Brined-Whole-Turkey, Tips-juicy-bird

The Best Brined Whole Turkey & Tips for a Juicy Bird

Recipe for The Best Brined Whole Turkey and Great Tips on How to Prepare a Juicy Bird without Fuss. It'll be the best roasted turkey ever!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword brined turkey, brining, carvedturkey, carving, cooking tips, roasted turkey, roasting, turkey, whole turkey
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 11 hours 30 minutes
Servings 12 people
Calories 112 kcal


  • 1 (12 pounds) fresh whole turkey, bone-in and skin-on
  • 1 cup coarse salt
  • 1 cup sugar (skip if on a keto/low carb diet)
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, and sage if desired)
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • Aromatics (e.g. 1 quartered lemon, 2 sprigs fresh herbs, and 1/2 sliced white onion)
  • 1-3 cups chicken broth and/or white wine


  1. Remove giblets and neck from the cavity of the turkey. If desired, reserve for making gravy.
  2. For the Brine: Combine coarse salt and sugar in a large clean stockpot and mix with enough cold water to submerge the turkey. Let the mixture of salt and sugar dissolve completely before placing the turkey into the pot. 
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight ( for 8-12 hours). Remove the turkey from the brine, and rinse inside and out under cold running water to remove all traces of salt.

  4. Then, pat dry with paper towel. For a quick brine instead (if you are in a rush), brine the turkey for only 5 hours, but this time using double the amount of salt and sugar. Follow the same process describe above.

  5. Roasting: In a small bowl, mix the softened butter with half of the amount of salt and pepper, and 1 Tablespoon of the chopped herbs. Place turkey breast-side-up on the rack of a roasting pan. 

  6. Gently rub the butter mixture under the breast skin. Then, mix the oil with the remaining salt, pepper, and chopped herbs in a different bowl. Brush the oil mixture all over the turkey, except under the skin. 

  7. Place aromatics in the cavity. Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Pour the 1-3 cups of broth and/or wine into the pan bottom to prevent drippings from burning. 

  8. Amount of liquid will depend on the height of the rack, but don't let liquid touch the turkey.

  9. Roast turkey in the oven middle rack at 475 degrees F for 45-50 minutes or until breast skin turns golden brown, baste with the liquid from the bottom of the pan, and then rotate the roasting pan.  

  10. Cover just the breast with a piece of aluminum foil, reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F, and continue roasting for additional 125-130 minutes or until turkey is fully cooked (a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh without touching bone reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F).

  11. Turkey must be basted every 45 minutes. 

Recipe Notes

Nutrition Facts
The Best Brined Whole Turkey & Tips for a Juicy Bird
Amount Per Serving
Calories 112 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 7mg2%
Sodium 9699mg404%
Potassium 36mg1%
Carbohydrates 17g6%
Sugar 16g18%
Vitamin A 400IU8%
Vitamin C 6.3mg8%
Calcium 13mg1%
Iron 0.4mg2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.