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Recipe: Apple Brine for Turkey the Night Before Cooking

I have used this recipe for many years. It makes a turkey fall-apart moist every time.

Apple Brine For Turkey The Night Before Cooking Ingredients

  • 2 quarts apple juice

  • 1 gallon cold water

  • 1 cup kosher salt

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed

  • 5 pounds ice cubes

How to Make Apple Brine For Turkey The Night Before Cooking

  1. Line a cooler with a large food safe bag. Combine the apple juice, water, and salt in the bag; stir until the salt is dissolved; add the garlic.

  2. To use: Lie your turkey into the brine with the breast-side down; add more water to submerge turkey completely if needed. Pour the ice over the turkey. Seal the bag and close the cooler; allow to sit overnight.

Apple Brine For Turkey The Night Before Cooking Nutritions

  • Calories: 79.5 calories

  • Carbohydrate: 19.7 g

  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

  • Fat: 0.2 g

  • Fiber: 0.2 g

  • Protein: 0.2 g

  • SaturatedFat: 0 g

  • ServingSize:

  • Sodium: 7611.2 mg

  • Sugar: 17.9 g

  • TransFat:

  • UnsaturatedFat:

Apple Brine For Turkey The Night Before Cooking Reviews

  • Well after reading Godiva Goddesss review and finding out that it is not supposed to be apple-y, I have to change my rating and give it a 5. After all, my hubby did say it was the best turkey hes ever had The turkey turned out moist and delicious. Rinse the turkey before you roast it and careful with the seasonings, it doesnt need much more salt Thanks for the great recipe Godiva

  • I have no idea how this will make my turkey taste, but for those of you about to do this for your Thanksgiving, please learn from our mistakes We used a Reynolds oven bag big enough for a turkey and learned a lot from our first experience.1. Heat up the measured water, pour in the salt to dilute it then fridge the water to cool it off.2. Place the bag in the cooler, add the ingredients, then the turkey. THE BAGS ARE NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO WITHSTAND A TRANSFER, TRUST ME (We just got done cleaning up apple juice, garlic brine from our floor and surrounding cabinets3. And do NOT follow the advice of the person who suggested a garbage bag. As someone else pointed out, its not food grade.Good luck and happy Thanksgiving

  • I love using this recipe It never fails to make my turkeys moist. The Apple Juice is not meant to add apple flavor, no. (Perhaps using a few more quarts of apple juice (no water), and slicing some tart apples and adding them in would help if that is what you are aiming for.) ;)Hope you all enjoy, remember to gobble til you wobble.

  • You can use a large (clean) garbage bag instead of a food storage bag and yes Kosher salt is better.

  • Use a Ziploc XL bag It fit my 23 lb turkey this Thanksgiving. I also placed the bag in the cooler first, dissolved the salt, then added all ingredients to the bag inside the cooler. I put the turkey in last along with the ice. I sealed the bag and it worked well. However, for the amount of work I put into this brining thing (which was new to me), my turkey was no different than what I would normally make. My guests thought the same. I usually roast my turkey in my Nesco roaster oven. I put melted butter on top, and season with just salt and pepper. I roast it breast side down and wait until it "caves in". Then I know that it is falling apart and done well. This is not good though if you want the picture perfect turkey to put on the table and carve. I do my "carving" ahead of time and put the platter of meat on the table.

  • This is the only way I will cook a turkey - I have made this for the past few years, and my entire extended family loves it. I do not use the garlic, I DO use a garbage bag, and I just put it in a container in the fridge long enough to hold it overnight. It somehow causes the turkey to cook an hour or so less, as well. The gravy is the best


  • I have not made this yet, I am going to. I would like to know how to cook this turkey the next day? How long, in what? I will be getting a 12-14lb bird. What brand of turkey do you use? Can a person use a Butterball bird?

  • For all of the complaints about your turkey being too salty even after the brining process and being rinsed off: You need to let the turkey rest in the fridge overnight to get the rest of the brining mixture out of your turkey About 2 cups or more of the brine will end up in the bowl. Then rinse the turkey again and pat dry Most recipes miss this key step. Also dont use salted butter or chicken broth on your turkey or it will end up being salty.

  • I loved this brine. I also stuffed the turkey with halved apples. My turkey was unbelievable juicy. I basted it with sweet Asian chili sauce. It was a great combination.

