How to Brine Poultry With Apple Juice


Brining poultry with apple juice follows the same guidelines as when using standard brine, save for the amount of water used. Standard poultry brines consist of a cup of kosher salt to every gallon of water. Substituting apple juice for an equal amount of water contributes a subtle sweetness that accents other aromatic ingredients in the brine. The flavoring options for poultry brines are as varied as poultry recipes, but herbs that pair well with apple juice and poultry include sage, rosemary and thyme.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 four-lb. roaster chicken
  • 3 qt. water
  • 1 qt. apple juice
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 star anise pod
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tbsp. fresh sage
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • 6 cracked black peppercorns
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • Mix together 3 qt. water, 1 qt. fresh-pressed apple juice, 3/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup dark brown sugar, 1 star anise pod, 2 whole cloves, 2 rosemary sprigs, 1 tbsp. fresh sage, 1 thyme sprig and 6 cracked black peppercorns in a nonreactive mixing bowl.

  • Place the brine in a stockpot and place over high heat. Bring it to a boil and reduce to a simmer.

  • Simmer the brine until the sugar dissolves, approximately 5 minutes. Remove the poultry brine from the heat and allow it to cool on its own accord. Place the brine in the refrigerator for 45 minutes to chill.

  • Remove any excess fat from the poultry and giblets from the cavity.

  • Place the poultry in a sanitized nonreactive container, pour the cold brine over it and add 2 cloves crushed garlic. Place a plate on the poultry, if necessary, to keep it submerged.

Tips & Warnings

  • Brine a 4-lb. chicken for a minimum of 6 hours. Do not exceed 12 hours. Brine a turkey for a minimum of 24 hours but no more than 48 hours.
  • Rinse the brine from the poultry prior to cooking to prevent any residual sugar from burning.

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