Perfect Roast Turkey

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I was influenced by Alton Brown to come up with an easy, juicy, almost fool-proof recipe for roast turkey. The following original recipe has proved so popular, I am asked to make it several times a year, and have to make around a dozen every Thanksgiving. This turkey does not need gravy, as it is very juicy. Prep time does not include brining. Use only kosher salt.

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Ingredients [?]

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  • add   1/2 onion
  • add   4 sprigs rosemary
  • add   canola oil
  • add   7 cups cold water
  • add   1/2 tablespoon cardamom pods
  • add   1 cinnamon stick
  • add   1 apple
  • add   1 cup kosher salt
  • add   1 (10 lb) turkey
  • add   1/2 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • add   6 sage leaves
  • add   1 gallon vegetable stock
  • add   1/2 tablespoon juniper berries
  • add   1 cup orange juice
  • add   1/2 cup brown sugar


  1. Place all brine ingredients except orange juice and cold water in a large pot, bring to a boil, then simmer until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
  2. Place turkey in a large pot, cooler or bucket (I use a sterilized Home Depot bucket) and pour brine mixture, orange juice and cold water over turkey.
  3. Place in refrigerator or a cool place, such as a basement, for at least 8 hours, turning turkey over once halfway through.
  4. After turkey has been brined, remove turkey and throw away brining mixture.
  5. Set oven to 500 degrees.
  6. Place apple, onion and cinnamon in a microwave-proof container with one cup water and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
  7. Rinse turkey thoroughly and pat dry, then coat generously with canola oil and place, breast side up, in roasting pan.
  8. Pour off water from aromatics and stuff turkey cavity with heated aromatics, rosemary and sage.
  9. Roast turkey at 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
  10. After 30 minutes, place a foil tent over the turkey's breast, and turn heat down to 350 degrees.
  11. Roast turkey for 90 minutes.
  13. Remove turkey from oven, remove tent, and let turkey rest at least 15 minutes before carving.