158 Reviews

This year was the first year I ever had to cook a turkey all by my lonesome— and I can't tell you enough how nervous I was about the big day. I purchased the biggest (and last in the grocery store) bird I have ever seen, weighting in at 25lbs and attacked the recipe with high expectation and slight hesitation. I did some slight alterations: taking in account of the large size, I multiplied the recipe by .5 / added carrots & celery to the aromatics & eliminated the sage. I brined one side of the bird for 6.5 hours and the other side for 14 hours. (I had no intentions of bringing it for so long but I had a one too many thanksgiving-eve cocktails and well, simply didn't remember to remove the bird from the brine till the next morning.) I rinsed & dried the bird for 4.5 hour before I put it in the oven. I encountered a lot ( A LOT!!) of smoke after the first hour & half. The juices from the bird boiled over the roasting pan and onto the bottom of the stove causing all the smoke. The end result was delicious! The extra hours in the brine didn't negatively affect the bird at all. Cooked bird at 400 for 30 minutes, 350 for 3hrs 20 min. I would quickly recommend this recipe to anyone.

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Emily Darlin November 27, 2009

Love this recipe! It was my very first brine, and I have to say, I am never going back! Didn't brown as much as I would have liked, but my oven runs a tad low. Next time, a little longer at 500.

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NewChef_Mary November 27, 2009

My turkey turned out moist and juicy. best turkey I've ever had. Will be using this method year after year.

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msnikki8701 November 27, 2009

This recipe is AWESOME! I have made our thanksgiving turkey with this recipe for the past 3 years and my family loves it! My husband is not a big fan of turkey or white meat, but the turkey comes out so tender and juicy that my husband absolutely loves it!

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Mrs Cook November 24, 2009

Made this for Canadian thanksgiving last month and it turned out BEYOND incredible. I never made a turkey before and my guests would have never guessed that. We sliced the top off of a 5 gallon water cooler bottle, filled that with the chilled brine and the turkey and then put that into a cooler. We marinated for 24 hours, turning once. SO worth the effort. Moistest meat ever! Thanks for the recipe!!

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Karen in Toronto November 13, 2009

This is the recipe I have used for the last several years, brining does make all the difference. Its definitely worth the extra effort. Just beware, plan accordingly, everything must be backed up to allow for this process, thawing, making the brine, which must be cooled properly, etc. Read recipe well before beginning. Also, I suggested this to a co-worker with limited cooking experience and she threw her brine away becuase it did not taste good. It is NOT supposed to taste good!!! Yikes!

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thead2 November 09, 2009

Brining is absolutely the best way to ensure a moist turkey. I use this recipe as a guide and adjust the seasonings - although I have used this recipe. Alton Brown is a very good resource for learning cooking techniques. His "City Ham" recipe is another favorite of mine that I make around Christmas time.

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Amy in Washington October 30, 2009

I used this method the first year I was in charge of the Thanksgiving turkey. My mom and step dad were, er, skeptical, let's say, thinking I would give them all food poisoning by leaving the turkey sitting around in the brine for all those hours (not convinced that the salt would help preserve it), then they were worried I hadn't started cooking the turkey early enough since turkey supposedly should be started at like 9 am or something so it can cook ALL DAY, and then I was slightly sabotauged when "someone" turned my 500 degree oven down while the turkey was browning thinking I must have turned the oven up that high by accident and that I would burn the turkey (come to think of it, wasn't the "plot" of this episode about Alton's fictional relatives meddling in his turkey cooking?). Anyway, after all that, the turkey was the best my folks had ever had, and from then on, err, I had to always make the turkey for thanksgiving. Grr. Oh well, but they quit bugging me about doing it wrong.

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Neohippie October 28, 2009

been using this recipe for over 7 years now, after watching the good eats episode, for thanksgiving and christmas every year! i always prepare the brine the night before and put the bird in around 11 or midnight. moist and perfect bird every time. i don't think i've ever followed the recipe for the brine exactly though, i'm always missing something or subbing something else in - but always make sure you do include all the salt. thanks for posting!

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endeavour October 20, 2009
Good Eats Roast Turkey