158 Reviews

I made this for Christmas dinner. I had a 13lb turkey but followed the directions for the 16lb bird figuring that the 3lbs wouldn't make much difference.The brining and first couple of steps worked out perfectly but I'm not sure what happened after that. I roasted the bird until the probe thermometer said that it was at 161 degrees. (About two and a half maybe 3 hours) I allowed it to sit for about 20 minutes and when we cut into it, it was still pink and not fully cooked. At that point the BF freaked out thinking he was gonna get some kind of food poisoning, so he put it back in the oven for another hour or so and wouldnn't let me take it out until HE pronouced it cooked. (His mother kept saying 'you have to cook it to 180 degrees,' so I am sure you get the idea) When I finally got a piece of it, I wasn't overly wowed by any great flavor but I can say that after all that poor turkey had been through, it wasn't dried out as much as one would expect it to be. That tells me that next year, after some adjustments, this recipe will in fact be, Good Eats!

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Malriah January 04, 2004

I chose this brine for my turkey because it looked both delicious and uncomplicated with basic ingredients. I actually marinated the bird for a total of 12 hours, 6 on each side in a large roasting pan lined with a clean white garbage bag without any chemicals. I enjoyed the use of the aromatics which gave a distinct sweet smell to the meat. The white meal sliced up well, without being dry or shredded. It was a perfectly delicious turkey without a lot of fuss or expensive ingredients. I highly recommend this recipe and thank you for posting it!

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Geema December 29, 2003

I chose to do this bird for MY FIRST TURKEY. WOW! It turned out so good for Thanksgiving I was asked to do it for Christmas! And again it was pure perfection!Even family members who don't like turkey asked for the recipe!

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JeriHines December 26, 2003

I made this for Thanksgiving. It was beautifully brown, super moist and juicy. My family said this was the best turkey they had ever had. I am keeping this one!!

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tara portee November 29, 2003

This was the best turkey I have ever tasted. I made this for Turkey Day yesterday, and my family couldn't stop talking about how juicy it was. I will never roast a turkey again without brining it first. MANY THANKS!!!

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Dee in Texas November 27, 2003

Alton is the MAN!! I miss his Good Eats, but do watch his old episodes on NetFlix.<br/><br/>I adapted Alton's recipe and use pickling salt, since it dissolves better in water. I also use water instead of broth. In addition, I do brine over night, use different seasonings (like any other cook has the right to), stuff the cavities with onions, but I smoke the turkey low at 200 degrees and, most important, with the breast down over a pan of the brine to keep the heat moist. At 200 degrees, it takes a 20# bird about 6 hours, so get up early!! However, the work and wait is worth it; the most delicious turkey you can ask for!! And don't let the 161 degrees scare you, the carry-over will take it higher and today's birds are cleaner than before.<br/><br/>The only thing I will do differently is smoke with the breast up for the first 1-2 hours for better smoke flavor in the breast.<br/><br/>Don't restrict yourselves to just turkey. I brine pork, beef, poultry, and it is excellent for venison; my wife even ate it. The brine time is about 1 hour per pound. I did do a chicken over night and my son and I had to drink a gallon of water after our 2-bite dinner. FUNNY!!

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Blackhawkmunn December 08, 2014

It's been almost a year since I last made this recipe, but it deserves to be praised!<br/><br/>Where I live (New Zealand), turkey is very, very uncommon. I didn't realize that when I moved here, and miss it terribly. You can purchase it during Christmas time, at about $80NZD for an approximately 6-7lb bird--very expensive. After a few years of roast chicken or ham for Christmas lunch, I splurged on an $85 bird and followed this recipe to a T. I invited my kiwi in-laws over for dinner, and neither of my kiwi step-kids had ever had turkey. It was a *huge* hit!! This will be our treat from now on! <br/><br/>Follow the recipe as explained and I doubt you'll regret it!

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Sierrasnw August 14, 2014

Great recipe. Love Alton's recipes so this was a no brainer when I had to cook my first Thanksgiving dinner in 15 years. It was a hit.

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buddy3229 July 17, 2014

This is my go to recipe for turkey. I've probably made this 5 times since I found the recipe and it's awesome each and every time. I'd give more stars if I could. It was juicy and it was tasty! What more could you ask for on Christmas from a Turkey. I couldn't find allspice berries so I omitted them and couldn't find any vegetable stock so I used chicken. It still worked out wonderfully and there's not much left now. There won't be any after tomorrow I'm sure. Thank you for posting this wonderful recipe!<br/><br/>Update: I found the vegetable stock and the allspice berries, and it made it better. If you don't brine the turkey it's not going to be anywhere near as good, so make sure that you do it. I know cinnamon, an apple, half an onion, sage, and rosemary sound really strange. However, it is the most amazing turkey you'll ever have! Follow the directions exactly. You will not regret it. <br/><br/>The only time this hasn't worked out so well was last Thanksgiving. I was using an unfamiliar gas oven at a rented cabin, and apparently the bottom of the oven didn't get hot enough. I pulled the turkey out and it had to be flipped and cooked for another hour or so. It was still a good turkey though.

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Stephanie Rex's Wife December 07, 2013

My husband Rick & I made this last year and it was the best turkey ever! We brined it in a clean cooler over night. This was the first time I have had white meat that was juicy. Take the time to do this you will not be sorry! I did use regular ginger because the store didn't have candied and think that was even better.

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Teena V November 19, 2013
Good Eats Roast Turkey