Good Eats Roast Turkey

Total Time:
9 hr 45 min
Prep:
15 min
Inactive:
7 hr
Cook:
2 hr 30 min

Yield:
10 to 12 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
  • For the brine:
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water
  • For the aromatics:
  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 6 leaves sage
  • Canola oil
Directions
Watch how to make this recipe 2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.


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Pairs Well With
Pinot Noir

Delicate, floral red wine

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4.9 5055
This will be my first time trying this recipe and I am not a very good cook but I was wondering about cooking it the day before cutting the turkey up and reheating the meat for my get together the next day to cut down on time any suggestions on keeping the meat moist or reheating it? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I tried the good eats roast turkey. I love Alton Brown's shows. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yummy item not reviewed by moderator and published
Can you use the same method to roast a whole chicken? Also, I did this for thanksgiving with just a turkey breast, still worked perfectly.  I'll never use any other method again!  item not reviewed by moderator and published
made it loved it item not reviewed by moderator and published
It's a Keeper! Made this for Christmas 2014…Delicious, Moist, and Easy! I used about 1/2 inch of broth in the bottom of the roasting pan as others have mentioned…it does smoke roasting at 500 degrees for the first 1/2 hour, but this helped a lot! The gravy was amazing…the only thing I had to add was the flour and water. It made really yummy turkey sandwiches…and then I boiled the turkey bones and am making a turkey soup!!! Success…Thanks for sharing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this as my family's Christmas turkey. It was my first time making a turkey and it turned out incredibly. My family were all raving about how it was one of the best turkeys they'd ever had. Slight change I made out of necessity: replaced the cinnamon stick with a scant pinch of cinnamon. Doubt it made much of a difference. My 12 pound turkey took 30 minutes at 480 (scaled down since I have a convection oven) and then 1hr30 minutes at 350. item not reviewed by moderator and published
how long, in total would a 22 lb turkey need in the oven? 500 degrees for 30 minutes... then how long at the lowest temp? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Can my 22 lb turkey stay in the brine for 24 hours or will it be too salty? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely amazing. Followed the recipe to the letter. Didn't cover the bird at all (didn't watch the video, so didn't know if he did or not. It doesn't say to). Came out perfectly! Just enough seasoning to complement the flavor of the bird without covering it up, and so, so moist all the way through! I will be doing this every year. Thank you Alton Brown! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't even brine to anymore and it is still simply amazing! I only use this recipe, but twice a year and it has never let me down. If you buy a Butterball or the like which has already been presoaked in brine, simple by pass the brine stem and you will come out with amazing turkey Evert Time, I promise. I coat with olive and canola mixture and then cover the turkey in paprika and chili powder and black peppper. I do the half for at 30 min and cover in aluminum foil and then insert the temp probe in the thickest part of the white meat and cook until 161 is reached and is is Perfect! This guys recipe is amazing as we say in my country (the USA). I have never made a mistake and this is the twentieth turkey. The meat lasts for at least two weeks to make Turkey sandwiches. Merry Christmas Alton Brown and thanks so much for this this timeless recipe!!!!!! You da man!!!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
im just starting the brine process and i have a 24 lb turkey. i had to add chicken broth because of the size difference. i hope it turns out ok. and i dont have a bucket but im thinking of putting it in a roasting bag in a big bowl and stick it in the fridge. should i add water because it calls for ica nad that would melt? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been cooking this recipe since the Good Eats episode first aired in 1999. I don't think we have had a Thanksgiving dinner or Christmas dinner since then where I did not cook the bird... at my house, Grandparent's houses, cousins, etc... The recipe has evolved for me a bit over the years, the biggest change is swapping out the vegetable stock for Lipton onion soup mix, I like the little bit of extra twang that adds. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We have made this turkey the last three Thanksgivings and it is so good we started making it for Christmas dinner as well. Always turns out well, even with our inexperience in cooking it was wonderful and has become a holiday staple. item not reviewed by moderator and published
If using this recipe, do we have to rub the turkey as well?? #rookie item not reviewed by moderator and published
If you have never tried to brine a turkey...you must try it right away with this recipe! I made my first turkey for Thanksgiving back in 2012 and was nervous as could be. It's so much time and effort if you fail and mess up your bird. I searched and searched for the best way to cook it and found this brine. Man, it makes for one juicy turkey. My family loves it and it's always the talk of the table. When you cut into it the juices run all over the place. Using a brine makes a world of difference. The way that Alton has you cook the bird cuts down on cooking time as well. This last Thanksgiving I made a 30 lb turkey, it only took about 4 hours to cook. The brine process is super easy as well. I just make it all and throw everything in a cooler. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent recipe. We use this recipe not only for Thanksgiving...but anytime we want turkey. Here's a tip for those with smoke alarms: Add turkey or chicken broth to the bottom of your pan prior to roasting. How much depends on the size of your pan. But I add broth to about 1/2 inch depth. In my experience, the drippings on the bare HOT metal is causing the smoke. With the broth there, it'll catch the drippings. And besides...you're going to add broth anyway to make gravy. Hope this helps some! It sure helped me. