If you are using a frozen turkey, defrost according to directions. For fresh turkey, no need to defrost!
In a large stockpot, combine
Apple Cider (16 cups)
Fresh Rosemary (4 sprigs)
Fresh Thyme (1 Tbsp)
Fresh Sage (1 Tbsp)
Garlic (5 cloves)
Kosher Salt (1 1/2 cups)
Brown Sugar (2 cups)
Black Peppercorns (3 Tbsp)
Bay Leaves (5)
Dried Cranberries (1/2 cup)
Juniper Berries (1 Tbsp)
, and strips of peel from the
Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the salt and sugar dissolve. Turn off heat and cover. Allow to cool completely, then chill for at least 2 hours.
Remove turkey from packaging and remove turkey neck and interior bag of tail and giblets (throw them away, or chill in refrigerator if you plan on using them to make giblet gravy). Rinse turkey in water.
Place uncooked turkey in brining bag or very large stock pot; pour brine over turkey, then
Water (16 cups)
a bit at a time, so that brine fills the cavity of the turkey and completely covers the turkey. Squeeze excess air out of brining bag and seal, or cover pot with a tight lid. Chill for 16 to 24 hours (the longer the better), turning the turkey every four hours or so.
When ready to roast turkey, remove turkey from brine. Submerge turkey in a pot or sink of fresh, cold water. Allow to sit in clean water for 15 minutes to remove excess salt. Discard brine.
Remove turkey from clean water and pat dry. Cook according to your normal roasting or smoking method.