Mr. BBQ’s Bourbon Brine Recipe

Looking for a brine for your Thanksgiving turkey? This is one of our longtime favorites and comes from Mr. BBQ himself, Bruce Bjorkman.

Apple Cider/Bourbon Brine Recipe


  • 1 Up to 22 lb. non-enhanced turkey
  • 1 gallon of cold water
  • 2 cups Kosher or sea salt
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4-6 bay leaves
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 bags of ice.



  1. In a container large enough to hold your turkey, (a picnic cooler is a great container to use in brining your turkey) add all ingredients and stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
  2. Place THAWED turkey into brine mixture, making sure entire turkey is submerged into the liquid. You may need to add more cold water in order to fully immerse the turkey. Use bags of ice to weigh the turkey down in brine mixture.
  3. Soak for at least six hours or overnight. IMPORTANT! After soaking, remove turkey from brine, and rinse under running cold water to flush excess salt off the inside and outside of the bird. Towel pat dry and put a light coat of canola oil over entire bird to help keep skin from getting dark while barbecuing or smoking. TIP: If you plan to brine, make sure that you DO NOT purchase an “enhanced” turkey, which has been injected with salt, water, seasonings. Ask your meat provider to supply you with a non-enhanced bird.

Never Miss an Update!

Here at MAK, research and development is an everyday occurrence. We're constantly experimenting so that we can continue to innovate and improve our products. We aim to perfect the outdoor cooking experience and we want you to be up to date on our progress. We regularly post news, information, recipes, and more! Sign up for our newsletter so you never miss an update! Subscribe to Our Newsletter