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My family raved about the moistness of the turkey. It was wonderful but as other reviewers stated - be prepared for a smokey kitchen! I didn't brine the turkey. We have too many allergies for some of the brine ingredients listed, so I bought a Butterball pre-brined turkey. I oiled and salted the outside due to family wanting the crispy skin. Unfortunately since the oven smoked so bad (next time will make sure the oven is clean first) the skin had a bad smoke flavor and the skin didn't get crisp at all. I removed it all and tossed it. For the reviewers that used roasters - those will never "roast" a turkey - they steam them. The electrical coiling that heats it up fluctuates trying to maintain a consistent temperature - something impossible in the "roaster." Use your oven where the dry heat will truly roast the turkey with wonderful results. Amazing turkey! Thanks Alton!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I like it :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have been making this turkey for years and it never fails! The brine keeps the turkey super moist and the aromatics infuse it with a wonderful flavor. Not to mention that its super easy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
this is the best turkey i ever had will do again next year item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fantastic!! all the directions are very well explained and the process super easy, ingredients easy to get. Before I was just too afraid to try to cook a turkey, but thanks to Alton Brown (who is great!) I was very comfortable in each step and everything came out just right, everybody loved the turkey. Thank you. P.S. MUST have a very clean oven, will smoke! item not reviewed by moderator and published
There's a reason so many people keep this recipe as their Thanksgiving go-to recipe - because it is AMAZING. Your turkey will turn out moist, flavourful, and perfect; every time I've made it, I've gotten lots of compliments. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best turkey ever! Made it for me and my 20 friends for Thanksgiving and there were no leftovers! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've never made turkey before. So I went and found this recipe because I remember seeing it on Good Eats (or the thanksgiving special?) I made it for my friends who all have had their family's turkey. Some of them brined, some of them roasted. 3 out of 5 friends loved this turkey better. I'm sure if I'd used fresh herbs and the whole cinnamon stick? Maybe even brined for a little longer? It would've beaten all 5. So THANK YOU ALTON for making me a Turkey Queen on my first attempt! Now I'm stuck making turkey for everyone. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We first tried this recipe back in Nov. 2009 and used it every year since. My family loves the taste of the turkey by Alton's method. It is always tasty & moist. This year our turkey turned out better the ever. But I had spilled water on my printout this past Thanksgiving. I didn't have a copy & I was very pleased to find it still on the FoodNetwork. Thank you! Thank you! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best Turkey I've ever made! The first 30 minutes did smoked up the room but I think I had it way to low in the oven next time i'll try it not so low, but it sure was perfect and so tasty, I sprinkled some sage along with the canola oil it gave it a bit more flavor, I'm getting a larger turkey next year!! My Family loved it! Thanks Alton, you rocked my Thanksgiving this year! item not reviewed by moderator and published
The bird came out moist and tender but was very bland. No one could identify any of the flavors used like ginger in the brine or the apple and cinnamon in the cavity. Very average to say the least. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fantastic, as always. A couple of things... 1) when at the 500deg level, it caused so much smoke that our smoke alarms were going off for 15min. 2) I try to flip the bird a couple of times to make the breasts juicier. Of course, in general this recipe is typical Alton Brown - fantastic taste, fantastic results, every time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This Thanksgiving, my family agreed, we were thankful for Alton Brown. We made his famous brined turkey, which was better than I could have imagined, wonderfully seasoned and so moist, especially the breast meat, and with its crisp browned skin, looked like a turkey dressed up for a Food Network photo shoot (don't tell my mom as it wasn't her recipe! Sorry mom!). We made his "best" gravy, which was truly tops, and his cherry pie, which used fresh frozen cherries instead of canned, as my grandmother had always used (Sorry Grandmommmy!) It's hard to break from tradition, but in the case of Alton Brown's Thanksgiving recipes, which are as wonderfully delicious and satisfying as they are simple; well, sometime you have to go with the best. Thanks Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used this recipe last year and the turkey was nice and moist, but tasted no different than a regular turkey. My nine family members and I could taste no difference. Maybe all ten of us don't have refined palettes? I tried it again this year and brined it for 16 hours with the same result. I thought the brine was supposed to add some flavors? As I said, at least it was moist. I did use a roaster to cook the turkey both times, but I doubt that affected the flavor. Save your money and don't buy all the needless ingredients to make this brine. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Excellent! The turkey was super moist and tender. I am 23 and this was my first time cooking thanksgiving dinner and my family was SO impressed. Yay! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Not sure what I did wrong. Used the thermometer, took out at 161 and even did the Turkey triangle foil on breast, but legs were super overdone. Hard and dry. Breast was pretty dry and parts of the insides looked super pink/bloody/slimy. :( ??? Ate the dry parts which did have the flavor though. I'm sure it would've been delicious if it was juicy. Tasted some of the gravy that came from it and that was delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My turkey came out raw, for some reason. The white meat was very juicy, but further in, it was undercooked. I baked it in aluminum deep roasting pan for 2.5 hrs. It was about15 lb bird. Last year I used this recipe it was perfect. I don't know if it was because of the pan. I should have gotten the thermometer. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I followed the recipe without ginger and cinnamon stick. I cooked it in a roaster oven so this may have been a factor also. I trussed it and did a foil cover for the breast. I think I may have overcooked it because it was dry. I think I would try it again but overall pretty disappointed after all the glowing reviews. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Oh my gosh, followed the recipe to the letter and it was incredibly wonderfully amazing - all my guests were blown away! As soon as it came out of the oven everyone was impressed by the beautiful color (golden brown) - so delightful. Then came the curving - every bit, every piece of meet was full of flavor, moist and delicious. I will make this recipe every year. My turkey was 14 lbs. Made Alton's homemade cranberry sauce - absolutely delicious as well. Love you Alton item not reviewed by moderator and published
