Chef’s Corner: Turkey Brine

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, Chef Chol thought it would be perfect timing to share his recipe for turkey brine.  Enjoy!

VVR Turkey Brine (for one 15-18 pound Turkey)


          1 Gallon Apple juice

          1 Gallon Water

          1 ½ Pounds Kosher salt

          12 ounces dark brown sugar

          4 cinnamon sticks

          5 cloves

          2 bay leaves

          3 star anise

          ¼ cup pickling spice


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Cool in the refrigerator overnight. (Alternatively, you could simmer the ingredients without the water and pour over 8 ¼ pounds of ice, and you could use the brine almost immediately)
  3. Brine Turkey 12-15 hours before roasting and refrigerate.

To Roast the Turkey:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels, inside and out.
  2. Rub the turkey with soft butter, inside and out, and place breast side down on a “V” rack in a roasting pan (this allows the breast to remain moist) and roast for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 325 degrees F.
  3. One hour before turkey is done (an unstuffed turkey will take about 15 minutes per pound at 325 degrees F), flip the bird to breast side up (using wads of paper towel usually works) and roast until internal temperature of the thick part of the leg reads 165 degrees F. Let the bird rest 30 minutes before carving.