Prep 8 hrs
Cook 2 hrs
My dad has made this turkey for the past 3 years at Thanksgiving. This is my 1st Thanksgiving at home and I plan on doing it as well. The meat comes out completely juicy and its just amazing!!
- 15 lbs turkey (not self Basting or kosher)
- 2 cups table salt (do not substitute equal amounts of kosher salt)
- 2 gallons icy cold water (*)
- 4 cups brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup dried rosemary leaves
- 1⁄2 cup dried thyme, leaves
- 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 carrot, peeled & cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch chunks
- 4 -6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- as needed fresh fruit (to garnish)
- Rinse turkey in cool water.
- In a very large clean container (non-corrosive pan or stockpot such as stainless steel or glass or a food-grade plastic container), mix salt and water together until salt dissolves. Stir in brown sugar and spices, mix well until sugar dissolves.
- Totally submerge poultry in solution and store, covered, in refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to 8 hours. Since brining does not preserve meat, the turkey must be kept below 40 degrees F throughout the entire brining process. Ice packs may also be used to keep turkey at a safe temperature of below 40°F.
- Remove turkey from brine. Discard brine. Thoroughly rinse turkey under a slow stream of cool water, rubbing gently to release salt and sugar, both inside and out. Pat skin and both interior cavities dry.
- * NOTE: The ratio of water to salt is appropriate for a 15-pound turkey. If a larger or smaller turkey is brined, please calculate accordingly.
- * *NOTE: Other combinations of herbs may be added including 6-8 bay leaves, 3 cloves garlic and 2 teaspoons black peppercorns. Or a spicy flavor may be achieved by the addition of 1 cup small dried red chile peppers.
- In the cavity of turkey, place onion, carrot and celery.
- Brush turkey with melted butter.
- Roast turkey, breast side down, in a preheated 325 degree F oven for 2 hours. During this time, baste legs and back twice with melted butter.
- Remove turkey from oven and protecting your hands, grasp turkey with several layers of clean paper towels at both ends, and turn turkey, breast side up.
- Return turkey to oven and continue to roast, basting twice with pan dripping. Continue to roast until internal temperature reaches 170°F in the breast and 180°F in the thigh. NOTE: A brined turkey cooks slightly faster than an unbrined turkey, so check the internal temperature frequently.
- Remove turkey from the oven and allow to stand for 20 minutes before carving.
- Transfer to a platter and garnish with fresh fruit.
I've brined and smoked/roasted turkey for over 30 years. While I'm sure this is a good recipe, I would never use table salt to brine meat. You really need to use non-iodized salt the chemical reaction to the meat fiber is different without the iodine and safer.<br/>Also would brine for 24 hours, rinse well, bag and set in cold for another 24 hours to let the salt and flavors that is left in the meat to equalize throughout the bird.<br/>Never use metal bowls/utensils for brining, food grade plastic only, stoneware or wood.<br/>Takes longer but I think you will find this much better and safer. 8 hours brining is not enough to safely brine a large bird.<br/>Also if you aren't sure of how much salt to add to water. Take an uncooked egg, when the egg floats in the brine then you have enough salt in the water or what ever liquid you use. This is helpful when using flavored liquid considering some salt may be in the liquid to begin with.
Great recipe for a roasted chicken! We loved this recipe at Thanksgiving last year and wanted to try it with a chicken. (A turkey is too much for my family.) I just halved the recipe and brined a 6 lb. chicken and it worked great. This recipe also makes the best gravy. I'm glad i found another way to use this recipe so we don't have to wait for Thanksgiving :).
I made it this way once and it was definitely delicious but I didn't notice a HUGE difference in how I usually prepare it.