Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breasts

Juicy and filled with flavour, Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breasts is perfect for the BBQ or the smoker. If you like moist and juicy turkey, this recipe is for you.

Sliced Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breasts on a cutting board.

This recipe has become one of our family’s favourite turkey recipes. It is a simple brine recipe that takes dry, bland turkey and adds moisture and flavour to make it perfect for a summer BBQ or an early fall dinner.

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What Are The Ingredients In Apple Cider Brine?

Nine ingredients make this brine for turkey that is easy to make and delicious. No cooking is needed to make this brine either.

  • Apple Cider. It used to only be available in the fall, but now you can find apple cider in the produce section of many grocery stores. The apple flavour is perfect with turkey.
  • Brown Sugar. Unlike white sugar, brown sugar not only adds sweetness but a flavour that goes really well with apples.
  • Kosher Salt.
  • Garlic Cloves.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • All-spice.
  • Whole Cloves.
  • Peppercorns.
  • Orange Slices.  These add to the flavours and adds an acid that helps to tenderize the meat.

What Other Ingredients Are Needed?

For this recipe we use boneless, skinless turkey breasts. But bone-in turkey can also be used.

A BBQ seasoning is lightly sprinkled on the turkey breasts after brining to additional flavour. We like to use our BBQ Apple Pie Rub for this.

The turkey is glazed in the final 20 minutes of cooking with BBQ sauce. Our go to sauce is our Homemade Apple Cider BBQ Sauce because it complements the apple cider in the brine.

Why Brine Turkey Breasts?

Brining turkey adds moisture to it. This will help keep the meat moist while it cooks.

The brine will also add flavour to otherwise flavourless meats like turkey that can be bland. And the longer the brine, the more flavour.

Smoking Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breasts

Smoking these turkey breasts is our choice for cooking. Smoking adds another layer of flavour to the turkey.

We use apple wood pellets to for this recipe, but a competition blend can also be used.

We have had good results with smoking these on a wood smoker using apple wood chunks as well.

Cooking Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breasts on the BBQ

This is another way to cook the turkey breasts. Cooking on the BBQ takes less time than smoking and it adds a different type of smoky flavour depending on whether you cook over charcoal or on a gas grill.

Serving Turkey Breasts

Serve these turkey breasts with your favourite side dishes, such as rice, baked potatoes, a salad.

The brine can also be doubled or tripled to make enough to brine a whole turkey for Thanksgiving dinner.

Sliced Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breasts on a cutting board.

Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breasts

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Brining time 2 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes
Course Dinner



  • 3 cups apple cider
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp peppercorns, cracked
  • 1 Tbsp whole cloves
  • 1 Tbsp all-spice
  • 1 orange, sliced

Additional Ingredients

  • 2 large turkey breasts, boneless and skinless
  • 2 tbsp BBQ seasoning
  • ½ cup BBQ sauce



  • Add all brine ingredients to a large bowl and whisk well to combine.
  • Place turkey breasts in the brine and cover with plastic wrap.
  • Refrigerate for 2 hours and up to 8 hours.

Cooking Turkey Breasts

  • Remove the turkey breasts from the brine and sprinkle with BBQ seasoning.
  • Preheat smoker to 300℉
  • Place the turkey on the smoker and cook for 2 hours or until turkey reaches internal temperature of 160℉
  • Baste turkey breasts with BBQ sauce and continue to cook for 30 minutes or until internal temperature is 165℉.
  • Remove from smoker and allow to rest for 20 minutes before slices and serve.
Keyword turkey

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