Cooking A Turkey Brine & Roast OR BBQ

Brine & Roast the Bird

Brine the Bird

Brine the Bird

Once you've made the decision to brine your own bird, the work that goes into this labor of love is substantial, but always tastes amazing!

Brined Turkey Recipe

INGREDIENTS: Brine Roasting Brining Instructions:

Clean the turkey by removing the giblet bag and any extra internal fat. Rinse well under cold tap water. Combine the sugar, salt and 3 to 4 quarts of water in a large bowl. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve, and then add the remainder of the brine ingredients except for the remaining 1½ gallons water. Double-bag two heavy-duty, unscented trash bags (not made of recycled materials), then put them in an ice chest that is large enough to hold the turkey. Place the turkey in the doubled bags, pour in the brine, then the remaining 1½ gallons of water - there should be enough liquid to completely submerge the bird. Press out all the air in the bags, and then tightly close each bag separately. Keep the turkey cold with bags of ice, which will also help keep it submerged in the brine. Brine for 12 to 24 hours.

Alternate method: Instead of using an ice chest, place the turkey and brine in a large pan or bowl and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours. If the turkey floats to the top, weight it down with a plate and cans to keep it completely submerged in the brine.

Roasting: Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the turkey from the brine, rinse and dry well. Spread 2 tablespoons softened butter over the skin and sprinkle the pepper over the skin and in the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under, loosely truss the legs and place the turkey on a V-shaped racking in a roasting pan. Tent the breast with foil and place the turkey in the oven. Roasting note: To assure that the bird cooks evenly, rotate the roasting pan 180°F every 30 minutes while the turkey is in the oven. Roast for about 1 hour, remove the foil and baste the turkey with 1½ cups stock. Return to the oven and roast, basting with pan drippings and more stock (if desired) every 20 minutes. Start checking the internal temperature after about 1 hour of roasting time. If the legs begin to get too brown, cover them loosely with foil. Roast the turkey until the internal thigh temperature reaches 165°F. Total roasting time should be about 2 to 2¾ hours. Let rest for at least 20 to 30 minutes before carving. Serves 6 to 8, with leftovers.

Basic Turkey Roasting Instructions

If you plan on purchasing your turkey without brine, yummy! Here are our easy tips and tricks to helping roast your bird.

Remove turkey from the bag. After removing neck and giblets from the body cavity, rinse the bird with cold water. Pat cavities lightly with a paper towel. Rub body and neck cavities with salt if desired, and stuff loosely. Truss neck cavity with metal skewer and truss legs.

NYLON TRUSS: To remove the truss just lift the ring and pull it up and over the end of the drumstick. To secure the truss, hold the drumsticks together, lift the ring and pull it over the drumsticks. The nylon truss is oven and microwave safe and can withstand oven temperatures of up to 450°F.

THE PASTE OR RUB: Spread exterior of turkey with a blend of your favorite herbs and spices or with a paste made of the following ingredients:

Heat oven to 325°F. Place bird in open pan, breast side up. Pour two 8 ounce cups of water in bottom of pan. Place in oven. See table below for suggested roasting times (stuffed turkey). NOTE: If roasting turkey unstuffed then decrease roasting time by approximately 30 minutes. Roasting time may vary as much as 30 minutes due to differences in individual equipment. You may want to check your oven for correct temperature. Please follow roasting times suggested being careful not to over-roast. There is no need to turn the bird while roasting as it will brown to a rich, golden color. However, a piece of foil should be placed loosely over the turkey for approximately the last hour of roasting.

When the turkey is done, the thickest part of the drumstick will feel soft. Remove from oven. Let stand 15 minutes before carving.

Roasting Time TOM
Roasting Time
6-10 lbs.* approx. 2 hrs. 24-26 lbs. 4 3/4 - 5 hrs.
10-12 lbs. 3 - 3 1/4 hrs. 26-28 lbs. 5 - 5 1/4 hrs.
12-14 lbs. 3 1/4 - 3½ hrs. 28-30 lbs. 5 1/4 - 5½ hrs.
14-16 lbs. 3½ - 3 3/4 hrs. 30-32 lbs. 5½ - 5 3/4 hrs.
16-18 lbs. 3 3/4 - 4 hrs. 32-34 lbs. 5 3/4 - 6 1/4 hrs.
18-20 lbs. 4 - 4½ hrs. 34-36+ lbs. 6 1/4 - 6½ hrs.
20-22 lbs. 4½ - 5 hrs.
22-24 lbs. 5 - 5½ hrs.
24-26 lbs. 5½ - 5 3/4 hrs.

Roasting A Bone-In Turkey Breast

Because not everyone needs a giant bird, sometimes a flavorful bone-in turkey breast is the way to go. Here are some directions on making your bone-in breast as succulent as possible.

Directions: To prepare simply remove from bag, put in an open roasting pan and roast at 325°F. for approximately 18 minutes per pound to an internal temperature of 160°F. Be careful not to over-roast!

Pro Tip: Carving Your Turkey

Pro Tip: Safe Poultry Handling

Never stuff a bird in advance. Stuff it just before roasting.

BBQ Your Bird

BBQ Your Mind

This year, try something a little different! In California, we are lucky enough to enjoy BBQ season year 'round. This November, put your sweater on and grill your Thanksgiving turkey to perfection. Here are some tips that we have found to be a must to develop that same juicy, tender, flavorful meat when barbecuing a turkey.

Barbecued Turkey

Turkeys are terrific when barbecued!

Using a meat thermometer, cook turkey to internal temperature of 180°F in thigh and 165°F in breast. A 10 to 16 lb. turkey will take 2 to 3 hours to grill. When done, remove and let stand for 15 minutes before carving.

Pro Tip: Carving Your Turkey

Pro Tip: Carving Your Turkey

Pro Tip: Safe Poultry Handling

Never stuff a bird in advance. Stuff it just before roasting.