Sweet & Savory Apple Spice Turkey Brine

Brining a turkey seemed to me like a lot of time and unnecessary ingredients. What’s wrong with normal turkey? We either raise or buy our turkeys locally. I like the flavor of a pastured, fresh, home-grown turkey. Turns out there’s nothing wrong with plain turkey at all but it really can be even better. I love apple spice turkey brine. It’s sweet and savory, adds a bit of salt to the flavor, and truly does make an already great turkey taste delicious.

You can make this brine inexpensively. Buy the least expensive 100% apple juice available. You probably already have Kosher salt, dark brown sugar, cloves and nutmeg in your pantry.

Clean out the refrigerator before you get started. You’re going to need the space while the turkey soaks in the brine. Allow one hour for each pound of turkey for a whole turkey, leg and thigh quarters and breast.

This brine works well with a roasting chicken as well as a pork roast. Keep the one hour per pound timing.

Sweet & Savory Apple Spice Turkey Brine

Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Author Robin Follette


  • 1 gallon water cold
  • 1/2 gallon apple juice
  • 2 1/2 cups Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 10 cloves whole
  • 4 teaspoons nutmeg


  • Combine the apple juice, salt, brown sugar, cloves and nutmeg in a stock pot. Simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Pour in the gallon of water. To speed cooling use very cold water. Cool brine to room temperature.
  • Wash the turkey. Place it in the brine, making sure the cavity is filled, and store it in the refrigerator. Let it soak for one hour per pound. This is true for a whole turkey as well as parts.
  • When done, remove turkey from brine and rinse well. You want to be sure to wash off all of the salt. Pat dry. Cook as usual.