If you’ve never brined a turkey, it’s a must to consider. Once I tried it I was hooked. it's definitely a must try and the end results are the most succulent bird I've ever had.

1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey

For the brine:
1 cup kosher salt
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 gallon vegetable stock
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:
Celery (3) stalks sliced
Carrots (3) sliced
Onions sliced and quartered
Rosemary (4) sprigs
Sage (6) leaves
Garlic (5 cloves)


2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and allspice berries in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Place aromatics to the turkey's cavity. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil. Add salt and pepper both interior and exterior of bird.

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.


  1. Barbara Monajem // November 26, 2013 at 10:49 AM  

    Thanks! I've always wondered about brining a turkey. I love the idea of using allspice berries -- I love allspice, and I happen to have a bunch of the berries left over from trying a stock recipe a while ago.

  2. Mary Ricksen // November 26, 2013 at 12:30 PM  

    What difference does it make? Always wondered, why bother?

  3. Mary Marvella // November 26, 2013 at 4:24 PM  

    It sounds amazing!
    Like a lot of work, too.

  4. debjulienne // November 26, 2013 at 4:54 PM  

    Hi Barbara, I love the berries as well and have been known to throw all sorts of things in it depending on my mood.

  5. debjulienne // November 26, 2013 at 4:55 PM  

    Hi Mary Rickson, oh--once you try it you'll go nuts, it's really not that much of hassel at all, for the finished product...hubby loves it and the turkey is NEVER dry.

  6. debjulienne // November 26, 2013 at 4:56 PM  

    Momma Mary, if you've never done it....it's a gotta try.

  7. Mary Marvella // November 26, 2013 at 6:06 PM  

    I'll consider it for a year when I have company.

  8. Scarlet Pumpernickel // November 26, 2013 at 11:14 PM  

    Daughter is cooking dinner this year at her house and is going to try brining a turkey. Will let you know how it turns out!

  9. Josie // December 1, 2013 at 1:35 PM  

    I've never brined a turkey before, but I've heard the results are fabulous. Our Thanksgiving turkey turned out dry this year, so hopefully I can try this recipe next time.