Alton Brown's Good Eats Turkey - Brined & Delicious

Prep Time
Cook Time
2d 3h
Ready In

"I made this last year and it was delicious. I use a brand new Home Depot Bucket for brining-I think it works better than the bags. I prefer to cook the Turkey until its 170F or more, not the 161F as suggested- we don't like any traces of pink in the middle."

Original is 9 servings


  • Serving Size: 1 (1850 g)
  • Calories 1056.1
  • Total Fat - 15.6 g
  • Saturated Fat - 3.8 g
  • Cholesterol - 531.8 mg
  • Sodium - 15945.6 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate - 36.7 g
  • Dietary Fiber - 5.4 g
  • Sugars - 30.5 g
  • Protein - 184 g
  • Calcium - 228.2 mg
  • Iron - 9 mg
  • Vitamin C - 145 mg
  • Thiamin - 0.4 mg

Step by Step Method

Step 1

2 to 3 days before roasting: begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

Step 2

Combine the vegetable stock, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, allspice berries, and candied ginger in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Step 3

Early on the day or the night before you'd like to eat:

Step 4

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Step 5

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

Step 6

Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Step 7

Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey's cavity along with the rosemary and sage. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with canola oil.

Step 8

Roast the turkey on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees F. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let the turkey rest, loosely covered with foil or a large mixing bowl for 15 minutes before carving.


No special items needed.

5 Reviews


This was quite the experience for me, brining AND cooking a turkey! Came out moist and tender, with great flavor! I tried posting the picture but it says dimensions are wrong. Oh well!


review by:
(30 Nov 2020)


I have made this so many times since I saw it on another site, it's the very best turkey well I think so, 5 stars isn't enough, thanks for posting this recipe here!


review by:
(26 Nov 2015)


This is a fantastic turkey recipe, the end result is fantastic!!! I followed directions as listed except for tossing the aromatics ingredients in the bottom of roasting pan, covered them with water, because I was stuffing the bird.


review by:
(12 Oct 2015)


This is a wonderful recipe that makes such a delicious turkey, I was going to post this here, I love Alton Brown he has such great recipes! try this!


review by:
(21 Nov 2013)


I've made this turkey many times I'm making it again soon, this is a fantastic recipe, I urge everyone to try it you will not be sorry, thanks for posting it


review by:
(20 Nov 2013)

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