Brined Roasted Turkey

Brined Roasted Turkey

I’ve made brined turkey for the last 10 years. Each year, in addition to salt, I added all kinds of spices. Never tasted them, although the turkey was always juicy and not dry.

A few years ago I tried dry brining, it tasted like cured meat. I was going to try a second year, but the family said no.

This year I decided to go with a simple brine. 1/2 cup of table salt (non-iodized) per gallon of water and 1/2 cup of white granulated sugar per gallon of water. Brine 24 hours (in fridge), rinse with fresh water, allow to dry in fridge 12 hours before cooking at 325-F (to make a crispy skin). Before roasting, I added 1 chopped stalk of celery, 1 chopped onion and 1 chopped carrot to cavity. Coated the skin with melted butter before roasting. Roasted in a covered roaster in oven, removed lid the last 45-minutes to brown and crisp skin. Did not baste once during cooking. Cooked until breast was 165-F and thigh was 175-F.

This was the best turkey ever (except for one’s I have smoked in the Weber Kettle BBQ).
I always brine the turkey even if has been injected at the factory. I never comes out too
salty (only brine 24 hours) and is always better than unbrined.

I brine in a 16-qt stainless steel soup kettle. It holds a up to a 16 to 18 lb bird and takes about 2 gallons of water to cover the bird. The kettle is 1-ft high and about 1-ft wide.

If you make gravy from the drippings, don’t add salt to the gravy until you taste it. Drippings from a brined bird are salty.