Perfectly crispy, golden brown skin and tender, flavorful turkey are what you get with this easy buttermilk brine. We love this recipe because it’s so simple – just a few ingredients yield big taste! Try spatchcocking your turkey for a quicker, more even cook on the grill. Your whole crew will be gobblin’ for seconds of this delicious turkey.
2 qt cold water
1/2 c kosher salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 large bay leaf
2 tbsp fresh rosemary
1 small fresh garlic clove, lightly smashed
12-14 lb whole turkey, fresh or thawed if frozen
4 qt cold buttermilk
Savory Brine Mixture
Combine all ingredients in a large (3+ qt) saucepan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes.
Let the mixture cool completely before proceeding.
Remove giblets and neck from the turkey cavities.
In a large container, such as a seal-able brine bag or 5-gallon food-safe grade bucket with lid, add cold Savory Brine Mixture and buttermilk. Stir well. Add turkey to the brine and submerge it. If using a bucket, place an ice-filled bowl on top of the turkey to keep the turkey submerged.
Brine turkey no longer than 24 hours, remembering to keep it under 40 degrees F for the entire brining time.
Remove turkey from brine and pat dry with a paper towel. Discard brine.
For grilling: Prepare grill for indirect medium-high heat. Place turkey on grill and cook for 1-1/2-2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. The outside should be crisp and golden brown. Remove turkey from the roasting pan and let set for 15-20 minutes before carving.
For oven roasting: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Place turkey on a V-shaped rack in a 2-inch roasting pan and roast about 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F. The outside should be crisp and golden brown. Remove turkey from the roasting pan and let set for 15-20 minutes before carving.
Optional: Feel free to add your favorite glaze or baste your turkey during the cooking process. Either way, you'll have a tender, juicy turkey.