Roasting Turkey


For Brine:                                                              

1 C Kosher Salt                                                      

1 C brown sugar                                                      

1 gal vegetable stock                                              

1 Tbsp black peppercorns                                       

1 Tbsp allspice berries                                           

1 Tbsp candied ginger                                           

1 gallon ice water



To make brine:  Combine all ingredients, except ice water in a stock pot, bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.  Late the night before cooking, combine brine and ice water in a clean 5 gallon bucket.  Place turkey breast side down in brine, cover and refrigerate or set in a cool place for at least 6 hours.  Turn turkey once during the brining.  Never Brine more than 24 hours or you will have turkey ham.

For Aromatics:

1 red apple, sliced

1 cinnamon stick

1 C water

4 sprigs rosemary

6 leaves sage

½ onion, sliced

canola oil (or other Neutral Oil)

To Roast Bird:  Heat oven to 500°.  Combine aromatics (except oil) in microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.  Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out. Place bird on roasting rack inside wide low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity.  Tuck wings to the back and coat bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.  Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500° for 30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cover the breast with a double layer of foil, insert probe into the thickest part of the breast and return to the oven, reducing the temperature to 350 degrees. Cook until temp reads 161°.  Let rest loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving.

Roasting will vary based on the size of the bird.  Fresh never frozen Turkeys have been known to cook in half the time of previously frozen ones.  Seethe chart below for approximate times. 


 Approximate Cooking Time Fresh
 Approximate Cooking Time Previously Frozen
All Birds with Stuffing
  8-12 lbs
 1½-2½ Hours
  3½-4 Hours
 Add ½-2 Hours
  12-16 lbs
 2-2½ Hours
 4-4½ Hours
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 16-20 lbs
 2½-3½ Hours
  4½-5 Hours
 20-24 lbs
 3-4 Hours
  5-6 Hours
 24-28 lbs
 3½-4½ Hours
  5½-7 Hours
 28+ lbs
  4+ Hours
  6+ Hours
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