Slow cooker apple cider brined turkey breast is a perfect autumn recipe. I guarantee you’ve never had such moist turkey! It’s juicy and delicious and bursting with fall flavours. Cooking boneless turkey breast in a slow cooker is an easy no fuss dinner. This is the best brined turkey breast and perfect for all the holidays ahead. Read on for how to make an easy brine for turkey breast.
You will need a boneless turkey breast that is about 3 or 4 pounds in weight. A butterball ready-to-roast turkey breast would be ideal here.
The flavour comes from aromatic ingredients like cinnamon, star anise, thyme, paprika, mustard, rosemary, and more. This is a make ahead recipe so plan in advance and get ready to enjoy the best brined turkey breast you ever tasted.
How to Make this Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Recipe
If your turkey breast is frozen you need to thaw it completely before beginning the easy brine for turkey breast recipe.
Bring the apple cider to a boil with the peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, sugar, star anise, cinnamon sticks, and some orange peel. Let it simmer for a while. Oh yes, your kitchen will already be smelling amazing! I’m sure you can imagine it.
Add the turkey breast once the cider mixture has cooled. I like to brine the turkey overnight. You could give it less time but I would recommend a minimum of five hours so you can really infuse the meat with flavour before cooking the boneless turkey breast in a slow cooker.
Take the turkey out of the brining mixture and brush it with butter, then season it. Now you can add the meat to the crockpot and add thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, garlic, and more orange peel. It will be cooked in about 6 hours’ time.
What to Serve with a Slow Cooker Turkey Breast Recipe
You can enjoy this slow cooker apple cider brined turkey breast with any side dishes you choose. Potatoes and green beans are always good or you could try mac ‘n cheese and broccoli or another variation. If you’re making this boneless turkey breast in a slow cooker for Thanksgiving or Christmas, any festive sides would be perfect.
Why Brine Turkey Breast?
Turkey is pretty lean, which means it has very little fat. There’s nothing worse than dried-out meat and lean meats can dry out annoyingly easily. One great method to ensure the meat stays juicy is to use an easy brine for turkey breast.
Brine is basically salt and water plus whatever else you want to add. The bird will absorb salt for seasoning and water for moisture in this slow cooker apple cider brined turkey breast recipe.
Brine also breaks down some of the natural proteins in the bird which makes it softer and more tender. So even if you slightly overcook your boneless turkey breast in a slow cooker, it will still be the best brined turkey breast ever. Brining keeps it juicy even if you overshoot the cooking time.
When making an easy brine for turkey breast bear in mind you need to pick your turkey breast with care. Anything labeled kosher, self-basting or enhanced won’t work because the turkey is already salted. You can however brine a turkey breast that is partly thawed out. It will finish thawing in the brine.
Tips for Perfect Brining
One important factor to consider before choosing this slow cooker apple cider brined turkey breast recipe is the marinating time. You are going to need to put the turkey and brine mixture in the refrigerator or somewhere cool and it can take up a fair bit of space.
Don’t brine the turkey breast for more than 18 hours else you risk it going spongy in texture or coming out too salty and there isn’t much you can do about either of those.
If you are used to cooking non-brined poultry, bear in mind brined turkey cooks slightly quicker, so check the doneness before the end of the cooking time.
When making the best brined turkey breast, plan ahead so the cooked turkey can rest for 20 minutes before you serve it. This is well worth doing because it will end up even more juicy and delicious.
I’m sure you will find this crock pot or slow cooker turkey breast recipe easy to prepare. Cooking it in a crockpot means the oven is freed up for whatever side dishes and desserts you want to make too. So if you want the best brined turkey breast which is easy to prepare, choose this slow cooker apple cider brined turkey breast recipe. I just know you are going to love the taste!
If you like this slow cooker turkey breast recipe, you might also like Air Fryer Cheesy Bacon Hasselback Chicken, Tasty Apple Cider Mojito – Autumn Cocktail and Super Easy Slow Cooker Chicken Enchilada Casserole.
Slow Cooker Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breast Recipe
Slow Cooker Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breast
- 4 Cup apple cider
- 1 Tbsp. black peppercorns
- 6 Cloves garlic crushed and divided
- 3 bay leaves
- 1/2 Cup brown sugar
- 4 star anise
- 4 cinnamon sticks divided
- 1 orange peel cut into ½” strips
- 4 lb turkey breast boneless, I used butterball ready to roast turkey breast
- 2 Tbsp. salted butter softened
- 2 Tsp. dried thyme
- 2 Tsp. onion powder
- 2 Tsp. kosher salt
- 1 Tsp. smoked paprika
- 1 Tsp. garlic powder
- 1 Tsp. dried mustard
- 1/2 Tsp. black pepper
- 3-4 Sprigs thyme
- 2 Sprigs rosemary
- Thaw turkey breast completely.
- Heat a saucepan on the stove over medium high heat. Add apple cider, peppercorn, 3 crushed garlic cloves, bay leaves, brown sugar, star anise, 2 cinnamon sticks, and ½ of the orange peel to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer for 10 minutes.
- Remove the saucepan from heat and let cool completely. Once cooled, add the turkey breast. Brine at least 5 hours, preferably overnight.
- Remove turkey from brine and brush with softened butter. Season generously with seasoning.
- Place into the slow cooker and add ¼ cup water, thyme sprigs, rosemary sprigs, 2 cinnamon sticks, remaining orange peel, and crushed garlic along the sides. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.
- Remove from the slow cooker and slice on a cutting board. Serve with green beans and potatoes.
The nutrition information provided are only estimates based on an online nutritional calculator. I am not a certified nutritionist. Please consult a professional nutritionist or doctor for accurate information and any dietary restrictions and concerns you may have.
Are you new to brining? You will find it super-simple. Brining is like marinating except the aim is to add tenderness and moisture, not just flavour.
If you have turkey leftovers, you might want to try this Instant Pot Leftover Turkey Wild Rice Casserole.