Maple-Brined Turkey


Brining, the ancient technique for preserving foods, adds moisture and flavor to poultry. Try it this Christmas season for the juiciest bird you've tasted.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Marinate Time:
12 hrs
Roast Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
Stand Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
15 hrs 20 mins


  • 1 ½ gallon water (24 cups)

  • 1 ½ cup pure maple syrup or maple-flavored syrup

  • 1 cup coarse salt

  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar

  • 1 8-10 pound turkey (not self-basting)

  • Cooking oil


  1. For brine, in a 10-quart pot combine water, syrup, salt, and brown sugar; stir to dissolve sugar and salt. Set aside.

  2. Rinse turkey inside and out; remove any excess fat from cavity. Carefully add turkey to brine. Cover and marinate in refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

  3. Remove turkey from brine; discard brine. Rinse turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Tuck drumstick ends under the band of skin across the tail. (If the band of skin is not present, tie the drumsticks securely to the tail.) Twist wing tips under the back. Brush with oil. Insert a meat thermometer into the center of one of the inside thigh muscles.

  4. Cover turkey loosely with foil. Roast turkey in a 325 degree F oven for 2-3/4 to 3 hours or until thermometer registers 180 degrees F. After 2-1/4 hours, remove foil and cut band of skin or string between the drumsticks so thighs will cook evenly. When done, drumsticks should move very easily in their sockets. Cover turkey; let stand at room temperature 20 minutes before carving. Makes 12 servings.

    Maple-Brined Turkey


The test kitchen found that a 10-quart stockpot worked best to hold the turkey and brining mixture.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

280 Calories
11g Fat
7g Carbs
36g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 12
Calories 280
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 101mg 34%
Sodium 1250mg 54%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Protein 36g
Calcium 40.4mg 3%
Iron 2.3mg 13%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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