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How to Make Brined Oven Roasted Turkey

A Brined Oven Roasted Turkey is the juiciest showstopper on your holiday table.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Brined Oven Roasted Turkey
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Chill Time 8 hours
Author Ali Randall

Ingredients

For the Brine

  • 1 turkey
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons allspice berries
  • Water
  • 3 cups ice

For the Turkey Broth

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups turkey stock
  • 1 onion
  • 2 ribs celery
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 10 whole peppercorns
  • Turkey neck and giblets

For the Turkey

  • 1 15 pound turkey
  • 1/2 apple, quartered
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/4 stick butter, melted
  • Kosher salt & pepper
  • Fresh or dried sage, thyme, rosemary & a handful of parsley

Instructions

For the Brine

  • Line a wine box with a large oven cooking bag. Use a cooler for extra support if needed. Prepare the fresh (not frozen) turkey by removing it from its packaging and setting aside the neck and giblets from inside the cavity of the turkey. On the stove top, boil two cups of water, salt, sugar, cinnamon stick and bay leaves until the salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove the brine from the heat and add 4 cups of cold water.
  • Place the turkey in the cooking bag and add the brine and enough water to cover the bird. Add a layer of ice cubes, about 3 cups. Tie up the cooking bag. Place the turkey outside overnight if the temperature is between 30 and 35°F.
  • Otherwise use the crisper drawer of your refrigerator instead of the wine box. Let the turkey marinate for at least 10 hours or overnight. Once the turkey is done brining, rinse the bird and pat dry with a few paper towels and place it in a roasting pan.

For the Turkey Broth

  • Add all the ingredients to a 2 quart saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat to low, and let the stock simmer for about an hour. Strain the stock and remove the solids, saving the liquid and the chopped meat from the neck.

For the Turkey

  • Adjust your oven racks accordingly and preheat your oven to 350°F. Fill the cavity of your turkey with sliced onion, fresh parsley and apple quarters. Melt a quarter stick of butter and brush the top of your bird using a pastry brush. Sprinkle dried sage, thyme, rosemary, kosher salt and fresh ground pepper over the bird and even tuck a few fresh herbs under the skin.
  • Place your turkey in the oven and cook accordingly based on the size your turkey. A 20-pound turkey will take 3.5 hours in a convection oven or 4 hours in a standard oven. Also, if your turkey has an instant popper, it's a pretty good indication your turkey is done if the popper has popped.
  • I always tent the top of the turkey with foil once it has browned for about an hour. Always check the temperature of your turkey with a thermometer in the deepest part of the thigh. The temperature should register at 160°F. Let the turkey rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving. It will continue to cook while resting.

Notes

  • Choose a large enough turkey to feed your family leftovers, about 1 pound per person.
  • Make sure you have a large enough pan to roast the turkey.
  • Save the turkey drippings/stock to make your gravy.
  • Do not use a pre-seasoned turkey or self basting turkey otherwise it may result in an overly salty turkey.
 
Brine Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook time: 5 mins | Total time: 10 hour | Yield: 1 turkey
Broth Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 1 hour | Total time: 1 hour 10 mins | Yield: 3 cups
Turkey Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 4 hour | Total time: 4 hour 10 mins | Yield: 1 turkey