Best Brined Roast Turkey

MAKE IT SHINE! ADD YOUR PHOTO
READY IN: 2hrs
SERVES: 12-16
UNITS: US

INGREDIENTS

Nutrition
Advertisement

DIRECTIONS

  • Brining: Remove giblet bag from turkey, along with any extra internal fat and pin feathers. Rinse well under cold tap water.
  • Combine sugar, salt and 1 gallon of water in a large bowl; stir until sugar and salt dissolve.
  • Add bay leaves, thyme, garlic, allspice berries and juniper berries.
  • Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (do not use bags made of recycled materials) and put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey.
  • Place turkey in bags, pour in brine and remaining 1 1/2 gallons water; there should be enough liquid to completely cover the bird.
  • Press out air in bags; tightly close each bag separately. Keep turkey cold with bags of ice, which will also help keep it submerged. Let brine for 12-24 hours.
  • Alternate method: Place turkey and brine in a pan large enough for bird to be completely submerged. Weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it submerged in brine. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours.
  • Air-dry: After brining, rinse the turkey and pat dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate, uncovered, 12 to 24 hours. Turn the bird over halfway through drying time.
  • Roasting (Convection): Preheat convection oven to 375°.
  • Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin; sprinkle skin and cavity with 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper.
  • Tuck wing tips under and tie legs together. Place bird breast-up, in a V- shaped roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Cover breast and top of thighs tightly with foil.
  • Roast for 45 minutes. Remove foil and baste with 1/2 cup turkey stock. Leave foil off.
  • Return turkey to oven. Baste with pan drippings every 20 minutes, adding more stock and butter as necessary, until internal thigh temperature reaches 165°. A 12-16-pound bird will cook in about 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.
  • Let turkey rest for 20 to 30 minutes before carving.
  • Roasting (Conventional Oven): Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over skin; sprinkle skin and cavity with 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper.
  • Tuck wing tips under, loosely truss legs and place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Tent breast with foil.
  • Put turkey in oven. To assure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate roasting pan 180° every 30 minutes while turkey is roasting. Roast for about 1 hour, remove foil and baste turkey with 1/2 cup stock.
  • Return to oven and roast, basting with pan drippings every 20 minutes, adding more stock and butter as necessary. Start checking internal temperature after about 1 hour of roasting time. If legs begin to get too brown, cover loosely with foil. Roast turkey until internal thigh temperature reaches 165°. Total roasting time should be about 2 to 2 3/4 hours.
  • Let bird rest for at least 20-30 minutes before carving.
Advertisement