*Read through all these instructions carefully to adequately prepare and budget your time- the effort is worth it - I promise -you will never cook a turkey any other way again!
1.Quick Thaw: Put frozen wrapped bird in a 5 gallon cooler with a drain spout. Place cooler in the bathtub and cover turkey with cold water. Drain and replace water with cold water every 2-3 hours to keep water under 40 degrees until thawed usually takes 8-10 hours. (If you don't have time to brine- buy a kosher turkey- it has already spent time in salt).
2. Brine Turkey: (This will make turkey moist when cooked) after bird is defrosted- clean cooler with soap & water and line with a large rinsed trash bag. Pour in a half a gallon of hot tap water, 2/3 cup sugar, and 1 lb. of Diamond crystal kosher salt OR 3 cups Morton's kosher salt. Stir to dissolve. Stir in 8 lbs of ice and 16 cups (128 oz) of vegetable broth. Unwrap turkey and remove anything inside- leave legs tied. Place bird in brine- brine should cover it (an inch of turkey sticking up above is ok) if turkey floats fill a large ziplock with water and position on top to sink it. Close lid and brine bird 8-12 hours- turning once if possible. keep brine at 40 degrees or below- check with thermometer. Cool water with freezer packs sealed in ziplocks.
3. Prepare Turkey: Remove one of the oven racks and put remaining one on the next to lowest position. Then preheat oven to 500 degrees. Remove turkey from brine and rinse with cold water, pat dry with paper towels. Stuff inside of bird loosely with chopped fresh herbs, onion, carrots, celery to infuse the bird with flavor and scent your kitchen. (Never use stuffing-it will ruin your bird- cook it separately in a dish)! Place bird breast side up on a V shaped rack in a roasting pan (or in two disposable ones together- if you don't have a V rack- make an aluminum foil snake about an inch thick and 3 feet long. Loop it into an oval spiral about 8-10". Set coil in pan and turkey on top of it- so turkey doesn't get soggy). Cut a piece of heavy duty foil large enough to be folded in half and still cover the turkey's breast. Lay on breast shiny side up and press to form breastplate. Remove it (keeping it's shape) and spray the underside with cooking spray and set aside. Now rub 1/2 a stick- 1 stick of butter in your hands (use rubber gloves if you want) and massage well into turkey.
4. Brown Turkey: Put turkey in oven uncovered neck-side first and breast up. Brown for 30 minutes. It should be nicely browned - if not give it 10 more minutes.
5. Cover & Cook Turkey: Remove bird and apply breastplate (This ensures that the breast will cook slower and not dry out while the dark meat is still getting cooked). Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Last- insert a probe thermometer (that connects to a digital base outside of the oven) poke it through foil into one of the turkey breasts and set temperature alarm to 161 degrees. (Turkey will continue to cook and elevate temp to 165 degrees while it rests). Put turkey in the oven. (NEVER baste the turkey- it does nothing but let the heat out of the oven and make it take longer to cook). If you keep the door closed, an 18 lb turkey should hit 161 degrees in 2- 2 1/2 hours. Make sure breast hits 161 degrees and thigh hits 180 degrees- and remove from oven.
6. Rest Turkey: Cover bird with roaster lid or foil and let the bird rest 30 minutes -do not skip this step or your turkey will be dry.
7. Show off your bird to guests and then carve!
Tip* Believe me- brining makes all the difference to the turkey but the only down side of it is that often, the drippings are few and very salty. So if you want gravy -mix drippings with 1 cup water, 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth and a cornstarch slurry -that will balance things. Bon appetit!
View line-by-line Nutrition Insights™: Discover which ingredients contribute the calories/sodium/etc.
|Serving Size: 1 Serving (397g)|
|Recipe Makes: 12 Servings|
|Calories from Fat: 80 (27%)|
|Amt Per Serving||% DV|
|Total Fat 8.9g||12 %|
|Saturated Fat 5.2g||26 %|
|Monounsaturated Fat 2.4g|
|Polyunsanturated Fat 0.7g|
|Cholesterol 20.2mg||6 %|
|Sodium 35.7mg||1 %|
|Potassium 514mg||14 %|
|Total Carbohydrate 59.2g||17 %|
|Dietary Fiber 10.3g||41 %|
|Sugars, other 48.8g|
|Protein 4.4g||6 %|
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Disclaimer: Nutrition facts are derived from linked ingredients (shown at left in colored bullets) and may or may not be complete. Always consult a licensed nutritionist or doctor if you have a nutrition-related medical condition.
Calories per serving: 299
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