We've made the turkey from this recipe a couple times and it came out perfect and moist each time. Well never use another turkey recipe. And the gravy???!!!!!! Omg, out of this world!!!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Success! It worked beautifully! I have been told I will be spending the rest of my life living up to this excellent turkey I hosted at my first Thanksgiving. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Perfection! My guests and I have never had a better turkey. item not reviewed by moderator and published
If have used this recipe for years. The turkey always comes out perfectly juicy and it never fails. item not reviewed by moderator and published
First time cooking a turkey and it came out amazing!! We didn't have any leftovers and our guests were raving about the flavor and how juicy the white meat was! I had some trouble with the temperature though. When the breast hit 161, the thigh was only 140. We took the bird out for a few minutes and rotated the pan (it only fit in sideways). Eventually the thigh hit 165 and the breast 170. Does anyone have any tips on how to cook both parts more evenly? We did use the turkey shield. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely perfect! My son in law kept going back for more, after dinner. So moist and tasty! Thank you. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Followed the recipe and the turkey came out perfect. Wouldn't change a thing item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is the best turkey I have ever prepared! I followed the recipe as written and would not change a thing. I was intimidated to try it at first but am so glad I did. This was the most moist and flavorful turkey I have ever eaten. I'll never use an oven bag again! This recipe is a keeper! (I agree with David's suggestion - open windows at first). item not reviewed by moderator and published
So good and moist! I used this yesterday for my first time making Thanksgiving dinner. It turned out awesome and they couldn't believe it was my first time cooking a turkey item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best turkey ever!! But...be forewarned, placing a turkey in a 500 degree F. oven that's been coated with oil WILL set off EVERY smoke alarm in your house. If you have no smoke alarms, your significant other will certainly express their discontent with a smoke-filled house. There...you've been warned. I used corn oil in place of canola. The smell of roasted turkey still lingers the next day...a comforting way to wake up. Follow the instructions to the letter, and it will be perfect. My wife shamed me on Facebook when the house was filled with smoke, then had to eat crow after it turned out amazing. N.B. For the 30 min. the turkey cooks at 500 degrees F., open a few windows/doors to help increase ventilation. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Delicious!! The is the best turkey I have ever eaten. It was so juicy and flavorful. All my guests raved about , everyone wanted leftovers. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've been using this recipe for about 4 years now....I just gotta say that we had the BEST TURKEY EVER, AGAIN!!!! I recommended this to my brother and brother in law just in case they want to try it. The turkey came out juicy and perfect. All of the steps to prepare it make it worthwhile every year. This will always be my GO TO Recipe...Thank you Alton Brown!!! :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I created an account just to review this recipe. My turkey was frozen with the "8% solution added," and although I was nervous about it the flavor was perfect! When my family saw it, they oohed and aahed over it, and my sister actually said, "It looks like a commercial!" The outside was so perfect looking that I thought for sure we'd be cutting into an undercooked salt-lick of a turkey. But it was great. I literally did a victory dance after my first bite of white meat. This was the first time I've ever cooked a turkey, and I think I'll be doing it like this every Thanksgiving. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I always make a glazed ham for Thanksgiving, but this year I decided to make ham and turkey. I was very worried my turkey would either be too dry or not cooked long enough. I found this recipe and with the huge amount of 5 star reviews I decided to try it. I followed the recipe pretty close, but I am not a big fan of ginger or cinnamon, so I left those out. I rubbed butter under the skin. I bought the same thermometer that Alton used in his vide and my turkey came out AMAZING! Everyone raved about how juicy it was. My husband advised me that turkey will be on our holiday menu from now on. Thank you Alton!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wonderfully leader meat ! Thanks Alton! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm not sure how to rate this because I think it was the turkey and not the brine or the method that brought the quality down. I followed the recipe to a "T". I had a 14 lb. bird and brined it for 16 hours. I managed to find every ingredient, even the Allspice berries. I used an oven thermometer and removed the turkey from the oven when it displayed 161 degrees (about 2 hrs. and 5 minutes). It rested for 25 minutes before we cut it. This bird was BEAUTIFUL!!! But it was sooo tough and completely inedible. The bird I bought was an organic, free-range, no-solution-added turkey. Could the free-range part be the problem? This bird had 0 body fat. It was a $40 turkey. I'm so sad that we couldn't eat it. We had to throw it out. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've been making this turkey for several years at Thanksgivings now. Everyone always declares, "best turkey I've ever had!" Moist, juicy and perfect! Thanks for another home run AB! