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This turned out to be one of the most moist and flavorful turkeys we’ve ever made (and we’ve brined several through the years)! Simple ingredients, with great results. I highly recommend trying it.
How well does this work for smoking a turkey?
Hi Tonya, we’ve not tried it ourselves, but it should work great–if you try it, please report back. We’d love to hear how it goes!
Found this recipe last minute and couldn’t find sage in any store to save my life!! Luckily I had fresh rosemary and used that in it’s place! Amazing recipe! Turkey came out amazing!!! Will be using this recipe again!
Good job making due with what you had, Rebecca!
Used this brine and got AMAZING results. The turkey was super moist and flavorful, but not citrus tasting. Thank you!
Do you put water at bottom of the roasting pan while you cook the turkey?
Hi Jess, no, you don’t need to add water to the bottom of the pan while the turkey roasts.
Do I have to rinse it before I deep fry? I saw that I should make sure to pat dry but not rinse when deep frying a turkey. Just want to check. This recipe smells amazing so far!
Don’t rinse it, no. Just pat it as dry as you can get it before it goes in that fryer. Happy Thanksgiving, Heather!
I don’t have fresh sage ! I do have rubbed sage , may I sub it with that instead ?
Hi Mary, yes, you may use the rubbed sage, but use half the amount called for.
Do The additional 3 quartz of water get salted as well?
Hi Pat, nope–the 3 quarts of water added in Step 4 are unsalted.
I used this brine last year for Thanksgiving and the turkey turned out amazing! We like to cook the turkey crisp on the outside, but the inside was still juicy and tender. I’m not going to fix what’s not broken…so I’m going to keep using this recipe!
Hi, I don’t have any Kosher Salt. Can I use table salt instead and how much??
Hi Monica, yes, you can use table salt. 3/4 cup should do it.
Can I keep the turkey in brine for more than 24 hours? I’m thinking about 36 hours.
Before the roast, can I just rub turkey butter (unsalted) or do I need spices?
It’s gonna be my first turkey with brine.
Hi Kasia, are you planning to leave your turkey in the brine for 36 hours out of convenience? After a certain point, the salinity of the brine and the turkey reach equilibrium, so there’s no danger of the turkey getting too salty. 36 hours should be fine, but with no added flavor benefits–just convenience. You shouldn’t need additional spices after brining, but rubbing the bird down with butter can’t hurt, if you like doing that.
Looking forward to trying this for this year’s Thanksgiving where I’ll be making my first turkey. Any recommendations on a recipe to follow for the actual roasting? I saw a few options but wanted your opinion on the best since this is my first time.
Thanks a bunch!
Hi Maria, there’s Mom’s Roast Turkey if you want a classic roasted turkey. We also have a recipe for How to Dry Brine and Roast a Turkey, which you can check out even if you go with this wet brine. Either way should get you a wonderful turkey. Enjoy roasting your first bird!
I use Gordon Ramsey’s Christmas Turkey recipe on YouTube and it always comes out amazing
Looks good gonna try it next week for Thanksgiving.. do you cook the stuffing first and stuff the turkey before cooking the turkey??
Hi Tamara, have you stuffed a turkey before? You prepare the stuffing, but don’t put it in the bird hot. Warm stuffin into a cold turkey can encourage the growth of bacteria. We actually recommend baking the stuffing outside of the bird–it cooks up fluffier, doesn’t dry out the turkey, and is a lot safer from a food safety standpoint. And we even have a recipe to cook stuffing totally on the stovetop to free up oven space! Hope that helps.
I made my first ever roast turkey this year for Thanksgiving ( canadian Thanksgiving) and it was awesome! Everyone loved the turkey and how flavourful and juicy it was! This will be my forever recipe for roast turkey!!!!
I used this recipe to brine a duck. Supermarkets usually sell them frozen and the meat can be tough. I cut the recipe by half, then the salt again by half. Added 4 whole allspice, and some white wine. Then stirred in the orange sauce packet they give you after the brine cooled. Left the bird in the mixture for 18 hours. Wow, huge success. The citrus is a natural complement to duck and the acids help tenderize the meat.
Great brine… I added bay leaves.
The recipe calls for 2 bay leaves. Do you mean you missed seeing that or that you added more than two?
Excellent brine, I had a shadybrook turkey that had been injected with a brine solution so I cut the salt back by 1/3 and it was a really nice flavor, not overpowering at all. Also stuffed the turkey with oranges and lemons before cooking and doubled the brine recipe.
Easy, effective in adding the moisture and flavor. This is the only Brine recipe I have tried. If it works don’t change it……
Omgoodness, I used this recipe for Thanksgiving this year(minus the citrus because I’ve tried it with chicken before and did not like the taste) and whoa!!! My turkey was so juicy and delicious. It was packed with so much flavor and I even got a thumbs up from my teenager who doesn’t even like turkey. This recipe has been tagged, bookmarked, and printed for the rest of my living Thanksgiving days. Thank you for a simple but awesome brine!
sounds delicious. i forgot to buy oranges can i use clementines?
Hi, Cathy! Sure! Clementines sound delicious.