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Preparing the perfect Thanksgiving turkey

Posted at 8:31 AM, Nov 16, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-16 10:31:09-05

Thanksgiving Turkey Brine


2 gal. cold water
2 c. kosher salt
1 c. brown sugar
2 tbsp. garlic, minced
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
4 sage leaves
1 tbsp. pepper
1 tsp. allspice


1. Allow at least 12 hours or overnight to properly brine the turkey. Combine all the ingredients in a large pot and stir until the sugar and salt dissolves.
2. Pour over turkey in a large pot, zip bag, or bucket. Be sure to completely submerge the turkey in the brine. Use a weighted plate to hold the turkey under the brine if necessary.
3. After brining the bird, completely rinse and then pat dry with paper towels. Season as desired and cook.

Thanksgiving Turkey tips

• Purchase whole turkeys at about 1 pound per person.
• Buy frozen turkeys at least 5 days in advance to allow them to completely thaw in the fridge.
• For faster thawing, submerging the turkey completely in water then keep in fridge overnight.
• Dry or wet brine your turkey for optimal flavor and juiciness.
• Use gloves if possible and keep raw turkey off of surfaces where other foods will be to prevent contamination of salmonella.
• Completely dry surface of turkey before roasting for crispy skin.
• Stuff cavity of turkey with aromatics like onion, carrot, celery or lemons to flavor the turkey from the inside out.
• Use a digital thermometer to monitor the temperature of the meat, inserted in the thickest part of the breast, not touching the bone.
• Do not overcook, a turkey is done at 165 degrees but will continue to cook while resting; sometimes as much as 10 degrees. I pull my turkey at 155.
• Rest turkey at least 20 minutes prior to carving.

Recipe sponsored by: Smith's Food and Drug