By Gay Gilmore on July 04, 2001
Photo by IngridH
Photo by IngridH
"from Alton Brown's show. Brining the bird is the key to moist meat. Made this again this year, only brined in just water instead of stock to save some dough. Again, the bird turned out perfect. Growing up, I hated white meat because it was always dry and grinding on your teeth ;-), now I love white meat. Cook time includes the brining time."
Serving Size: 1 (745 g)
Servings Per Recipe: 16
"Cooked up my last turkey this way--used everything exactly per recipe except didn't have allspice berries. The meat was tender and moist and not the slightest bit salty. A(lton showed the science behind why the salt isn't absorbed into the meat, but I don't remember the specifics.) I'm a brining convert!"
"Although I use a different brine, there is no question that I will not ever roast a turkey without brining. Those who haven't tried it owe it to yourself to give it a shot. You will not be able to go back."
"Great recipe!!! I'll never be able to go back to an unbrined turkey."
""More work, but more better! Juicy meat, crispy skin, and complex, subtle flavors. Also BEAUTIFUL coming out of the oven! My boyfriend thought I had someone over because I couldn't quit ooh-ing and aaah-ing! I'd never do it differently... -- posted Apr 2, 2003, 2 members found this helpful" Updated 11/27/04 - This is a lot of work and SO worth it! I cooked the turkey for the first time for my family and my BF's (the latter family is used to dining at very nice holiday buffets). I brined for 24 hours, and let sit in an empty pot to air dry for another 12 (saves a few paper towel rolls). I depended on a probe, and when it read 161 at the breast and 175 at the thigh, I removed it from the oven. My 17 pound bird only roasted for 2 hours to reach these temps. My mom raved, and my BF's stoic father said mid-feast, "This is the best turkey I have ever had." BF summed it up very well: "Moistest white meat in the world, but a little flavorless in comparison to the dark meat, which is has great flavor (from the aromatics)." Next year, I may rub a salt-garlic-rosemary paste under the breast skin. PLEASE TRY THIS RECIPE. You won’t be sorry. "
"i made this turkey when this episode first came on. the brining makes it do juicy, i never knew it was so easy to make turkey. try it, it is eaiser than it sounds! thanks for posting!"
"This is the ONLY way to make turkey...it is wonderful!! So moist and juicy, I had the MOST compliments ever on my turkey this year!! Thanks so much!"
"This was excellent. I didn't have the people to use a whole turkey, but I wanted to try this. So I halved the recipe and used a chicken. What flavor! And moisture! Thanks!!! I'm a brine convert, now!"
"Brining is the only way to go! We've been making this recipe for years now and we would never have a turkey any other way. I too, on occasion have done the brine in water without the vegetable stock and it was just fine. I think the stock adds a little more flavor but plain water will suffice in a pinch. I'm glad to see you posted this Gay, I'm submitting a photo in gratitude. Thanks again."
"I'm back, as I promised, and I "must" join the chorus that will never go back to the old ways! The turkey was moist, tender, juicy, and I was proud to serve it for Thanksgiving.. I may try different seasonings from time to time, but the brining method will be a standard from now on. Thanks, Gay!"
"This is the best turkey you will ever have! It is SO moist. I made it for my family last Christmas and my brothers all told me they never knew white meat could actually be good! My husband and I made this 3 times last holiday season...we kept inviting different friends over to try it out. It is truly amazing!"
"Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey recipe and technique is the defacto method for preparing turkey for our Thanksgiving celebration weekend since 2008. We hadn't made turkey in the past because neither my husband nor I were fans of the bird. We clearly remembered Turkeys-past from our childhood, and the one personal attempt at preparing turkey, which were flavorless, undercooked dark meat, overcooked white meat, etc.
Our children insisted that they wanted turkey on the menu in 2008, and we decided to give it a try. We searched through several online recipe collections and cookbooks before settling on this recipe.
I think one of the secrets to our success has been the fact that we purchased a FRESH, organic, free-range turkey from a local Amish community farm, and used the freshest ingredients we could find to prepare the brining solution. We are converts, and ABSOLUTELY HAVE NO REGRETS; this is the best recipe and technique for turkey."
"I used this recipe last year, and realized I never got around to reviewing it. I will say first that the procedure was great. It produced a perfect, moist turkey with crispy skin, and meat that stayed juicy even when used for leftovers. However, that being said, I really didn't like the flavor. The taste of allspice and cinnamon came through, and it just didn't seem to go well. Turkey tasting like allspice just didn't feel or taste right, and it was also a bit of overkill with the sweet side dishes like sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc. There wasn't enough contrast, and traditional gravy didn't even seem to go all that great with it. I do plan to brine again, and again, and again. But this time I will look for a different blend of herbs and aromatics that would be more savory and not include the sweeter spices like allspice and cinnamon."
"I have been using Alton's recipe for 6 yrs now and everyone always wants to make sure I'm "cookin the turkey just like last year"!! I follow the directions to the letter and every year we get a delicious bird. Brining is the only way to go for a moist turkey!! And don't be afraid of cooking at 500 degrees for the first 30 min. You won't be sorry!!!"
"LOVE THIS RECIPE! I've used this recipe a few times for Thanksgiving dinner. Being relatively new to making Thanksgiving feasts, this recipe results in the tastiest turkey without being too complicated. Just make sure you give yourself enough time for the bringing process. If you don't have enough room to refrigerate & you live in an area that's cool enough - put it in a cooler outside. LOVE LOVE LOVE!"
"Yummy flavor & super moist!! We just roasted a 12 pound turkey in just over an hour! After a quick turkey & watercress sandwich to test it, we cut it into quarters, sealed it up with the FoodSaver and froze the packages of delectible turkey tidbits for quick dinners."
"I was very nervous about making this turkey since I'm not really much of a cook. I'm still a novice but I really wanted to make something extra special for my hubby and parents. The turkey was very moist. My father, a very picky person, was very pleased with the turkey. I don't think I'll ever use another recipe for Thanksgiving."
"I have made this several times and everyone raves about how good it is!"
"Awesome!!!! I can't believe how incredibly moist it was. All my dinner guests raved about it! Every year I try a new turkey recipe because I am never satisfied...but after 11 Thanksgivings and 11 different turkey recipes, my search is over! I will be making this turkey from now on. I followed the recipe exactly but substituted ground allspice for the berries and used a home depot 5 gallon bucket to brine my 17 lb turkey in. Then I set the bucket in an ice chest filled 1/2 way full with ice. It was easy and so incredibly flavorful!"
"I used a modified version of this recipe and it was fantastic! I added beer to the brine, and made a roasted garlic herb butter to rub under and on the skin of the bird. I followed the roasting instructions and it got done earlier than planned, but was still amazingly moist after an hour and a half of resting under tinfoil. My family was impressed, this is my official Thanksgiving bird recipe!"
"Our first time brining and defintely not our last. We followed the recipe but had to substitute candied ginger for fresh grated ginger and allspice berries to allspice power. We had a 20lb turkey and brined in a cooler for 7 hours turning half way through. We then dried it off and left it overnight in the fridge to air dry which produced a very crispy skin. It came out of the oven after 3 3/4 hours and was tented for 1/2 hour. The breast was amazing it was so moist, the legs were cooked but it wasn't quite done. There was some pink in the juices so I'll cook it longer next time. I can't wait to try it again at Christmas. Thanks for posting this recipe Gay it's the best."