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Brine - Apple Cider Sage Turkey Brine


Depending on the brand of kosher salt you use, you'll need different amounts of salt because the different brands available on the market have different densities. I use Morton's kosher salt in this recipe, however here are the conversions and listings for the maximum amount of salt to use per gallon of liquid:

Diamond Crystal 2 cups salt per gallon of liquid.
Morton's kosher 1 1/3 cups salt per gallon of liquid.

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  • For the Brine:
  • Brining Time Guide
  • Whole Turkey: 12-24 hours
  • Turkey Breast: 3-6 hours
  • Large Whole Chicken: 2-4 hours
  • 3 quarts fresh apple cider
  • 1 1/4 cup Morton kosher salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons whole allspice berries
  • 2 tablespoons peppercorns
  • packed 2/3 cup chopped fresh sage leaves
  • peel of 2 large oranges
  • 3 quarts cold water



Step 1

To Prepare the Brine:

In a large stockpot, combine everything except the water. Bring to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Turn heat off and cool to room temperature. Add cold water.

For smaller stock pots, you may have to allow the brine to cool and add the additional amount when pouring the brine into the bag in the following step.

To Brine the Turkey:

Place the turkey in a large zip-top bag. I recommend the Ziploc Big Bags (size large). Put the bagged turkey in a clean cooler. Pour the brine over the turkey, in the bag, making sure the breasts are fully submerged. Zip the bag closed. Place the cooler in a cool place, such as your garage or basement (if temperatures are cold enough), and allow the turkey to soak in the cold brine for 12-24 hours.

Use gel ice packs or bagged ice around the zipped bag inside the cooler, if necessary, to keep the brine below 40°F. (Adding more ice directly to the brine would only dilute it.)

Alternatively, if you have room in your refrigerator, you may place the bagged turkey in a large foil tray rather than a cooler and store it on the fridge shelf.

Rinse the turkey inside and out and pat dry the turkey with paper towels. Bring to room temperature for 2 hours before roasting. Roast according to your preferred method.

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