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely the best turkey I've ever made. Did have to open the windows, but it was worth it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yes - THE best! Been brining for several years, always to raves - even husband who prefers dark meat complimented me on the breast meat! Thumbs up! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am trying this recipe for the first time this year but my turkey is a whole 25 pounds! what would the difference in time be? estimation of course! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've prepared our Thanksgiving turkey using Alton's recipe for 5 years and it always turns out delicious! Just finished the first 30 minutes of cooking and turned the temp down, placed the foil over the breasts, placed the temperature probe in and closed the door! I've no doubt this turkey will be as tasty as the others! Thank you Alton! :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Bird Temp Question: This may be a stupid question (not sure) but I roasted it at the 500 degree temp for 30min and then lowered it to 350. After about 30 minutes of being at 350 I inserted the thermometer probe into the thickest part of the breast. The temp on the digital thermometer is reading at 225 right now. So my question is: does the temp go from a higher amount (like 225) and slowly drop to 161 (at which point I remove the turkey), or is the temp supposed to be below 161 and once it reaches the higher temp, I remove it? Thanks for any help. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best turkey recipe, hands down. This is the 6th year we have made it! Brining is the only way to go! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Quick question if someone can help. I have a 22lbs turkey and this is my first time ever cooking a turkey, for planning purposes how long would you guess a turkey this size would cook in this situation. I have the timer just trying to plan for eat time. I am thinking if I start cooking at 1 it should be good by 5p. If someone can help much appreciated. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my second year roasting a turkey like this. Love it, but I have a question. Do you just disable your fire alarm during those first 30 minutes? Mine goes off like crazy while I stop everything I'm doing in the kitchen to go try to rig up a fan to blow at the alarm in an attempt to keep the smoke away from it. The one in the hall still manages to go off every 2 minutes. lol I also can't image what the neighbors are thinking. lol I still love this though. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my 4th year religousy following this recipe and, as always, every single person throughout their meal is so encompassed on how juicy and delicious the turkey is, that it is the only conversation during dinner! Thanks Alton Brown for making me look like the Master Chef! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Turkey's in the brine right now. So no stuffing in the bird just the aromatics. Anybody have a good stuffing recipe for the stove top? I've always done my stuffing in the bird. item not reviewed by moderator and published
So far so great! I'm about to take it out of the brine and stick it in the oven... But I've never made a turkey without a turkey bag (I don't cook regularly). This doesn't make it drier? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Hey Alton.... Happy Thanksgiving.. I have many things that I am thanking God for today, and this recipe is one of them. Maine Fan item not reviewed by moderator and published
Help! Cannot seem to find a good spot for the probe! I tried to put it in in similar positions and angles as the video, but after 30 min. in 500F, it already reads 170F+. I figured I should try thigh spot, and it's in it and reads 130F. Should I just leave it in and cook until 180F? item not reviewed by moderator and published
i forgot to rinse my turkey only pad dry will it be saly !!! 22 lb item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is my first time brining...followed these directions exactly & the smell of the brine is aweful! Anyone else have this issue? Smells like hotdogs & a school cafeteria...lol. What is it going to do to my bird? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just read over the directions one more time, so no basting? My mother always told me that was the most important part. Just want to make sure I'm not missing a step. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Question about the brine. He calls for full sodium vegetable stock. Only one store in my area sells vegetable stock and even then it is no sodium, Is this going to ruin my brine or is it better than not brining at all? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have a wolf convection steam oven. I normally roast chicken in this oven, as the steam keeps the meat moist while the convection nicely crisps the skin. I've never cooked a brined bird in it. I'm concerned that the brined turkey + the steam will result in something soggy/bad. My alternative is to just roast in a normal oven. I can't find any information out there regarding cooking a brined turkey in a steam oven. Any opinions out there? Thanks! item not reviewed by moderator and published
so we don't have to cover the turkey while its cooking? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I totally forgot to rinse off the turkey inside and out fter brine. I just patted it down good with a paper towel. Will this mess up the turkey? Also, my bird was still a little frozen and is 17 lbs how much extra cooking time? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Can somebody tell me why AB puts the thermometer into the breast instead of the thigh? Cooking this right now. Smells fantastic. I just want to be sure I don't screw up my first turkey! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I use this recipe, but I cook the bird on my grill rotisserie, comes out fantastic... item not reviewed by moderator and published
This makes a great turkey. I have used this recipe for years, but my smoke alarm always goes off in the beginning when cooking at the high temp. Based on a chart I found, clarified butter has a higher smoke point than canola oil so I am going to try that tomorrow. Has anyone has the smoke alarm problem or tried clarified butter? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have an 8lb bone in turkey breast. Has anyone done something similar? I am wondering on the cooking times. Would I still do 30 min at 500? and then after the 500 degrees segment, how long should I expect to cook it? item not reviewed by moderator and published
