Don’t Cook Boring Christmas Meals – Grilling a Turkey With an Apple Cider Brine Like Bobby Flay

When grilling a turkey, one of the most important things to consider is making sure it doesn’t dry out. One way to do this is to brine the turkey before cooking. Brining means submerging the turkey in a salt water solution for several hours to add moisture. Various spices, herbs, and other foods can also offer a variety of flavors.

Grilling a Turkey With Apple Cider Brine

This recipe for turkey, from the BBQ Pit Boys, uses an apple cider turkey brine solution. They recommend letting the turkey soak for 18 to 24 hours. This guarantees that the meat soaks in the flavors that will be brought out during cooking, and you’ll end up with a juicy smoked turkey breast, as well as wings and thighs and legs.

Apple Cider Brine Ingredients:

  • Whole turkey, 13-14 pounds
  • Apple cider/Apple juice — 1 Gallon
  • Kosher salt — 1 Cup
  • Dark brown sugar — 1 Cup
  • Garlic cloves — 8-10
  • Sliced ginger — handful
  • Orange — 4, quartered
  • Apple cider vinegar — 1⁄3 Cup
  • Water — as needed
  • Chili pepper flakes — 2 Tablespoon
  • Bag of ice

Apple Cider Turkey Brine – Smoked Turkey Breast


The first step for this is to heat the apple cider with the salt and brown sugar, hot enough to dissolve the salt and sugar but not too hot, don’t bring it to a boil. Mix all the ingredients in a bucket big enough to hold the turkey plus the gallon of cider and enough water to keep the turkey covered. Add a bag of ice to cool it down before covering for the night.


They recommend placing 2 sprigs each of rosemary, thyme, and sage inside the bird. You will also need extra virgin olive oil, butter, and a bottle of your favorite ale. The olive oil and ale are going to be used for basting and to add even more flavor. The butter will make the skin crisp and give the brined turkey a golden-brown color. The BBQ Pit Boys recommend cooking upside down for about the first hour, then flip it over to finish cooking. You can read the complete recipe here.

How to Smoke a Turkey in a Smoker

Grilling a Turkey

The feedback on this recipe is resoundingly positive. People have followed the recipe exactly or come up with their own variations. One of the easiest adaptations is cooking the turkey in the oven rather than on the grill or in a smoker. The BBQ Pit Boys recommend injecting liquid smoke if you’re using the oven. This recipe went over so well for many users, it has become a new part of their holiday tradition. You can watch the grilling a turkey video below, not only will it show you how to smoke a turkey in a smoker, but the narrator is also pretty entertaining.


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