Prep 24 hrs
Cook 4 hrs
This is a VERY juicy turkey! It is so delicious, but a little salty, so if you can't have, or don't like salt then I would reduce the amount of use more water. This turkey comes out VERY tender. Most turkeys that you buy at the grocery store have been "enhanced" with a sodium solution, which means it is already kind of salty. I would reduce the amount of salt to 1 cup instead of four unless you are using a turkey that has not been treated with a sodium solution.
For the brine
- 4 cups coarse salt (or 1 cup when using a sodium enhanced turkey)
- 5 cups sugar
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut up
- 2 stalks celery, cut up
- 2 onions, cut up
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 head garlic, cut up (or 3 tbsp jarred garlic)
- 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon clove
- 2 teaspoons whole allspice
- 8 cups water
- 18 -20 lbs turkey (I used a breast and it was delicious)
- prepared stuffing (optional)
for spice butter
- 1 cup softened unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- To make the brine-- In a large stockpot combine first 13 ingredients and bring to boil.
- Remove from heat and allow to cool COMPLETELY.
- This can be made a day in advance.
- Rinse turkey and pat dry.
- Place in a large pot, or even a plastic tub big enough to hold turkey, but small enough to fit in your refrigerator.
- Add brine and enough water to cover.
- Cover container and allow to marinate overnight.
- Remove turkey from the brine and drain.
- Make spice butter by combining ingredients and mixing well.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Stuff turkey (if desired).
- Rub turkey with spice butter and place in roasting pan.
- Roast for 30 minutes then reduce heat to 390 degrees.
- Rotate pan every 30 minutes, baste as needed until the temperature reaches 180 degrees in the thigh (or if you used a breast, 160 degrees).
- If needed cover areas with foil to prevent overbrowning.
- Allow to rest 30 minutes before carving.
- This is a VERY juicy turkey recipe (you may need goggles while you cut it... haha).