Roast Turkey

Roast Turkey

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From Alton Brown's fantastic 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 perfectly. 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.

"Brining recipe and description was supreme.

Important note -- I know Alton Brown has previously said that "stuffing is evil". This is one of the very few areas where I part company with him -- clearly, stuffing is mandatory. I deviated from this recipe because I couldn't bear to skip the traditional bread stuffing, but used the brining and roasting technique completely as described, and can vouch for it. (In my case, the timing was exact and the bird came out so moist that several tablespoons of juice came out on my first cut. Beware!) Fantastic."

- stevemur

Top-ranked recipe named "Roast Turkey"

4.1 avg, 17 review(s) 76% would make again


Are you making this? 
16 pound frozen young turkey
1 cup Kosher salt
1/2 cup Light brown sugar
1 gallon Water
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1/2 tablespoon allspice berry
1 gallon Water
1 red apple
1/2 onion
1 Cinnamon
1 cup Water
4 sprigs rosemary
6 leaves sage
1/2 cup Canola Oil

Original recipe makes 12 Servings



1. Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stock pot and bring to a boil.

2. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.

3. Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5 gallon bucket.

4. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours.

5. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

6. A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees.

7. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

8. Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water.

9. Discard brine.

10. Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels.

11. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage.

12. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.

13. Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500F for 30 minutes.

14. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F.

15. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F.

16. A 14-16 pound bird should require a total of 2-2 1/2 hours of roasting.

17. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.


Added on Award Medal
Verified by stevemur

Alton Brown thinks stuffing is evil, but I don't. I did use the brining technique described here, but obviously skipped the aromatics and went with stuffing. Sorry Alton, I still absolutely love your show! photo by stevemur stevemur

photo by stevemur stevemur

photo by mermaiden mermaiden

photo by dreghost415 dreghost415

photo by dreghost415 dreghost415

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Calories Per Serving: 851 Get detailed nutrition information, including line-by-line nutrition insights?  Try BigOven Pro for Free for 14 days!

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Bigwlong 4 months ago
From the Food Network website Ingredients 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey For the brine: 1 cup kosher salt 1/2 cup light brown sugar 1 gallon vegetable stock 1 tablespoon black peppercorns 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger 1 gallon heavily iced water For the aromatics: 1 red apple, sliced 1/2 onion, sliced 1 cinnamon stick 1 cup water 4 sprigs rosemary 6 leaves sage Canola oil
DoubleChin 5 months ago
This is NOT the original recipe, and it is a shame it comes up first on the search for it. Brine, by definition needs SALT, to be, well, brine. There is a scientific reason for the salt and water to be in the exact measurements as stated in the original recipe. The stock and allspice berries, peppercorns, etc should not have been omitted and called Good Eats Roast Turkey. And NEVER STUFF A TURKEY! Did the OP ever watch the episode? Stuffing slows down cooking, breeds bacteria and the 'aromatics' listed wouldn't have anywhere to be if there was nasty stuffing in the cavity! Go to the Food Network and get the recipe.
cheryldugger 1 year ago
this isn't the complete Alton Brown recipe for Thanksgiving turkey.... I'm not sure how it would turn out but the original is amazing.... for the original recipe goto Food and search for Turkey under Alton Brown... my dad is a big fan of the original recipe and he is normally not a turkey person... I was always told do it right or don't do it all and this recipe needs every ingredient in my opinion to work...
heatherteeter 1 year ago
This was my first time cooking a turkey, I made it for my husband when he was home for R&R... (Thanksgiving is his favorite meal) He said it was better than his moms! That's the highest of compliments!
Fabfanfine 2 years ago
jimjohnson 2 years ago
Hi I'm across the pond in the UK found this Recipe last year and gave it a try. FANTASTIC ! just doing now for this year too ! I recommend it 1000% thanks and Merry Christmas :)
bez1975 2 years ago
Finally broke down and made this for thanksgiving this year After discussing it forge last few years - absolutely incredible! Best turkey I've ever eaten.
Davidsond 2 years ago
Well I found the recipe that AB used and his brine called for vegetable stock as well, was that purposely omitted? And it said to brine for 8 to 16 hours, this recipe says 6. But either way sounds good and can't wait to try
Misa28 2 years ago
Can you do this to a turkey breast or does it HAVE to be a whole turkey?
Hollynde 2 years ago
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