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Delicious Brined and Roasted Turkey

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Trying to decide on your method of choice for preparing a succulent Thanksgiving turkey this year? You can’t go wrong with brining and roasting! This method requires a little bit of time (but not really because it is so simple and hands-free). All you have to do is set up your thawed turkey in some salt water the day before roasting. The salty water, known as the “brine,” will make your turkey incredibly tender and moist while bringing out the meat’s natural flavors! Today, we’re sharing with you a delicious way to brine and roast your Thanksgiving turkey to perfection!

Plan Ahead:

Sometime during (or before) Thanksgiving week, figure out how long you are going to need to roast your turkey so that you can plan ahead a little bit. The guide below should help. (And don’t forget to factor in thawing time, too, if you are working with a frozen turkey!) You’ll also want to keep in mind that you are going to want to brine your turkey for at least 12 hours, ideally.

  • 10 to 18 pounds 3 to 3-1/2 hours
  • 18 to 22 pounds 3-1/2 to 4 hours
  • 22 to 24 pounds 4 to 4-1/2 hours
  • 24 to 29 pounds 4-1/2 to 5 hours

The day before cooking:

The day before you roast your turkey, you’ll do the most minimal prepwork ever in the history of cooking turkeys. You ready?

First, remove turkey from packaging (and take out the gravy packet -if included- and giblets.) Rinse the turkey out well– on the outside and the inside! In a large stock pot, dissolve kosher salt in water. Once the salt is completely dissolved, add the turkey to the pot. Cover and refrigerate overnight. And… that’s literally all there is to it!

When ready to cook:

It’s turkey day! We know you want to get this just right, so be sure to check the above roasting times again so you can time your turkey to perfection! As you get ready to roast your turkey, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Next, remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well on the inside and outside. Pat dry.

Now you can fill the cavity with celery, onion and apple.

Bend the wings underneath the bird and either secure them with some twine OR (this is a little trick I love) tuck the end of each leg into a small hole that you cut on the opposite side (see the picture below).

Baste the turkey with olive oil and generously salt and pepper on all sides. This will ensure the skin is nice and crispy! Once you’ve thoroughly seasoned your turkey, place it in the oven and roast (according to the roasting time needed for size).  Your kitchen will probably start smelling pretty fantastic, shortly.

Keep an eye on your turkey to make sure the skin doesn’t brown too much, too quickly. If it seems like it’s going to burn, you can create an aluminum foil “tent” to place over the top of the turkey.

When your time is up, carefully pull out your turkey and use a meat thermometer to check for an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees.  When you’re satisfied that it’s cooked through, allow the turkey to “rest” for 20 to 30 minutes prior to carving. After that, feel free to gobble it up alongside your favorite sides! Happy Thanksgiving!

Do you plan to try this brined and roasted turkey for your own Thanksgiving feast? Drop a comment and let us know how it turns out for you!

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Delicious Brined and Roasted Turkey

  • Author: Wendy Hilton

Description

The perfect turkey is easier than you think! This brined and roasted turkey is succulent, juicy and full of flavor. Your Thanksgiving guests will love it!


Scale

Ingredients

Turkey

2 cups kosher salt

2 gallons water

1 apple, quartered

1 onion, quartered

1 stalk celery, cut into pieces


Instructions

The day before cooking:

  1. Remove turkey from packaging. Remove gravy packet (if included) and giblets. Rinse well on the inside and outside.
  2. In a large stock pot, dissolve kosher salt in water. Once the salt is completely dissolved, add the turkey to the pot. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

When ready to cook:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove turkey from the brine and rinse well on the inside and outside. Pat dry. Place in a roasting pan and bend wings under the bird.
  3. To the cavities of the turkey, add apple and vegetables.
  4. Baste the turkey with olive oil and generously salt and pepper on all sides.
  5. Place turkey in the oven and cook according to the chart below or until reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
  6. Watch turkey carefully. If the skin on top begins to brown faster that the rest of the turkey, create a loose tent of aluminum foil over the top of the turkey.
  7. When done, allow the turkey to rest for 20 to 30 minutes prior to carving.

Unstuffed turkey cooking times:

10 to 18 pounds 3 to 3-1/2 hours

18 to 22 pounds 3-1/2 to 4 hours

22 to 24 pounds 4 to 4-1/2 hours

24 to 29 pounds 4-1/2 to 5 hours


 

About the author

Wendy Hilton

Wendy is one of the owners of Love These Recipes. She married her high school sweetheart, Scott, over 27 years ago, and they live in the South with their three children: Hannah, age 23; Noah, age 22; and Mary Grace, age 16. Wendy loves working out and teaching Training for Warriors classes at her local gym. She also enjoys learning along with her family, educational travel, reading, and writing, and she attempts to grow an herb garden every summer with limited success.

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