Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cranberry Apple Turkey Brine Recipe

If you have never brined a turkey before, you have to start. We have been brining our turkey's for years now and the process gives you a moist tasty turkey every time. Here is how to make a apple cranberry turkey brine that is perfect for Thanksgiving or Christmas.
moist Thanksgiving turkey, how to cook turkey
*This recipe is for a very small turkey so if you are cooking an average to large sized bird you need to double this recipe. When I am done brining and getting the bird ready for the oven I still prepare us usual but you do not need to salt it as the salt in the brine will give you such good flavor. I rub mine with butter and sprinkle generously with sage and pepper.

Cranberry Apple Turkey Brine

  • 1 quart water
  • 2 cups apple cranberry juice
  • 1 apple cut up
  • 3 large sprigs rosemary
  • small bunch fresh thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppercorns
  • 2 oranges sliced
Cooking Directions
  1. Place the water and salt in large stock pot, bring to simmer. Add all the other ingredients and simmer on low for half hour. Set aside and let completely cool. Place uncooked turkey in brining bag and pour in brine. Seal and set in large pan and place back in refrigerator until time to prepare and cook turkey as normal. Make sure to turn turkey over a few times during the brining period at least 24 hours if you can.
  2. If you want to soak turkey fully in brine then double or triple recipe but you will need a large clean plastic bucket to soak it in. I use the bags because we butterfly our turkey for grilling but either way works wonderfully.
  3. **Remember the brine is very salty so no need to season turkey with salt when you prepare for baking.


  1. We have brined our turkey before, but this recipe sounds fabulous! We're cooking our turkey on Fri. or Sat. because we are going to our son's home this year. Going to give this a whirl! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

  2. I've never brined turkey before Elaine... but this sounds so delicious that I've written it down and will try this for Christmas...
    Hugs and Blessings... Barb xxx

  3. This sounds amazing and I'm definitely trying this recipe out for this Thanksgiving but I was wondering, do you not have to rinse off/out the turkey before baking?