Thanksgiving Turkey With Apple Cider Brine

Last Updated on August 29, 2022

The centerpiece of any Thanksgiving is the Thanksgiving turkey. Brining is the professional cook’s secret to a moist and juicy roast turkey, and I’m going to let you in on my favorite brine recipe. This foolproof turkey brine includes apple cider, maple syrup and plenty of kosher salt – the result is a gorgeously golden crispy skin on top of a moist and succulent bird. You’ll need a large receptacle like a cooler or 5-gallon bucket for this one. And don’t forget to use those delectable pan drippings to make the best turkey sauce ever.

apple cider brine turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey With Apple Cider Brine

4.15 from 279 votes
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Protein: Poultry
Cut: Whole Turkey
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 1 day 1 hour
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 1 day 5 hours
Servings: 10 people


  • 1 ButcherBox turkey

Apple Cider Brine

  • cup kosher salt
  • cup apple cider
  • cup maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon bay leaves
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 bundle thyme
  • 1 bundle rosemary
  • 1 bundle sage
  • gallon cold water
  • 4 quarts ice


  • ½ bundle thyme
  • ½ bundle rosemary
  • ½ bundle sage
  • 1 orange cut into quarters
  • 1 small onion cut into quarters

Roasting Pan

  • ½ bundle thyme
  • ½ bundle rosemary
  • ½ bundle sage
  • 1 orange cut into quarters
  • 1 small onion cut into quarters
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 turkey neck
  • ½ cup melted butter
  • ¼ cup olive oil


Apple Cider Brine

  • Mix all ingredients for brine in a medium-sized pot except the ice and water. Bring to low simmer.
  • Simmer for 1 min and turn off heat. Add ice and stir. Liquid should be cool to the touch.
  • Place turkey in large receptacle and pour brine over turkey. Add remaining water to ensure turkey is fully submerged.
  • Brine for 12 - 18 hrs, or about 1 hr per lb of turkey.
  • Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Remove turkey from brine. Discard brine and pat dry turkey with paper towel.
  • Sprinkle cavity with kosher salt and place ½ of the onion, ½ of the orange, and half of the herbs inside.
  • Truss legs together to close cavity. Use additional twine to keep the wings close to the body and the cavity closed.
  • Line roasting pan with turkey neck, remaining onion, orange and herbs, then pour in chicken stock.
  • Place turkey on roasting pan insert breast side up and place in oven.
  • Roast for 20 min, or until skin begins to turn golden brown. Lower heat to 325°F. Cover turkey loosely with aluminum foil, shiny side down.
  • Continue to roast turkey until meat thermometer inserted into thickest part of the thigh reaches 165°F.
  • Let rest for at least 30 min or up to 2 hrs before carving and serving.


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Yankel Polak is the Head Chef at ButcherBox.