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? About Brining a Turkey

bwbw Posts: 87
edited 5:03AM in EggHead Forum
Unfortunately this year we will not be able to do a turkey on the BGE we are going out of town for the holiday, BUT we would like to brine the turkey and then roast in the oven. Wondering if there are any good recipes/methods to this and also can you stuff the turkey once it is brined and roast or is it better just brined and roasted unstuffed.

I would greatly appreciate any feed back.

Happy Thanksgiving



  • FidelFidel Posts: 10,172
    This makes a darn good turkey and gravy:

    Alton Brown Brined Roast Turkey
  • mkcmkc Posts: 540
    I've been brining and oven-roasting our turkey each year for the past decade or so (haven't had an Egg until this year).

    First, make sure your turkey isn't kosher, self-basting, etc. You don't want a turkey that's already contacted or been injected with a salt-based solution.

    My favorite method is the Cook's Illustrated one from 1995, "Roast Turkey Revisited", which is for a large (18-20 lb) bird, although I have successfully scaled it back a little for a 14 lb bird (just keep the salt concentration the same).

    I brine overnight in a mixture of 2 cups Morton kosher salt and 2 gallons of water. We use our Home Depot jug cooler for this since it fits in the beverage fridge nicely.

    Cook's has also posted a version which uses twice the salt concentration and you brine for only 4-6 hours but I found that version to produce inconsistent results and too salty a bird and pan drippings. I also get less salty results with Morton than with Diamond Crystal kosher salt.

    Make sure to rinse and pat dry the bird then rub all over with softened butter.

    We roast starting with the breast side down in the convection oven with the turkey in a V-rack and some aromatic veggies (onions, carrots, celery) below. Sometimes I also put veggies and fresh herbs (especially thyme and/or tarragon) in the bird's cavity. For a roughly 18 lb bird, I roast at 250 F, for 3 hours. We then flip the bird over, breast side up, and roast another hour. Then you crank the temperature up to 400, stick a probe thermometer in the breast, and roast until 165 internal which is usually no more than another hour. I baste once every hour or so on a big bird, more like every 30-45 minutes on a smaller one.

    A tip for flipping the bird over - use heavy-duty foil against the bird and oven mitts over your hands and do it by hand. DH has gotten quite good at this.

    I cook the stuffing outside the bird for a couple of reasons. As AB would say "Stuffing is Evil" :)

    #1 is food safety. You need the stuffing to reach 165 if it's in the bird. If you pull at 165 in the breast, the stuffing hasn't gotten hot enough.

    #2 is meat quality. If you cook until the stuffing reads 165, the bird is overcooked and dry, plus you then have to get the stuffing out of the bird so it doesn't sit there in the "danger zone".


    Egging in Denton, Texas
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