After brining my turkey for 24 hours, can I remove it from the brine and wait 24 hours more to cook it? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Help!!! Does the cinnamon stick go inside the turkey while it cooks?? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just made this recipe today; it turned out great, consistent with other reviews. I had a 17 lb turkey. I skipped the brining, but it still turned out okay. 1. It took a total of 3 hrs, 20 min (30 min at 500 deg, which produced a nice brown; make sure you cover with triangle Al foil at this step; then it took almost 3hrs at 350 deg). 2. Be careful with your probe placement (KEEP THE PROBE DEEP IN THE BREAST OR THIGH). In his video, AB placed it around midway down and deep into the breast, with a rear approach. I tried to do this and the temp hit 161 deg after just one hr at 350. I knew it couldn't be done and checked it with another digital probe, which showed 135 when stuck deeper into the breast. I again hit 161 an hour later, but again I was able to find deeper areas that were 155. After re positioning again, I was able to get all parts (particularly, deep breast and deep thigh) to over 160. In retrospect, just cook your bird for approx 10-12 min per pound AFTER the initial 30 min item not reviewed by moderator and published
If I'm making an 8lb turkey should I cut the brine recipe in half? My first turkey!! I'd love some advice item not reviewed by moderator and published
i have made this turkey for every thanksgiving and xmas for the past 7 years. i even make it and bring to host house. no one wants to eat any turkey but this one. i only make one change: i dont foil the bird... when the breast hits 161, i take the roasting pan out and let it sit for 30 minutes. i remove the rack and lop off the legs and thighs and put them back in the pan, chicken stock half deep and braise the dark meat. the breast will stay very warm for at least 2 hours after you remove it so you can put your sides in the oven. the only reason i know this is that i have had to transport the bird on more than one occasion when thxgiving was at someone elses house. item not reviewed by moderator and published
i use this method but my brine is 1 c salt, 1 c brown sugar, 2-3 oranges, 2-3 lemons, thyme and rosemary, & garlic. after a LONG bath in the brine, I rinse and dab dry and inject with Tony's creole butter injection & dry again, rub down with compound butter and cook as alton suggests. It was my first turkey and now my ENTIRE family on both sides have me make the turkey. I use to hate turkey b/c it was dry...I LOVE this one! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Used this recipe 2 years ago... It's my turn to do the turkey again and I'm back! This recipe makes the BEST turkey! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I just realized you are suppose to make the brine 3-4 days prior. Is it going to make a difference I'm making it tonight? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wasn't a fan. I spent all this extra time getting the ingredients for the brine then doing everything outlined; in the end I hated the way it tasted. My wife agreed so we just ate a bunch of starches. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've been making t-gives dinner for 7 years- I started with this recipe, messed around, but I'm here again because it consistently turns out the most moist and flavorful turkey. If you've been making this for a while, it's also fun to add your own spices- but the brine base is quite on point. item not reviewed by moderator and published
What if my bird is 22 lbs and was fresh not frozen? Bought the bird before I found this recipe!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Can you brine a butterball turkey? It says there's less than 8% water,salt and spices added.... item not reviewed by moderator and published
Help! When making the brine, are all the allspice berries supposed to dissolve before removing it from heat? item not reviewed by moderator and published
My turkey is in it's brine! The reviews of this are incredible and I can't wait to eat it! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It's the day before Thanksgiving and I have begun the brining process! I have been making this recipe for the past 4 years and all my friends and family concur that it is THE BEST! Excited for tomorrow, Happy Thanksgiving! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Can I use vegetable oil in substitution of the canola? Thanks item not reviewed by moderator and published
Best recipe for turkey every, never dry. BRINE BABY item not reviewed by moderator and published
Quick Questions- Could not find allspice berries or candied ginger- Am I good with ground ginger and ground allspice? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I brined the turkey for the first time last year using Alton Brown's recipe. The meat was incredible! I am not really a fan of turkey, especially the white meat. But the brined turkey was moist and flavorful. If for no other reason, I will brine the turkey again using Alton's recipe because the gravy was the best I have ever made in the 35 years of serving Thanksgiving dinner. item not reviewed by moderator and published
BEST turkey EVER!!! I would never try another recipe, this one is all you will ever need! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Looking forward to trying this for the first time - (rated it based on how good it sounds) so, I don't need to cover it with aluminum while it cooks to keep it moist? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Alton's turkey recipe is BY FAR the BEST that I have ever had! My husband and I have made our turkey this same way every year since the first time we had it. But I'm worried, Food Network, as you guys forgot one of the most important parts to this recipe -- the turkey triangle! You won't wind up with non-desertified white meat without it. Someone should edit the recipe to include that step! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I feel silly rating a recipe I am just now trying....I would like to double check on the answer regarding the already "brined" frozen turkey. I am interested in adding the flavors of the herbs and orange...but am concerned about a too salty bird. Should I leave out some of the salt? item not reviewed by moderator and published
That's right this one is the best. item not reviewed by moderator and published
