the meat), and deep-fried turkeys tend to be in peanut oil (which Brad is allergic to). So we stick to oven roasting and it turns out delicious.
If you are thinking about your Thanksgiving meal, I hope you’ll consider this delicious apple cider turkey brine recipe for your holiday bird. What is your favorite way to enjoy your Thanksgiving turkey?