  • Made a great tasting turkey. The whole brining process was very awkward with a 20-lb turkey, no utility sink, and a full fridge, but thats not the recipes fault.

  • This was my first time doing the brine thing.. I used this recipe with the addition of a little over a cup of brown sugar, and two bottles of beer, and left the garlic out.. oh, and a tablespoon each of dried sage, thyme and rosemary. So this is less about this exact recipe and more about the whole bringing thing.. IT WAS THE BEST TURKEY I HAVE EVER MADE MOIST, TASTY MEAT, YUMMY GRAVY WITH THE DRIPPINGS. I used a big enamel pot I have for canning to brine in. It was delicious

  • Fantastic . let it sit for24 hrs. stuffed the turkey with apples and onions cooked on the Weber charcoal 22.5" kettle 1hr breast side down. turned over cooked for another 2 hrs. I got raves of it was the best turkey they had ever tasted. this is a keeper.

  • This was a great first experience with brining, thank you. I did have a few "challenges" that newbies might learn from. First, we tried using an oven bag, but we noticed it was getting smaller. Yup...a leak. It was too thin for a large turkey (22 pounds), so we started over in a heavy-duty garbage bag (unscented) and took the risk on the "not food grade" suggestion. We tied the corners in knots first, which I suggest. It kept us from wasting space with the brine. I also think it should be noted that the ice does not go in the bag with the turkey. It goes in the cooler on the outside of the bag, right? The directions arent clear about that, but it just made more sense to us. One rater noted that it cooks faster. That would explain it. I know mine was ready WAY ahead of time, but I thought it was because I was using a new electric roaster oven for the first time. I think this time Ill roast it at a lower temperature...maybe 300 then kick it up for the last 30 minutes to make sure were getting hot enough.Thanks for a great brine recipe.

  • While garbage bags are large and strong enough, they are unfit for food because acids and fats in food leech out extremely harmful chemicals out of the plastic into the food. Just make sure the plastic is "food-grade" or "pharmaceutical-grade". These dont contain the harmful additives and are safe.

  • We eat turkey frequently since it is inexpensive for our large family, so I wanted something a little different for the holidays. This did make a difference, not so much in the flavor, which was good, but the turkey was much more moist and it seemed to have a more intense taste. The leftovers were great in turkey and dumplings One warning though, it makes a BIG diffrence in cooking time My turkey was done a full hour before normal I will use this recipe again and again. Just the cut in cooking time made it worth it to me

  • Ive never brined a turkey before, so I dont have anything to compare this recipe to. All I can say is that the bird turned out wonderfully moist with a subtle flavor. So easy and very good. Thanks

  • This is good. Very good actually. The only difference between this and my usual brine is that I put fresh rosemary, sage, and a couple bay leaves into the brine. I also use apple cider instead of apple juice and you can tell a huge difference. The cider has a more acidic nature. Its very good

  • I thought this was a fabulous way to use some of the 7 GALLONS of apple juice I inherited this fall. I used home pressed apple juice and it had a little bit of apple taste... I actually wish it would have been more. I wouldnt go out and buy apple juice just to make it. A regular brine is just as good. One day is not enough though... let it sit at least 2 if not 3 days.

  • This was the best recipe for turkey that I have ever had. It was juicy, tender and down-right yummy. My husband and I were amazed that an XL-Zip lock bag could hold so much One thing that I wish I had done was completely dissolve the kosher salt (not doing so resulted a slightly more salt flavor than we were use to). I used apple cider instead of apple juice and a whole head of garlic roughly chopped.

  • Most moist turkey ever Nice mild flavor. Not too salty, but I did not add any salt to the turkey before cooking. Used an oven bag for an 18 lb turkey. Cooked at 350. Was finished in 2 hours.

  • I put my turkey in a metal stock pot, and then I put the stock pot in the sink and filled it with cold water. Switch sinks occasionally to keep the sink full of cold water and ice. No bags, no ruined coolers...just yummy turkey.

  • Love it very much tweeted a little, but still great.

