Brined and Roasted Whole Turkey Recipe -
Brined and Roasted Whole Turkey Recipe
  • READY IN 6+ hrs

Brined and Roasted Whole Turkey

Recipe by  

"Brining a whole turkey takes time and kitchen space, but the mouthwatering results are definitely worth the trouble."

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Ingredients Edit and Save

Original recipe makes 10 servings Change Servings
  • PREP

    5 hrs
  • COOK

    1 hr 15 mins

    6 hrs 15 mins


  1. To 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 for 4 to 5 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.
  2. 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 *internal temperature reaches 170 degrees F for turkey breast meat and 180 degrees F for turkey thigh meat. Remove the turkey from the oven. Let stand 20 minutes before carving.
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  • Tips
  • *Internal temperature guidelines courtesy of USDA Food Safety Facts.
  • Do NOT brine turkey if it includes basting liquids that contain salt.
  • If pressed for time, use twice as much salt and sugar in the brine and cut soaking time to just 2 hours.
  • 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

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
Dec 22, 2008

Absolutely fantastic! This year's turkey was SO moist and delicious. I've done this with chicken tenders before I deep fry them but never thought about doing it with a whole turkey. It was wonderful and I won't roast my turkeys without brining them first. I also took some advise from a member who submitted a recipe that called for roasting the turkey upside down to keep the breast meat from drying out and it works beautifully.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Nov 24, 2006

My turkey was done on the outside but not done closer to the bone. I had a 12 lb, turkey in for 3 hours and followed the directions, I had to put it back in for 1 hr. 30min. I wouldn't brine it again.


13 Ratings

Dec 01, 2006

My turkey was self-basted (pre-brined), so I didn't need to brine, but otherwise just did the melted butter, pepper and a bit of salt on the skin, and stuck 2 tablespoons under the skin over each breast to keep it moist - absolutely delicious, plain and simple, and used the drippings to make gravy. This was actually my first time cooking turkey. This one turned out much better than the second turkey I made with a cooking light magazine recipe.

Nov 24, 2006

Brining the turkey made all the difference in the world! Definitely a keeper.

Nov 24, 2010

It wasn't exactly the easiest to do, but I wouldn't make my turkey any other way from now on. Be sure you rinse it really well - mine was still a bit salty but delicious and juicy.

Nov 27, 2009

I followed the brine instructions exactly- I left the turkey in the brine overnight- turkey was moist and delicious.

Nov 29, 2010

This recipe turned out great. I would just note to make sure you have a large bucket for the brine as mine wasted alot when the turkey made it overflow. Also, I needed alot more cooking time to hit the desired temps, and alot more butter than the recipe called for, but the latter is just personal preference. I also brined overnight. Still I got alot of compliments on my very first turkey I ever cooked, and I'm not very handy in the kitchen, so this recepi is cerctainly worth the effort.

Jun 10, 2012

Just used the brining part as a guide, then cooked turkey in a bag. My turkey, the first I've ever made turned out great. It was super moist! My husband, who is not a huge fan of turkey really like it. The extra effort of brining in worth it and really not a whole lot more work.


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