No dish has more riding on its success than the holiday turkey. 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.

Recipe Summary

additional:
13 hrs 20 mins
total:
13 hrs 20 mins
Servings:
10
Yield:
10 servings
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Ingredients

10
Original recipe yields 10 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Overnight Brine: 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. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse inside and out under cool running water for several minutes to remove all traces of salt; pat dry with paper towel.

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  • 4-5 hour Brine: To brine your turkey in less time (4-5 hours), use 2 cups of Morton®Coarse Kosher Salt and two cups of sugar. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours.

  • 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. Pour the 1 cup liquid (wine, broth or water) over the pan bottom to prevent drippings from burning. Roast turkey at 450 degrees F for 25 minutes, baste and then rotate the roasting pan. Continue roasting until the skin turns golden brown, an additional 25 minutes; baste again. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F; continue to roast, basting and rotating the pan once about halfway through cooking, until the minimum internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. Remove the turkey from the oven. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.

Tips:

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.

(C)2013 Morton Salt, Inc.

Nutrition Facts

985 calories; protein 108.9g 218% DV; carbohydrates 20.7g 7% DV; fat 46.9g 72% DV; cholesterol 341.8mg 114% DV; sodium 9504.4mg 380% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (16)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2014
I've been making turkey for 30 years and this has got to be the best recipe yet. I usually don't brine but decided the morning of Thanksgiving to give it a try and used the quick method (doubling the salt and sugar and letting it sit in the refrigerator for 4 hours) and it resulted in the most moist and flavorful turkey I've ever made. The other difference was that I used a fresh rather than a frozen turkey and it came out so tender and juicy even the breast meat which typically comes out on the dry side. Even my mother (a very picky eater) enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing! Read More
(18)
22 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
11/28/2014
I've been making turkey for 30 years and this has got to be the best recipe yet. I usually don't brine but decided the morning of Thanksgiving to give it a try and used the quick method (doubling the salt and sugar and letting it sit in the refrigerator for 4 hours) and it resulted in the most moist and flavorful turkey I've ever made. The other difference was that I used a fresh rather than a frozen turkey and it came out so tender and juicy even the breast meat which typically comes out on the dry side. Even my mother (a very picky eater) enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing! Read More
(18)
Rating: 5 stars
12/20/2013
This was my first turkey ever made solo and my mom loved it! I was worried since my turkey was a bit larger so I just watched the thermometer and it turned out great. The brine is what makes this- you could anything to the butter when coating the bird but the brine leaves the meat super juicy. Thanks for the recipe!! Read More
(10)
Rating: 5 stars
10/01/2013
I've used the overnight method before with great results and was thrilled to see the quick brine method - I tried it and was happy with the results. Read More
(7)
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Rating: 5 stars
11/14/2018
I started hosted thanksgiving when I moved into my house 5 years ago for about 23 ppl. I always get a 23lb turkey double this recipe and it turns out juicy and delicious! This photo is from 2014 on my 1st try and I haven t wanted to change it up ever since! Very simple. Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
01/08/2017
I usually use the "Out of this world turkey brine" or the plain "Turkey brine" recipe from this site but decided to change things up a bit. Wow! Wow! WOW! I made a 22 lb turkey and tripled the recipe (probably was a bit too much). I have to admit I was very leery of using the sugar but it had great reviews so I decided to go for it. The gravy was so good (and I'm not a real big fan of gravy). I admitted to my husband toward the end of dinner that I had changed the brine recipe and his response was "Well looks like you found a keeper". Definitely easy and definitely worth trying! Read More
(2)
Rating: 5 stars
11/26/2013
I buy my turkey already brined but otherwise follow these directions. I think it turns out much better this way than the traditional 325 from the beginning. Read More
(1)
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Rating: 5 stars
12/01/2016
Best turkey I ever cooked!! So tasty and moist. We usually have lots of white meat left over but not this time. Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
11/24/2013
My first time making a turkey for thanksgiving so I had to try something simple but delicious. I did my trial and it came out great! I'm excited for my second turkey on thanksgiving using this recipe! Read More
(1)
Rating: 5 stars
12/07/2016
5th turkey ive made and the BEST...by far. Read More