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Apple and Spice Brine Turkey Brine


This is a good flavored sweet brine that imparts the flavors of apple, spice and citrus to the turkey. MMMmmmm! Cherry wood for smoke is tops! Simmer spices in the orange and apple juices for 15 minutes. Boil the sugar and salt in the water until dissolved. Cool both, combine, and refrigerate overnight before adding turkey.

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  • 1 gallon apple juice
  • 3 quarts orange juice
  • 3 quarts apple juice
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 tsp nutmeg


Adapted from


Step 1

For the best turkey smoking results, a good turkey brine does the trick. There are methods of putting the brine together that improve its quality. Just dumping everything into a bucket and stirring doesn't make the best brine. Follow a good recipe and an established method, and your brined turkey will be a smoked masterpiece.

Turkey brine should ideally be made a day ahead of time. This allows the flavor additions a chance to infuse the brine, and it also insures that the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.

For a container, a food grade 5 gallon bucket works fine. You'll need to have plenty of space in your refrigerator, because that's where it will need to be for couple of days.

Better still is an insulated water cooler, the kind you see on road-crew trucks in the summer. The shape and size of these coolers is perfect for brining a whole turkey, and being insulated, the turkey and brine can be kept cold with bags of ice.

A standard turkey brine contains the right kind of salt , sugar and seasonings. Normally, between three quarters of a cup and one full cup of salt is used per gallon of water. Varying amounts and types of sweeteners and flavorings give the turkey that flavor to savor.

Making Brine...Step By Step

Add one gallon of water to each of two stock pots or large, lidded pans.

To one of the pots, add the salt and sugar. Bring this to a boil, and boil it for five minutes. Remove it from the heat, cover, and let it cool.

To the other pot, add the spice, herbs and vegetables. Slowly, bring this pot up to a light boil, simmer for five minutes, remove from heat, cover, and allow to cool.

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