probably around 3.5 - 4 hours in total. That's a big bird! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I always brine my turkey for AT LEAST 24 hours, never have had a salty turkey yet. Good luck! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yes we do the same works great every time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Add some water, it's no problem. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Rub the turkey with canola oil at least before throwing it in the oven. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Agreed we love this a lot. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think some of the smoke is due to the Rosemary. When I first used this recipe that is what i used, but my wife doesn't like rosemary that much so I switched to thyme and that has cut back on the smoke. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Or, you could just drop from 500 to 450. That still works to brown the bird no problem. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The only alterations I made were cooking it to 180 (still moist!) and adding a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder and sage to the skin to give it a little more crunch and seasoning. item not reviewed by moderator and published
We make this every year we love this. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It sounds like you deviated from the recipe maybe?, because people exclaim over this every year and every time and every location I've ever made it in. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have heard that many people add 1 extra gallon of water to the brine; the directions can be a but murky. Maybe this is at issue for you? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just do it at 450 instead of 500. It still works no problem. Also, I never flip the bird and the breast is still perfectly moist. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just do it at 450 instead of 500. It still works no problem. Also, I never flip the bird and the breast is still perfectly moist. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have heard that many people add 1 extra gallon of water to the brine; the directions can be a but murky. Maybe this is at issue for you? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Your turkey wasn't fully thawed, so it took longer to reach temp and didn't cooked enough in center. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Did you use a thermometer? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Very good we make this every year and we love this a lot. item not reviewed by moderator and published
In the video Alton suggest putting the bird into the oven feet first. Maybe that would help? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had the same problem my first time preparing this recipe. If you place a cup of water (or broth) at the bottom of your roasting pan, you won't have any "smokey" issues! item not reviewed by moderator and published
What thermometer is it? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm curious also, which thermometer is it? I've been through two thermometers in two years which have been less than successful! :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
Make that "tender" meat! item not reviewed by moderator and published
0% body fat means 0% moisture. I think that was your problem. I'm sorry that happened to you. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I also had an organic turkey from whole foods, mine came out amazing. The turkey I had didn't say anything about body fat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yes we make this every year too we love it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
If you add about a cup of water to the bottom of your roasting pan before cooking at 500 degrees, that should solve your smoke problem...it works for me! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Nice tip. As long as it doesn't interfere with the roasting, it would really pep up the gravy to use broth instead. item not reviewed by moderator and published
looks like it takes about 1 hour per 7lbs. 25 lbs = 3 1/2 hours item not reviewed by moderator and published
Do you follow the directions that are on this page/recipe exactly?? We are having our Thanksgiving today and I want to do this but got scared when I read one person's review who said that she did the recipe to a T and it was so bad that they had to throw the turkey away. Eeek. I have 20 people coming over today and I can't risk that. My turkey, like hers, is organic. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yes, I did follow the directions and had no issues. However, I do extend cooking time a bit. When the probe indicates 161 degrees, I continue cooking for about another 15 - 20 minutes longer to allow the dark meat to cook. I've found it does not dry out the breast meat which I always cover with heavy-duty foil, doubled. I also rub a mix of butter and fresh sage between the skin and breast to ensure moistness. Hope this helps! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I follow directions Exactly and beam with joy and pride every year. item not reviewed by moderator and published
There's something wrong with your thermometer or where you placed it. 30 min @ 500 the turkey is still raw inside so there's no way the thickest part of the breast would be 225. It takes hours for the breast to come from 35F out of the fridge to heat to 161F in a 350F oven even with the 500F sear item not reviewed by moderator and published
i think its a good question. but i wonder have you put the thermometer in against the bone or not in deep enough. thats the only explanation i can think of for your question. i do not believe your breast should be registering that high already item not reviewed by moderator and published
You probably inserted the probe to close to a bone. I would go by the weigh and Alton's guideline of 2 hours for a 14 - 16 lbs. I hate it when that happens but you'll be fine. BTW dont move the probe, juices will be released item not reviewed by moderator and published
thanks, all, for the quick reply. I push it deeper into the breast and it dropped to 130 in a few seconds. I'm planning to roast it for about 3.5hrs while keeping the thermometer going. Super excited. Those aromatics smelled amazing out of the microwave. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Probably bone or the thermometer needs calibrating. Sometimes the thermometer may have been resting on something hot. I keep different thermometers (analog, digital etc) and if I don't trust one I get a 2nd opinion. :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm doing the same size and estimated about a 3.5 to 4 hr roast time, but am using a digital thermometer just to be sure. Don't forget about letting it rest for 45 min. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thank you. I started a bit early on my moms recommendation. I have the digital thermometer as well. Thank you for sure. Super nervous but super excited as well!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I hope it turned out Fantastic for you. I make it every year and it is marvelous. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I always place about 1 cup of water in my roasting pan to avoid that problem...good luck! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Do you cover the breast with the foil? Does not say to do this in directions, but did on video?? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Definitely cover the breast with foil item not reviewed by moderator and published
