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.
Looking for something extra special or a new recipes to make this Thanksgiving? You can’t go wrong with this amazing apple cider brined turkey recipe – it comes out so juicy and delicious. You will love this crockpot turkey breast recipe!
Apple Cider Brined Turkey Breast Ingredients
You will need a boneless turkey breast that is about 3 or 4 pounds in weight. A butterball ready-to-roast turkey breast from the grocery store would be ideal for this boneless turkey breast crock pot recipe. A turkey breast is perfect for a small group when a whole Thanksgiving turkey would be too much.
The flavour in this delicious turkey comes from aromatic ingredients like cinnamon, star anise, thyme, paprika, mustard, rosemary, black pepper 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 this boneless turkey breast crock pot recipe. A bone-in turkey breast will have a different cook time, but could also be used.
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 whole 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 apple cider turkey brine mixture, pat gently with paper towels and brush it with butter, then season it. Now you can add the meat to the bottom of the slow cooker and add thyme, rosemary, cinnamon, garlic, and more orange peel. It will be cooked in about 6 hours’ time. See? I told you it was an easy recipe! And it’s perfect for a small gathering or small group, since any moist turkey leftovers can be enjoyed in the days after Thanksgiving. No need to make an entire turkey!
What to Serve with a Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
You can enjoy this slow cooker turkey recipe with any side dishes you choose. Potatoes au gratin 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 such as stuffing. A sauce like a tamarind sauce would be a great option to consider, too. Such a delicious apple cider brined turkey breast should be paired with yummy sides.
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. Another is to use a meat thermometer to double-check the doneness in the thickest part of the breast and ensure you end up with moist turkey and crispy skin.
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. This is very handy to know and the best way to make sure this slow cooker recipe yields the most juicy turkey breast.
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.
What Kind of Turkey for Brining?
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
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.
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. You’re saving oven space by slow cooking the turkey, but it’s still liable to dry out if you leave it cooking for too long.
Whether you prefer breast meat, white mean, lean meat, or some of everything, the combination of brining and slow cooking should ensure this is the best turkey breast recipe you ever had.
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.
It’s easy to make this Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner with apple cider recipe, but don’t forget to let it rest after cooking – it helps make it perfectly juicy.
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.
I’m sure you will find this crock pot or slow cooker turkey breast recipe easy to prepare. Cooking this wonderful recipe 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!