Brined Roasted Turkey

Culinary Setting
Meal Type
Main Course, Entrée
2 HR 50 MIN
Cooking Style
Whole Turkey


15 lb WHOLE TURKEY (not self-basting or kosher) thawed, giblets and neck removed

2 c Table salt (do not substitute equal amounts of kosher salt)

2 Gallons Water, icy cold

4 c Brown sugar

1/2 c Rosemary, dried

1 Onion, small, peeled and qtered

1 Carrot, cut into 1-inch chunks

4-6 tbsp Unsalted butter



In a very large clean container (non-corrosive pan or stockpot such as stainless steel or glass or a food-grade plastic container), mix salt and water together until salt dissolves. Stir in brown sugar and spices, mix well until sugar dissolves.

Totally submerge poultry in solution and store, covered, in refrigerator for at least 6 hours and up to 8 hours. Since brining does not preserve meat, the turkey must be kept below 40 degrees F throughout the entire brining process. Ice packs may also be used to keep turkey at a safe temperature of below 40 degrees F.

Remove turkey from brine. Discard brine. Pat skin and both interior cavities dry.

* NOTE: The ratio of water to salt is appropriate for a 15-pound turkey. If a larger or smaller turkey is brined, please calculate accordingly.

* *NOTE: Other combinations of herbs may be added including 6-8 bay leaves, 3 cloves garlic and 2 teaspoons black peppercorns. Or a spicy flavor may be achieved by the addition of 1 cup small dried red chile peppers.


In the cavity of turkey, place onion, carrot and celery.

Brush turkey with melted butter.

Roast turkey, breast side down, in a preheated 325 degree F oven for 2 hours. During this time, baste legs and back twice with melted butter.

Remove turkey from oven and protecting your hands, grasp turkey with several layers of clean paper towels at both ends, and turn turkey, breast side up.

Return turkey to oven and continue to roast, basting twice with pan dripping. Continue to roast until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. NOTE: A brined turkey cooks slightly faster than an unbrined turkey, so check the internal temperature frequently.

Remove turkey from the oven and allow to stand for 20 minutes before carving.