Perfect Turkey Every Time

Coconut Free | Egg Free | Gluten Free | Grain Free | Legume Free | Nut Free | Sugar Free

Natural Grocers

    19 hours

    1 turkey

    Want to make sure you serve the most flavorful turkey with moist white meat and crispy skin this holiday season? Try this recipe and get a perfect turkey every time!


  • 3 cups unrefined sea salt (such as Real Orsa Salt®)
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • 5 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 5 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 4 gallons plus 4 cups water
  • 1 naturally-raised turkey
  • 1 large brown paper bag, preferably without ink
  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of grass-fed butter
  • Add all ingredients to list
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Step 1, Brine

To make the brine:

  1. Combine salt, garlic, rosemary, bay leaves, peppercorns and 1 gallon of water in a large saucepan.
  1. Cook over medium heat until salt has dissolved.
  1. Remove from heat and allow the mixture to sit for 30 minutes before transferring to a bowl and cooling completely in the refrigerator.

Brine the turkey:

  1. Remove giblets and neck from turkey.
  1. Combine cooled salt mixture with the remaining 3 gallons and 4 cups of cold water in a container large enough to hold the turkey and water.
  1. Gently place the turkey into the brine, making sure turkey is fully submerged. Weigh the turkey down with a heavy plate if necessary. Transfer container to refrigerator or a cooler packed with ice.
  2. Allow turkey to brine for 12 to 24 hours, turning turkey once.

Step 2, Cook:

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. About 1 hour before cooking, remove turkey from the brine; rinse under cold  water and pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Discard brine.
  3. Prepare the paper bag by coating the inside of it with one stick of butter. Be sure to get the entire inside coated.
  4. Prepare the turkey by placing a few tablespoons of butter inside the cavity along with any of the following: chopped onion, sliced garlic, fresh rosemary, thyme and/or sage, fresh lemon slices. Rub the outside of the turkey with the remaining butter. Tie up the legs with kitchen twine.
  5. Turn the paper bag so the wide side is flat on the counter. Have someone hold the bag open while you slide the turkey into the bag, breast side up. The side of the turkey should be parallel to the opening of the bag. Fold the edges of the bag up and staple the bag closed.
  6. Transfer the bag with the turkey breast side up to a roasting pan large enough to hold it. Place in preheated oven, making sure the bag does not touch the heating element.
  7. Roast for the minimum suggested time for your size of turkey. To test for doneness, remove pan from the oven and using a sharp knife, make a slit in the top of the bag parallel to the stapled side. Be careful to allow the steam to escape before using an instant read thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.
  8. The turkey is done when the temperature reaches 165 to 170°F (150 to 155°F for a heritage turkey). If the turkey is not quite done, return the roasting pan to the oven and continue cooking, checking the temperature every 15 to 20 minutes until done.
  9. If you would like to brown your turkey a little more, remove the turkey from the bag, return it to the roasting pan, increase the oven temperature to 350°F and put turkey back in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3, Serve:

  1. Remove the turkey from the oven and cut the bag open along the bottom edge. Discard bag. Carefully remove the turkey to a plate and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
  1. Carve and enjoy your perfect turkey!

Tip: This recipe makes enough brine for up to a 17-pound turkey. For a significantly smaller or larger turkey; alter the salt and water amounts, being sure to keep the same proportions.

Source: Heather Pratt

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