Cider Brined Turkey


  • 8 cups Farmstead or Cellar Block hard cider

  • 4 cups sweet apple cider

  • 4 cups room-temperature water

  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns

  • 2 lemons, sliced

  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary

  • 6 cups ice water

  • 18-20 pound fresh or frozen turkey, thawed


  1. Remove giblets and neck from turkey, reserving for gravy. Rinse turkey with cool water and pat skin dry with paper towels.

  2. In a large pot, combine hard cider, apple cider, room-temperature water, kosher salt, peppercorns, lemons, thyme, and rosemary and bring to a boil over medium heat. Stir until salt is dissolved. Remove from heat and add ice water. Let cool completely to room temperature.

  3. Place turkey in large oven bag and pour in cooled brine, making sure all parts of the turkey are submerged. Store in refrigerator for 24 hours.

  4. Remove turkey from brine and pat skin dry with paper towels. Place turkey breast-side-up on rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for 24 hours to air dry to ensure crispy skin. Once skin is completely dry, turkey is ready to cook.

| Adapted from Cider Culture