The most delicious turkey ever! The brine is well worth the extra time the night before; the result is a juicy, perfectly seasoned turkey. A brined turkey cooks 20-30 minutes faster; keep that in mind when consulting roasting charts. Enjoy!

Recipe Summary

Servings:
15
Yield:
1 whole turkey
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Ingredients

15
Original recipe yields 15 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Rinse turkey inside and out with cold water; pat dry with paper towels.

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  • Mix water, apple cider, kosher salt, and sugar in a large pot or 5-gallon food-grade bucket, stirring to dissolve salt and sugar. Submerge the turkey in the brine, cover the container, and place in refrigerator, 8 hours or overnight.

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).

  • Remove turkey from brine and discard used brine. Place turkey with breast side up into a roasting pan; pat turkey and cavity dry with paper towels. Loosen turkey skin over the breast and thighs with your fingers.

  • Mix olive oil, thyme, and poultry seasoning in a small bowl. Rub the seasoned oil over the turkey and underneath the loosened skin. Cover turkey loosely with aluminum foil.

  • Roast in the preheated oven until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh, not touching bone, reads 165 to 175 degrees F (75 to 80 degrees C), 4 to 4 1/2 hours. Remove foil tent about 45 minutes before end of roasting time to let the skin brown. Let turkey rest 30 to 45 minutes before carving.

Editor's Notes:

Always brine foods in a food-grade, nonreactive container such as a stainless steel or enameled stockpot, a brining bag, or a food-grade plastic bucket. Never use ordinary trash bags, plastic trash cans, or metal buckets or containers not meant for food use.

The nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of the brine ingredients. The actual amount of the brine consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts

952 calories; protein 98.1g 196% DV; carbohydrates 48.6g 16% DV; fat 37.7g 58% DV; cholesterol 286.1mg 95% DV; sodium 9387.1mg 376% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (24)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 4 stars
12/01/2015
I made the brining liquid for the turkey and it was OK--can't say that it added any taste to the bird but the turkey was nice & moist. I did find that the unstuffed 16lbs turkey was cooked in 2.5 hrs rather than 3.5-4.5 hrs @ 325º. I pulled the turkey out at 160º (though really wanted to pull it out at 155º) and because it was done so early I let it rest for over 2 hrs. Still very hot when we finally cut into it so don't think you have to time it so perfectly. The turkey was very moist and cooked through. Read More
(9)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 2 stars
03/04/2020
Not sure what I did wrong but it was too vinegar tasting for our taste. Bird was very well brined and juicy after cooking but the vinegar taste was off putting. Read More
32 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 29
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2016
I used this recipe to make my very first Thanksgiving turkey this year. It turned out super tender and was a HUGE hit! The 14 lb turkey was literally picked clean by the end of the night! I followed the recipe for the most part but made a few small changes. I made the overnight brine as suggested but replaced the water with chicken broth. The next morning I prepared the turkey for the oven per the recipe but added more seasonings. I added onion and garlic powder, seasoning salt, rosemary, pepper, and sage to the olive oil mixture for even more flavor. I also placed pats of butter on and under the skin of the turkey prior to roasting. I removed the foil tent from the turkey 45 minutes prior to the end of cooking time (which was 4.5 hours). This was a very easy recipe and well received by all. You won't be disappointed! Read More
(13)
Rating: 4 stars
12/01/2015
I made the brining liquid for the turkey and it was OK--can't say that it added any taste to the bird but the turkey was nice & moist. I did find that the unstuffed 16lbs turkey was cooked in 2.5 hrs rather than 3.5-4.5 hrs @ 325º. I pulled the turkey out at 160º (though really wanted to pull it out at 155º) and because it was done so early I let it rest for over 2 hrs. Still very hot when we finally cut into it so don't think you have to time it so perfectly. The turkey was very moist and cooked through. Read More
(9)
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2016
Very simple and easy to make. Flavor was delicious and meat very moist. I roasted in the Big Green Egg with soaked Apple wood chips for smoke and it turn out perfect. I've used other brines in the past that required more preparation and to be honest didn't give any better results. My wife said this by far was the best brine and roast I had done, so happy wife, happy life! Read More
(8)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2014
I tried it on two turkey breasts at half the recipe and man was it delicious. We're looking forward to trying it on the whole turkey this Thanksgiving! Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
11/22/2016
Ive made this brine for my fresh Turkey for the past 3 or 4 years. I will never make a Turkey any other way. It's the juiciest Turkey I've ever made. I don't t change the recipe at all except to add rosemary and sage. Thanks so much for posting this recipe and this year will post a picture of my bird!! Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
11/27/2015
Wow! This turkey was the best yet. The bring was so easy. I had it in the brine for about 24 hours. Didn't change a thing. Very moist and delicious. Will definitely make again. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Read More
(2)
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Rating: 5 stars
05/12/2017
Hands down this is the best turkey I have ever had! I was intimidated by the brining process and frankly the turkey baking process but this one was a piece of cake. I didn't have a large enough container for the fridge so I used my large ice cooler overnight. I slightly decreased the amount of water in exchange for a 3 lb bag of ice (some ice I put in a zip lock so it wouldn't dilute too much). Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
11/29/2017
This is the only way I will ever make a Turkey. I received so many compliments from people who never give them in fact they're critical! This was so juicy I was blown away at how easy and delicious. Thank you for saving Thanksgiving. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
05/12/2017
The first time I ever brine anything and the poultry did come out very juicy. I brine four chicken breast with bone therefore scaled down the ingredient by a quarter. I added some garlic salt and rosemary to olive oil mixture. Read More
(1)
Rating: 2 stars
03/04/2020
Not sure what I did wrong but it was too vinegar tasting for our taste. Bird was very well brined and juicy after cooking but the vinegar taste was off putting. Read More