Definitely cover the breast with foil item not reviewed by moderator and published
nope! i make this turkey every year. it is fab. brushing it with the canola oil also definitely helps with sealing the moisture. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I agree wholeheartedly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
You don't put it in until after it cooks on high for 30 minutes.Then when that parts done then you can put it in.Hope this helps =) item not reviewed by moderator and published
don't sweat it. it will be fantastic. this is not an overly salty brine, so i don't think the rinsing makes as much difference as a traditional brine. (i have forgotten at least twice myself and have not noticed a difference.) item not reviewed by moderator and published
If my turkey tastes anything like the smell of this brine...I'm in trouble! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't get that smell ...to me it smells more like chicken soup.You wont be sorry for cooking Alton's turkey...I've been using this recipe for years and always get rave reviews! The best turkey I've ever made =) item not reviewed by moderator and published
the brine is awful smelling. the turkey is amazing. you are on the right track! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Hope it turned out fantastic for you. I love the recipe dearly. item not reviewed by moderator and published
No, no basting! Put the bird in the oven and then DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR AGAIN until it is done. Every time you open the door, you extend the cooking time. This is where an electric probe thermometer really proves its worth. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I use vegetable stock that has no salt added every time. It'll be just fine! item not reviewed by moderator and published
You can just add a little more salt than what the recipe calls for when you make the brine. item not reviewed by moderator and published
My understanding is that a brined bird may be kinda soggy if done in a convection oven. I researched that too. This recipe is great but use regular radiant heat item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thanks! I'm thinking the same. Too much risk to try it out. I'll do some experimenting post-Tday. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have a friend who brined a chicken this way and loved it. I'm sure you'll have fun experimenting. item not reviewed by moderator and published
In the video he covers the breast with foil after 30 minutes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I agree with Ran. Cover the breast, evens the cooking and browning so your breast meat wont be dried out before the darker meat. Love this recipe item not reviewed by moderator and published
Juices for gravy might be a bit saltier, but bird will be fine! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I think it's because you don't want the breast meat to be overdone. I've made this turkey 13 years in a row, and it hasn't failed me yet! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Currently doing this with butter. H ve all the windows open just in case. My oven seems smokey even before putting the turkey in anyway!so far (5mins) no smoke from butter. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Use a cooking bag and you will prevent the smoke problem! Keeps all the juices inside the bag! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just tried this recipe today, and yes, the smoke alarm went off 21 minutes into roasting at 500 degrees! I used Kerrigold butter under the skin, maybe that's why. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Cook by temperature, not time. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wouldn't recommend removing it from the brine. Keep it in the brine for an additional 24 hours...if you want. item not reviewed by moderator and published
What are your thoughts on that resulting in a very salty bird? item not reviewed by moderator and published
I always take mine out of the brine 24 hours before cooking it. I rub it down with Neeleys spice blend and let the flavors "marry". Its awesome! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I would not leave your turkey in for another 24 hrs. It will definitely be too salty. Even 24 hrs itself seems like a long time, how big of a turkey are you cooking? Try aligning the brine time to just before you are going to cook it. If you take it out too early it will dry out, if you wait too long it will be too salty. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It won't be too salty. Check out the Martha Stewart turkey brine recipe that calls for leaving the turkey in the brine for two days prior to cooking. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yes, the cinnamon stick goes inside the turkey while it cooks. Happy Thanksgiving! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just to clarify (I was trying to shorted my review due to character limit), put the aluminum foil triangle (called a "breast shield" by other reviewers) over the bird AFTER the first 30 minutes (uncovered during that initial time). I used a Polder brand probe. I would stick in in from the rear like AB did but angle it down (i.e. 45 degree angle) along one breast as if you are aiming for the center of ONE SIDE of the bird (as measured from top to bottom of pan). item not reviewed by moderator and published
We make this every year and we love it. item not reviewed by moderator and published
"In retrospect, just cook your bird for approx 10-12 min per pound AFTER the initial 30 min" Just to clarify, you are talking about when roasting at 500 F? item not reviewed by moderator and published
You can if you wish it. Just be sure your salt to liquid ratios remain constant with the recipe. Honestly, I'd just make the brine as indicated to be sure I have enough to completely cover the bird. item not reviewed by moderator and published
*meant to write consistent rather than constant item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yes that would be good. item not reviewed by moderator and published
