Brined, High-Roast Turkey

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    I've been making my turkey for years now using a method from the Nov/Dec 2001 issue of Cook's Illustrated Magazine. I only made the stuffing/dressing once; it was OK but it made too much and although I like stuffing, I don't like it THAT much. The recipe was "designed" with the stuffing to help avoid smoke issues because the turkey is cooked at such a high temperature, I must admit to some smoke issues, but I usually put a little water in the pan underneath and that seems to help. Plus I have the fan turned on at "high"....noisy, but effective. Below is the recipe how I do it (minus the stuffing), to view the turkey plus stuffing version click here


    2 cups kosher salt or 1 cup table salt
    1 cup sugar
    1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds gross weight), rinsed thoroughly; giblets, neck, and tailpiece removed and reserved for gravy (recipe follows), and turkey butterflied
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

    1. To brine the turkey: Dissolve salt and sugar in 2 gallons cold water in large stockpot or clean bucket. Add turkey and refrigerate or set in very cool spot (not more than 40 degrees) for 8 hours.

    2. To prepare turkey for roasting: Set slotted broiler pan top on top of roasting pan Remove turkey from brine and rinse well under cool running water. Position turkey on broiler pan top; thoroughly pat surface of turkey dry with paper towels. Refrigerate turkey 8 to 24 hours.

    3. To roast turkey: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Drain any water that may have accumulated under the turkey. Brush turkey with melted butter. Place entire assembly with turkey in oven and roast until turkey skin is crisp and deep brown and instant-read thermometer reads 165 degrees when inserted in thickest part of breast and 175 degrees in thickest part of thigh, 80 to 100 minutes, rotating pan from front to back after 40 minutes. At some point, if it is too smoky, you may want to try adding some water to the bottom of the pan; you may have to do so more than once.

    4. Transfer broiler pan top with turkey to cutting board, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 20 minutes. Carve turkey and serve.

    cherokee_1956, Tatoum :*, and 21 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 5 more comments

    1. thumbbook 67 months ago | reply

      Hi, Great shot here. I'm with the group Foodista and I would like to invite you to join our group and share this amazing photo with us. Please feel free to post all your food pictures, your pictures are fantastic!

      Thanks so much

    2. Jerry Lee Que IV [deleted] 67 months ago | reply

      Hi, I'm an admin for a group called BBQ, Grilled, Smoked and Campfire Cooking, and we'd love to have this added to the group!

    3. DarkAngelDay 29 months ago | reply

      Look so delicious!

    4. BlueisCoool 29 months ago | reply

      What a delicious looking turkey - Happy Holidays !

    5. jupiterg 29 months ago | reply

      Yum. Our house smells great with everything cooking and baking. Hpoe ours turns out this pretty. Thanks of the recipe, I habe marked this as a favorite for Christmas.

    6. MBH Pa 29 months ago | reply

      Can't wait to dig in to the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving

    7. Lucas Gabellini-Fava 29 months ago | reply

      Oh my gosh :) So yummy!

    8. Liamfm . 29 months ago | reply

      cross your legs and hope to die !

    9. Peterzpham 29 months ago | reply

      Nice Image.! Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours.

    10. Dagmar :-) 29 months ago | reply

      -- Mmmmm like magic!
      -- Please share it with us in:
      invite code by Adriënne, on Flickr
      -- Magic in the kitchen P1-C2
      -- Welcome and enjoy!

      Seen on ( ?² )

    11. Tootallval 29 months ago | reply

      Now that is a crisp looking Turkey!!

    12. Mickmac37 29 months ago | reply

      its burnt so ya recipe is crap

    13. husain_jakaria 29 months ago | reply

      so nice so delicious

    14. retnos2602 29 months ago | reply

      Yum Yum Yum!!!

    15. afortiorama 29 months ago | reply

      looks delicious! :)

    16. madebyjulie 29 months ago | reply

      poor creatures. 40 million of them killed after living short, miserable lives. only to become a grotesque charred centerpieces.... sad.

    17. Lily White 29 months ago | reply

      Thanks for all the kind comments. My apologies that the link above (instructions for the dressing) is broken. I guess the magazine took it down. I can send it to anyone who likes if you send me a private email message. I should also add, that since posting this a couple of years ago, I now use a dry-brine method (as opposed to this wet-brine). This one is still good, but I find the dry-brine a bit easier. It takes longer though and I don't hack out the backbone either. Again, feel free to email me if you'd like directions for the method I currently use.

    18. mag3737 29 months ago | reply
      New scene.
      Newman is seated at the counter at Monks, mumbling to himself.
      Newman: Butter. Kramer. Butter. Kramer.
      The waitress brings a roasted turkey out on a tray. Newman hallucinates
      Kramer's head on the turkey.
      Kramer/turkey (waving wing): Hey buddy.
      Newman screams and runs out of Monks.

      Congrats on the flickr blog!

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