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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Butter, Maple, and Orange Juice Turkey Marinade

Ah, my first turkey.

They say you always remember your first, right? :P

Butter, Maple, Orange Juice Turkey Marinade 1

The butter, maple, and orange juice turkey marinade went with the Orange Juice Brown Sugar Turkey Brine, not that you necessarily have to pair it that way. Use my preferred Salt Rub and Butter Turkey Dry Brine if you wish.

Constant basting isn't really necessary. Maybe do it every 45 minutes or so. It's really near the end of the cooking time that the marinade will thicken up and then you'll want to pour the marinade over the turkey so that the flavor kicks in.

Butter, Maple, Orange Juice Turkey Marinade 2

Butter, Maple, and Orange Juice Turkey Marinade

For an about 13-lb turkey, you'll need:

1/2 cup butter (one stick)
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup maple syrup (I prefer Grade B as the maple flavor is stronger. Don't substitute with pancake syrup. Real, 100% maple syrup is the best stuff.)

In a pan at medium heat, melt 1/2 cup butter into 1/2 cup orange juice. Add 1/4 cup maple syrup.


When the butter is melted, turn the heat down to medium-low and let simmer for 5 minutes for the marinade to thicken and meld.

Let it cool down in the fridge until the marinade is solid again. The butter and orange juice will separate, but don't worry, enough of the orange juice will have flavored the butter that it'll flavor the turkey. Rub the butter between the pockets of skin and meat and all over the outside of the turkey. Pour the remaining orange juice mixture in between the pockets and over the skin.

Bake as normal, 425 degrees breast-side down for half an hour to 45 minutes until that side is golden. Flip and bake breast-side up at 350 degrees for three or four hours until the turkey is done.

Baste about every 45 minutes or so, making sure to liberally spoon the marinade over the turkey during the last 45 minutes of cooking.


My other turkey marinade recipe:
Rosemary Olive Oil Turkey Marinade

1 year ago today, Vegetarian Lasagna with Broccoli, Kale, and Zucchini.
2 years ago today, Happy Holidays or when I put up my tree or granny square afghan.
3 years ago today, the best New England clam chowder recipe ever.


  1. sounds good, but wait... you already made and ate your turkey? it's the day before t-day.

  2. You have an amazing range of skills. This sounds delicious. Have a wonderful holiday.

  3. Justin,
    This was my first turkey in 2005. I gave my old oj/brown sugar brine recipe its own post, and this was the accompanying marinade.

    Aww, you're too sweet. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

  4. I have used your orange juice brine for the last couple of years. I had unexpected company one year and was told it was the best turkey they ever had. Thank you : ) Maybe I will try the red wine apple juice brine sometime.

  5. Kirsten,
    That's so nice to hear. The red wine apple brine is my least favorite? Actually, the only thing I do anymore is the dry brine. So much easier and way more flavorful.


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