also, i had an 80 yo family member tell me its the best turkey he has had in his life... you know someone that old has eaten many a turkey! thank alton item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made mine tonight too.... you just have to cool the brine down with ice prior to adding the turkey. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thank you! My first time brining and I thought I already screwed it up :-) item not reviewed by moderator and published
You have to thaw the turkey 3-4 days in advance- brine can be made anytime- I made Tuesday so it was ready and cooled by Wed when I put the turkey in. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Do you make the brine the night before or a couple of days before? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Usually we make the brine on Tue., in the bucket on Wed. night, in the oven on Thurs.- Good Luck and Happy Thanksgiving! item not reviewed by moderator and published
usually I make it the night before and also brine the turkey overnight and flip it over in the morning- then take it out about 1.5 hours before cooking time just to make sure the skin is dry so it can get crispy- also, leaving the turkey out to warm up a little bit promotes even cooking- item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am thinking I just add a couple of hours cooking time?? Help! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't think you will have to add 2 hours, maybe 1 hour more of cook time. If you use a meat thermometer just cook until the reading is 161 degrees. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yes, you can. :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
No. It's basically already been 'brined'. item not reviewed by moderator and published
No, they don't dissolve. item not reviewed by moderator and published
You'll never use another recipe again!!! Best moist turkey ever!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yes that will be just fine. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Yep. That is exactly what I have used for 10 years plus. Taste amazing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Thank you- getting ready to use cooking bag for 4.5 hours 26lbs. Putting it in at 11:00AM..Thanks for your help!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have the peppercorns and all spice berries...I can't seem to get them to dissolve in the boiling water. Should I've ground them first? I'm tagging on to your question item not reviewed by moderator and published
The peppercorns and allspice berries don't need to dissolve - the heat of the boiling liquid will release their flavors. Just be sure, when you remove the turkey from the brine, that the berries don't stick to the skin before you put it in the roasting pan. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I'm sure that's fine. Although for my candied ginger it was in the baking isle, by the sweet stuff, not by the spices. Probably too late now, but I was surprised it wasn't in the regular spice isle. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I found candied ginger in the bulk food section. I bought a couple pieces and cut them up. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I found candied ginger in the bulk food section. I bought a couple pieces and cut them up. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Trader Joe's has candied ginger. item not reviewed by moderator and published
How did you make the gravy with the drippings? I have tried before, but the gravy was too salty due to the brine. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I don't use the drippings to make the gravy. I use butter for my roux and turkey broth & whole milk for my liquids. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ok Stepahnie- Im lost on the gravy- Can you elaborate? item not reviewed by moderator and published
What can I use if I can't find chopped candied ginger? Help! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I can't find it in my area either and I have nevr used it. The turkey still turns out perfect item not reviewed by moderator and published
We made it with out too. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Found candied ginger in the Asian/ethnic food isle at public. Hope that helps! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Go to a fine grocer such as whole foods and go to their bin section. I found the ginger in the candy section. They called it Crystalized Ginger. I went to Market of Choice in Portland OR item not reviewed by moderator and published
I use McCormick's Crystalized Ginger and chop it...I found it at Walmart...who knew! :) item not reviewed by moderator and published
I used Crystalized Ginger and its just the same. You usually find it in the Asian section of your grocery store. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have used ground ginger in the past if I don't have candied. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Ground ginger will work, but keep an eye out for the winter holiday displays. Alongside the dyed cherries for fruitcakes you'll often see candied ginger. Grab one then and keep it on hand all year for your candied ginger needs :> item not reviewed by moderator and published
Make a triangle of Aluminum foil and put this on the breast part of the bird after the first 30 minutes of cooking time on the high heat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
perfect, thanks! just saw the video too. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Can you add this part until they edit the recipe? I wanted to do this this Thanksgiving. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Can you add this part until they edit the recipe? I wanted to do this this Thanksgiving. item not reviewed by moderator and published
check out the videos, he talks about it there item not reviewed by moderator and published
If you look under the picture at the top of the recipe there are three videos of Alton Brown preparing and cooking the turkey. In one of the videos he shows you how to make the triangle and how to put it on. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Help someone....I am heading to the store and what someone here answers will make a difference of buying veggie stock for this one or buttermilk for a different recipe...thanks in advance item not reviewed by moderator and published
not sure about the veggie or buttermilk, however, when it comes to the salt - brining does not actual salt the meat just tenderizes and allows the juices to flow during the roasting period so once you move it from the brine and prepare to cook, salt as normal. item not reviewed by moderator and published

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