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Alton Brown Turkey Brine and Good Eats Roast Turkey image

Alton Brown's turkey brine recipe from Good Eats will give you a flavorful Thanksgiving turkey with juicy white and dark meat.

Provided by Alton Brown

Categories     Thanksgiving     Turkey     Poultry     Christmas     Fall     Christmas Eve     Winter

Yield At least 10-12 servings

Number Of Ingredients 17

For Turkey Brine
One 14-16-pound frozen natural, young turkey
1 gallon vegetable broth (homemade or canned)
1 cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1½ teaspoons allspice berries
1½ tablespoons candied ginger, chopped
1 gallon H2O, iced
For Roasting
1 red apple, quartered
½ onion, quartered
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup H20
4 sprigs rosemary
6 sage leaves
Canola oil


  • Two to three days before roasting, thaw the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38° F, tops.
  • To make the turkey brine: Combine the broth, salt, sugar, peppercorns, allspice, and finger in a large stockpot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve. Remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate the brine.
  • The eve before roasting, combine the brine and the iced water in a cooler. Place the thawed turkey (guts, neck, and whatnot removed) breast side down in the brine. Seal up the cooler and use it as an ottoman. Target bring time: 12 hours; flip the bird once about halfway through.
  • On roasting day: Heat the oven to 500°F. Remove the bird from the brine and rinse inside and out. Discard brine.
  • Place the bird on a roasting rack and place inside a roasting pan. Pat the bird dry (inside and out) with paper towels.
  • Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon, and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add to the turkey's cavity, along with the rosemary and sage. Truss, if you like.
  • Lightly coat the bird with canola oil. Roast the bird on the lowest rack of the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Insert a probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350°F.
  • Roast until the thermometer registers 155°F, about 2½ hours.
  • Remove from the oven, cover closely with aluminum foil, and let rest for a least 15 minutes before carving.

Top Asked Questions

How to prep a perfect turkey with Alton Brown?
STRATEGIESBuy the right bird.Alter the nature of the meat.Cook the meat in two phases, one to brown and crisp the skin and another to cook the bird to the exact state of doneness.Let the meat rest to preserve moisture.
What is a good turkey brine recipe?
Our Top 10 Best Brined Turkey RecipesGrilled Apple-Brined Turkey. ...Citrus & Herb Roasted Turkey Breast. ...Maple-Sage Brined Turkey. ...Spiced & Grilled Turkey. ...Brined Grilled Turkey Breast. ...Herb-Brined Turkey. ...Cider-Brined Turkey. ...Honey-Brined Turkey Breast. ...Golden Roasted Turkey. ...Fresh Herb-Brined Turkey. ...
How do you make brine for Turkey?
Making Turkey Brine, Step By StepAdd one gallon of water to each of two stock pots or large, lidded pans.To one of the pots, add the salt and sugar. ...To the other pot, add the spice, herbs and vegetables. ...When both pots are cooled to room temperature, add them to your five gallon bucket and refrigerate.After twelve hours, or overnight, the brine is ready for the turkey.
How to dry brine and roast a Turkey perfectly?
A whole turkey needs two to three days of brining time, the dry-brining can be done days before Thanksgiving giving you extra time on Turkey Day.With a dry brine, you just mix the salt and spices, rub it into the meat, cavity and skin and you’re done. ...Dry-brining can be done in a roasting pan, a throwaway aluminum pan or a sheet pan. ... More items...

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