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Herb and Apple Brined Roasted Turkey square feature image.

Herb and Apple Brined Turkey

Tamara Andersen
Apples and fresh herbs make a delicious and autumnal flavored brine for a juicy and delicious roast turkey!
5 from 1 vote
Course Main Dish
Cuisine American



  • 3 cups apple juice
  • 1 green apple quartered
  • ½ navel orange
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 4 tarragon sprigs
  • 1 medium bunch of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Old Bay seasoning
  • 8 sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice berries
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 turkey

Herb Butter

  • 4 sticks unsalted butter 1 pound, at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons chopped thyme
  • 3 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons chopped sage

Prior To Roasting

  • sea salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 onion quartered
  • 1 large apple cut in wedges
  • 1 pear cut in wedges
  • sprigs of rosemary and sage


Brine the Turkey

  • In a pot, combine all of the ingredients except the turkey and add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Remove from the heat and add 12 cups of cold water. Let stand until cool. Add the turkey and refrigerate for 12 hours. Weight the turkey if not submerged.
  • Set a V-shaped rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Remove the turkey from the brine and transfer it to the prepared rack; pat the turkey dry with paper towels and refrigerate it uncovered for 12 hours. You need to start roasting with a dry turkey!
  • Mix the ingredients for the herb butter in a medium bowl - thoroughly.
  • Gently separate the turkey skin from the breast meat. Rub half of the herb butter over the breast meat under the skin. Spread the remaining herb butter all over the skin of the breast and legs; season with salt and pepper. Set the turkey in a V-shaped roasting pan set in a rimmed baking sheet, and tuck the wings under it. Let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Preheat oven to 500 degrees (475 convection roast).
  • Cook turkey 20 minutes, then lower heat to 325 degrees.
  • cook until the breast reaches 160 degrees internal temperature. It is important to tuck the wings under the breast, and cover them if they're getting too brown. When the internal temperature of the breast is at 160 degrees.
  • Remove the turkey from the oven, and completely tent it with foil and a towel. Rest 30 minutes.
  • Carve, and serve. Reserve pan drippings if desired.


Do use an instant read thermometer! Cooking time is not important, internal temperature is. You don't want a dried out bird!
Stuff the cavity if you must. I prefer to add aromatics to the cavity.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!