My Favorite Turkey Brine

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 1 day 35 min
  • Active: 15 min
  • Yield: about 2 gallons
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2 gallons cold water 

3 cups apple cider 

2 cups packed brown sugar 

3/4 cup kosher salt 

3 tablespoons tricolor peppercorns 

5 bay leaves 

5 cloves garlic, minced 

Peel of 3 large oranges, cut into large strips 

4 rosemary sprigs, leaves stripped

1 fresh turkey 


  1. Combine the water, cider, brown sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaves, garlic, orange peel and rosemary in a large pot. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Bring to a boil, then cover and turn off the heat. Allow to cool completely before placing in the fridge to chill.
  2. Place the turkey in the chilled brine solution and refrigerate for 16 to 24 hours. (You may add more cold water if you need more liquid for the size of turkey you have.)
  3. When you're ready to roast, remove the turkey from the brine and submerge it in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in the clean water for 15 to 20 minutes to remove excess salt from the outside. Discard the brine.
  4. Remove the turkey from the water and rinse again, then pat dry. Cook according to your normal roasting method.
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