  • Last Thanksgiving was the first year we tried brining a turkey. It was so good that we decided it was worth the effort & would do it again. This year we tried your apple juice brine recipe and it was fantastic So moist and tender. My family loved it We also added the contents from a can of Mountain Dew to the turkey cavity---dont know if that did anything "extra" or not but we will do it again next year the same way because his years turkey was perfect. Other reviewers stated that the apple juice brine does not give the turkey any apple-ly taste and that is true---but the turkey tasted FANTASTIC Thanks for the great recipe---I definitely could not have done this without you

  • Moist no apple flavor

  • It works, wonderfully, for making your meat moist and tender. I found there were no Ziploc bags that would handle a 20 pound turkey plus brine so I used a garbage bag. I am a germaphobe but I saw no reason to be concerned about the plastic and it worked wonderfully well in a cooler.

  • Tried this on chicken leg quarters. Delicious Threw in some bay leaves & peppercorns. No ice cubes just cold water and cut the salt to less than 1/4 cup and put in the refrig overnite. Grilled a few & some in the oven uncovered. I liked it grilled but LOVED it baked. Everyone was raving about the best chicken they ever had.

  • This is so worth the effort Followed another review and use along with the Homestyle Turkey, the Michigander Way recipe. It is Perfect

  • I did not care for this.

  • I used this with a couple of changes. i added two diced gala apples, 2 naval oranges, 2 jumbo cloves of garlic instead of the 6, added 1/2 pint of whiskey, and stored in the fridge for 12 hours... i have to say i have never been more pleased with the flavor and juiciness of my bird.. A++

  • This brine turned out great The turkey had great flavor and was oh-so moist. I didnt find any brining bags in time, so I used a turkey baking bag. This worked, but be careful if you choose this route We set the turkey (bagged) in a large tub before putting in the brine to avoid moving the delicate bag. This worked, but next time Im looking harder for a brine bag

  • Best brine Ive tried and the new family favorite. I use my canning kettle with no bag. It fits in the fridge that way and I dont have to mess with the ice. Everyone raves about my turkey when I use this

  • 2 yrs ive used it and 2 yrs my turkey is perfect

  • Easy recipe and makes the turkey extremely moist and wonderful Encore.

  • This was the best tasting,melt in your mouth turkey Ive ever had. I have a whole chicken soaking in this brine as I type....LOVE IT

  • While this made the turkey very nice and moist (plus I used an oven bag), I wasnt crazy about the subtle apple flavor. Since other reviewers said that they couldnt taste the apple, I went ahead and tried it. Actually, the flavor almost felt like apples that had been sitting too long. I was hoping the apple juice would add tenderization and moistness, and no flavor, but I was wrong.

  • Perfect I dont use that much apple juice, just few cups. Hubby said the turkey looked like something from a magazine and didnt need gravy, it was so moist. I reduced the salt to 3/4 cup depending on the size of the turkey. Ive made this 4 or 5 times now and its always good.

  • Excellent, i use a bucket, and line it with a food safe bag, most years i can put it on the back porch, as the weather is very cold overnight, the bucket makes it much easier to move and handle, than a cooler

  • This was the best turkey I have ever made I made 2 turkeys one the way I normally make it and the other with this brine every one ate this one more and loved it Ive never brined a turkey before and was a little nervous about the apple but I will forever make my turkeys like this from now on thanks for the recipe

  • My first turkey was perfect

  • I was very afraid of ruining my dinner, this was by far the best turkey i have ever made. i also put turkey on the grill, this made it very moist, when it is usually dry.

  • The turkey was very juicy. But we make our gravy from the dripping. Even though I rinsed the bird it was still full of SALTY liquid we had to pour off during the roasting. The resulting gravy was way too salty. For that reason alone I wont try this again.

  • This was the first time I brined the turkey. I read all the reviews and they sounded so wonderful. I followed the recipe and awaited the turkey with great anticipation. I was very disappointed when it turned out to be extremely salty Luckily I was cooking it for family and not for guests. I dont think Ill try that again.

  • I used this for our past Thanksgiving turkey and is was so delicious I decided to try with cornish hens. They were delicious. The only thing I changed the second time around was to add a little rosemary to the mix.

  • This was amazing I used one of those turkey sized oven bags to brine mine overnight and then followed the recipe for Homestyle Turkey, the Michiganer way. Best turkey Ive ever made.

  • Turkey was moist and delicious the next day. Will definitely do it again I used 4 cans of apple juice concentrate

  • Juiciest turkey weve ever made thanks to this method. Looking forward to tryinh it with other meats.

