Maple Cider Brine


  • ¾ to 1 cup kosher salt
  • ½ cup brown sugar, honey or maple syrup
  • 1 gallon liquid (apple cider, vegetable stock, light beer like MGD, or white wine)
  • handful of peppercorns, allspice berries or cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise
  • pinch of cardamom
  • good handful or fresh parsley, sage & thyme, bruised or roughly chopped to release flavor
  • 1 gallon cold water


  1. Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve. Cool to room temperature and chill covered. [Brine can be made 2 days ahead]
  2. Remove everything from the cavity of the bird. Place bird breast side down (since white meat dries more than dark meat) and head first into the brining bag. Add 1 gallon of iced-water to the bag.  Then add brining liquid. Tie bag tightly. Place in large bowl or bucket
  3. Refrigerate or chill 6-8 hours. Turn once halfway through