Star Anise and Cider Brined Roast Turkey

Brined turkey is more tender and tastier than the usual. There are many ways to brine a turkey. You can do plain ice water and salt or use other types of liquid that can influence the taste of the turkey. We will be using apple cider and star anise for our version of Brined Roast Turkey.

Apple cider has become a regular ingredient in brining turkey or chicken. In order to add some Asian taste, I incorporated some star anise and anisette liquor to this recipe. Based on my experiences in making tocino and longganisa, I learned that anisette liquor (or what we call anisado wine) can make a huge difference in enhancing the flavor of the meat. For this recipe, you can do without the liquor as long as you have the star anise.
Brining the turkey means soaking it in a salt mixture. This process gives the meat more moisture and also infuses flavor to it. Expect a tender and less dry roast turkey when you follow this recipe.

Note that the recipe below only caters to smaller turkeys (about 14 to 16 lbs). Try extending the roasting time if you will be using a larger turkey. It will also be better if you will use a mea t thermometer in the process (160F is the internal temperature to target).

Don’t forget that we will glaze the turkey before roasting is over. I do this 3 times with the interval of 12 minutes. You will know that you are almost done when the turkey starts turning medium to dark brown.

Try this Star Anise and Cider Brined Roast Turkey Recipe and let me know what you think.

Cider and Star Anise Brined Roast Turkey

Star Anise and Cider Brined Roast Turkey


  • 1 (14 to 16 lbs.) turkey, cleaned (giblets and neck removed from the cavity)
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons dry sage
  • 6 sprigs fresh sage
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme

Brine Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cup table salt
  • 1 cup anisette liquor (optional)
  • 1 gallon ice water
  • 3 quarts apple cider
  • 1/2 cup star anise

Glaze Ingredients:

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Cooking Procedure

  1. Combine 3 quarts of apple cider, star anise, anisette liquor, and salt in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil. Make sure that the whole turkey can fit in the stock pot.
  2. Stir until the salt dissolves and then turn the heat off. Let the temperature drop to room temp.
  3. Pour-in the ice water. Stir. Place the turkey in the stock pot and then brine for 12 to 22 hours. Note: Place the stock-put inside the fridge while brining.
  4. Remove the turkey from the stock pot and then wash with cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels
  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  6. Place the fresh sage and thyme inside the cavity. Combine the butter and dry sage and then brush all over the turkey.
  7. Place inside the oven and then bake for 2 hours and 45 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Meanwhile, reduce 2 cups of apple cider to about less than a cup. Do this by placing it in a sauce pan and simmer until the sauce reduces. Add the brown sugar and then stir. Set aside.
  9. When the roasting time reaches 2 hours and 10 minutes, remove the turkey from the oven and then brush with apple cider and brown sugar glaze. Put the turkey back in the oven and then roast for 12 minutes. Do the glazing again 2 more times after every 12 minutes.
  10. Remove the roast turkey from the oven and then let it rest for 25 minutes.
  11. Serve with cranberry sauce and turkey gravy. Share and enjoy!

Number of servings (yield): 12


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