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Brining and Roasting Turkey

Brining and Roasting turkey produces a juicy, flavorful bird. Take the traditional turkey dinner up a level. Learn how to brine and roast your Turkey for sensational flavor and a truly juicy bird.

Have you ever brined a turkey? I have brined a turkey three times using this method. It produced great results every time so I feel confident that this recipe will do you well.

The first time I brined a 14 lb. thawed frozen bird. This year I upped the poundage to 20 lb. I still used the same recipe and the same amount of brine.

Our turkey turned out juicy and full of good flavor.

I put the fresh bird (be sure to fully defrost a frozen turkey prior to putting it into the brining solution) into my five gallon cooler.

I covered it completely in brine as the recipe instructs, overnight, in my fridge. The next morning, I prepared the bird according to this recipe and convection roasted it as the recipe suggests.

The resulting Turkey is without doubt the best I have ever made.

Brining And Roasting A Turkey
Brining And Roasting a Turkey produces a juicy, flavorful bird with a crispy skin.

Note: This turkey is fresh and organic. I really wanted the best for this bird. We got it. Everyone loved it. The leftovers are juicy and flavorful and made a great Homemade Turkey soup and Leftover Holiday Pie!

However, The first time I brined a turkey it was a cheap, frozen Jenny O Turkey. It turned out fantastic as well. So you don’t need organic turkey for a great outcome. It’s just healthier 🙂

Looking for More Wet Brines? Try our Buttermilk Brined Turkey

Brining And Roasting A Turkey
I have brined turkey with this method twice now. We loved it both times. Here is this year’s turkey straight out of the oven.

Brining and Roasting Turkey:

The process of brining and roasting turkey is not difficult. I recommend you plan ahead so you have your cooler ready(orbrining bag) and the room set aside in your fridge. That takes strategy on a holiday, and an extra day. But it’s worth it. 

I suggest you ask other people to bring the make ahead chilled salads and desserts. Your fridge will have plenty of room to store them once your turkey is out of the way.

TIP: I used my 20 quart cooler to store the brine and turkey one time I brined. Worked great but took a lot of room. The last time I used a brining bag I purchased at the store. The brining bag will make it easier to fit the turkey into your fridge. 

Brining And Roasting A Turkey
Brining And Roasting a Turkey with a light filling of apples, onions and fresh Rosemary sprigs. I also rubbed this one with herbed butter.

Wondering what to do with the leftover bones? Don’t Throw them out. Learn how to Make healthy and delicious Bone Broth!

Too much turkey leftover? Make Turkey Jerky Dog Treats for the pups. It easy and very healthy for them.

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Brining And Roasting A Turkey
Yield: one brined and roasted turkey

Brining and Roasting Turkey

Prep Time: 9 hours
Cook Time: 3 hours
Additional Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 12 hours 20 minutes

The best, most simple turkey brine recipe I have found is this one. The flavor this brine gives the bird is amazing and the meat is REALLY juicy!


For the Brine:

  • 3/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 Cup Honey
  • 32 ounces low-sodium chicken broth (or Turkey Broth)
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 (12- to 14-pound) fresh or thawed turkey, neck and giblets removed

Stuffing ingredients:

  • 1 onion, peeled and cut in half and sliced thin
  • 1 Fuji or Honeycrisp apple, quartered
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved
  • 4 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil


For the brine:

  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add salt, honey, broth, peppercorns and rosemary into the saucepan stirring to dissolve salt.
  3. Cool at room temperature, then refrigerate until needed.
  4. About 6 to 8 hours before you plan to roast your turkey, place brine mixture in a large clean bucket, stock pot or cooler and stir in 1 gallon of ice water.
  5. Place turkey in the bucket, breast side down, cover and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Make sure the turkey is fully submerged, adding more ice water if necessary.

To roast the turkey:

  1. Preheat the oven to (Convection roast mode if you have it) 450°F. Remove turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly, inside and out, with cool water and pat dry.
  2. Discard brine solution.
  3. Season turkey cavity with salt and pepper.
  4. Stuff turkey with onion, apple, garlic and rosemary.
  5. Place on a roasting rack set inside a large roasting pan and tuck the wings back.
  6. Brush the entire turkey with avocado oil or other oil, that is stable at high heat.
  7. Cover breast portion with foil and place turkey on lowest rack in oven and roast 30 minutes.
  8. Turn the heat down to 350°F and roast 2 to 2 1/2 hours longer, until a thermometer reads 165°F when inserted between the breast and thigh without touching the bone.
  9. Remove foil from breast about 45 minutes before the turkey is done.
  10. Remove turkey from pan, place on a platter and tent with foil. Let the turkey rest 20 minutes before carving.


The video below shows you how to buttermilk brine a turkey. This is also a great brine to use when roasting a turkey. Just make the brine you prefer and follow the cooking instructions for roasting here. OR if you want to bake your turkey, follow the video baking instructions. Either method will give you a great bird.

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Nutrition Information



Serving Size

8 0z.

Amount Per Serving Calories 218Total Fat 10gSaturated Fat 7gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 2gCholesterol 74mgSodium 8551mgCarbohydrates 22gFiber 1gSugar 19gProtein 11g

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Brining And Roasting A Turkey-Pin Image
Brining a turkey is a great way to preserve the juices and flavor in your Thanksgiving bird. This recipe is one of my favorites and i’m sharing it with you. #brining #turkey #recipe #easy #howto #pioneerwoman #roasting
How To Brine A Turkey-Pin Image
Brining and Roasting turkey produces a juicy, flavorful bird. Take the traditional turkey dinner up a level. Learn how to brine and roast your Turkey for sensational flavor and a truly juicy bird.

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Wednesday 27th of November 2019

Do you know how long a 20 lb turkey will take to cook with your brine recipe? Thanks!


Wednesday 27th of November 2019

Hi Susie, If you follow the recipe with the brine and light stuffing and initial roasting at 450 degrees F the roasting time will be close to what you see in the recipe. Add one more hour to your cooking schedule and make sure the internal temperature is correct before removing the turkey to rest. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Molly Kumar

Saturday 28th of November 2015

WoW, you explained in such an easy way the brining process. I always want to do but never knew which process to follow. I'm bookmarking yours for my next turkey dinner - Thanks for sharing :)


Saturday 28th of November 2015

Thank you Molly. I hope you enjoy this method of roasting a turkey. We sure did!

Leftover Holiday Pie-Homemade Food Junkie

Thursday 26th of November 2015

[…] this leftover holiday pie to use them up in a delicious one dish meal! We have eaten most of the brined roasted turkey, homemade turkey soup and turkey cranberry¬†sandwiches.¬†These last few days have been easy on me. […]

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