Sponsor recipe courtesy of Morton Salt®

Brined and Roasted Whole Turkey

No dish has more riding on its success than the holiday turkey. Unfortunately, turkey loses its natural juices the longer it cooks. Fortunately, we have the solution- brining. Brining locks in a turkey's natural juices, so it won't dry out during the roasting process, ensuring the perfect centerpiece for a flavorful feast.
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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 13 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 13 hr
  • Inactive: 20 min
  • Yield: 10-12 servings
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1 cup Morton® Kosher Salt

1 cup sugar

2 gallons of cool water

12 to 15 pound fresh, whole, bone-in-skin-on turkey, rinsed and patted

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided (5 tbsp softened. 3 tbsp melted)

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 cup white wine, chicken broth or water


  1. Combine Morton® Kosher Salt and sugar in cool water in a large, clean stockpot until completely dissolved. Place the whole turkey in the brine until completely submerged. Cover and refrigerate overnight, up to 14 hours.
  2. Remove the turkey from the brine, and rinse inside and out and under cool running water for several minutes to remove all traces of Morton® Kosher Salt; pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. 4-5 hour Brine: To brine your turkey in less time (4-5 hours), use 2 cups of Morton® Kosher Salt and two cups of sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours.
  4. To Roast: Mix the softened butter with the pepper. Place turkey on rack in roasting pan. Rub the seasoned butter under the skin. Brush the skin with the melted butter.
  5. Pour the 1 cup liquid (wine, broth or water) over the pan bottom to prevent drippings from burning. Roast turkey at 450°F for 25 minutes, baste and then rotate the roasting pan.
  6. Continue roasting until the skin turns golden brown, an additional 25 minutes; baste again. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F; continue to roast, basting and rotating the pan once about halfway through cooking, until the minimum internal temperature reaches 165°F.
  7. Remove the turkey from the oven. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Cook’s Note

Tips for Success: Internal temperature guidelines courtesy of USDA Food Safety Facts. Do NOT brine turkey if it includes "basting" liquids that contain salt. If you purchase a turkey with a pop-up timer, leave it in place and ignore it. If removed, the timer will leave a gaping hole for juices to escape. Optional- add herbs and seasoning to your brine. Stuff the turkey cavity with lemon, garlic and more herbs.