  • Have used this recipe twice worked perfect both times I used large oven bags worked good added bay leaves and pepper corn

  • I really didnt see any difference in my turkey after using this brine........too much trouble for little if any result

  • Really good. I had a smaller turkey (12 or 13 lbs) and I was able to use a 12 qt stock pot for brining, still lined it with the oven bag and poured everything straight in and fit it in my fridge. Wouldnt work for anything much bigger though; it was almost up to the brim as it was.

  • Note... get really large roasting bags ,double bag and after turkey is plucked of excess items place bird inside bags...add brine and remove air. Then put turkey in color under ice. I also put a sliced apple in bird of left whole or spatchcock them...apples for adding to stuffing.

  • I have been cooking turkeys for almost 30 years and I tried this recipe last Thanksgiving. I have to admit that it was the moistest, juiciest turkey that I ever cooked. I will be cooking another turkey this Christmas using this recipe. Try it, youll love it.

  • This is so delicious. I used this recipe for Thanksgiving and Christmas and all my guests loved it.

  • I tried this brine recipe using a 5 gallon bucket and a lid from a stock pot. I also put some sprigs of fresh parsley and thyme in the cavity. It turned out really delicious and moist just like the other comments. Cuts cooking time in half. Once the meat thermometer reached 165 for the stuffing or 185 in the breast or thigh, its done.

  • First time I brined and cooked a turkey. This recipe was easy and the results were fantastic. Turkeys around the world are planning counter-strike.

  • So worth the tiny effort it takes to use this brine Never have I tasted a more moist, tender turkey. Thank you

  • This was my first experience with brining a turkey, and this was fantastic. It was so easy, and it was a huge hit--everyone said it was the juciest turkey they ever had Thanks

  • Everyone raved about the taste and moisture of the turkey. Even two days after Thanksgiving, the turkey was great. Relatives that normally dont eat turkey could not get enough of it. I will use this recipe every time i make poultry.

  • I loved this recipe. Ive made this 3 times. The family lived it, also. Its not turkey season but I think Im addicted to this recipe. Thanks.

  • A little too much garlic for my taste.

  • Delicious recipe, really enhanced the bird.

  • This recipe really takes your holiday bird to the next level

  • I followed this recipe last year and it was great I put mine in a bag then a big bucket and left it for about 36 hours- then roasted in the oven. Using this brine again this year and smoking the turkey.

  • Seriously th best and most moist turkey Ive ever tasted, I got so many compliments I had a bigger turkey so I had to increase the water but that was about it Thanks

  • I have done this for many years now and will NOT make a turkey or breast without brining first. Makes even a store brand taste top of the line. I also use some large pieces of cut up celery and onion as well as apple. I have always used a garbage bag placing the bag in the cooler then the ingredients then the turkey, make sure NOT to use one of the scented bags of course.

  • Loved this I made this last year for my family and they all went crazy for it Yay im the cool one in the family now :P

  • Really makes for a great tasting turkey.

  • I wont make turkey any other way Didnt change a thing and had a juicy turkey

  • Been using this recipe for years. Never do Thanksgiving without it. We add more spices to the brine and its so good

  • I used this brine and cooked the turkey in a dark roaster with the lid on. The turkey turned out juicy and flavorful. Im planning to use the brine again this year.

  • It worked out great. I used a ZipLoc big bag and put it down in the cooler, filled up the bag with the juice and salt and then stirred it to dissolve the salt. Put in the garlic and the bird and then put in enough cold water to cover the bird. Filled the rest with ice and sealed it shut. The ZipLoc bags were strong enough for the transfer and even had a handle. The bird came out of the oven very moist. I will definitely use this brine again.

  • My family and I are not turkey eaters, but this brine was wonderful. I cooked this in a brown paperbag 325 according to manufacturer suggestion +30 min. The brine made the turkey taste good, LOL. The brown paper bag method worked beautifully. Only change I made was add fresh basil, sage and rosemary to the brine. I used a Reynolds large oven roasting bag inside of a black trash bag just in case the Reynolds bag did not hold the brine. I did not have any problem with the bag breaking. Just did not want my cooler to smell like brine in case my bag leaked. Wonderful brine Thanks

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