Roasted Turkey

Want to make a great turkey every time.  Here is how I do it.  The trick is a little time and a few extra steps.

Two days before the meal

Brine the turkey for at least 24 hours. (I am assuming that the turkey has been defrosted* or it is fresh)

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp Basel
  • 2 tbsp Thyme
  • 1 tbsp All Spice
  • 2 Bay Leaves 
  • 1 gallon (cold)
Use 1/3 of the water, add the salt and sugar, heat and dissolve. Do not bring this to a boil.  In a large container add the water/salt/sugar mixture and another third of the water and stir in the rest of the spices.  Add the turkey. Use the last third of the water to cover the entire turkey.  Cover the container and refrigerate.

Day of the meal

I prefer to use an electric roaster. This frees up the oven for the rest of the meal and I think it offers better heat control.  Refer to your roasters instructions for cooking time but I plan on 20 min / pound at 375F

30 minutes before roasting, rinse the turkey and place it on a baking tray.  Inject with your favorite injection recipe. I use the one below.

In a sauce pan heat and stir till dissolved 
  • 1 stick of butter 
  • 1/3 bottle of beer
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp white pepper
Heat only long enough to melt the butter and dissolve the salt. Inject the mixture into the turkey using a flavor injector.  

Stuff the turkey (if desired)

Place the turkey in the roaster.  Sprinkle with:
  • Paprika
  • Pepper
Cover with the cheapest uncooked bacon you can find (1lbs is usually enough).  The idea here is to cover the turkey completely, the bacon fat will add flavor and add moisture to the bird.

1 hour before the turkey is done, remove the bacon and discard.

For the last hour baste the turkey every 15 minutes until the turkey reaches 165F measured with an instant read thermometer inserted in the inner side of the thigh.

Remove the turkey from the roaster and let it stand for 15 minutes covered with foil. 

Let me know your experience with this recipe and any changes that you make.

* Defrost a turkey in the fridge 24hours/5lbs.  

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