I was pretty nervous starting this recipe. My mom always tackles the Thanksgiving turkey, and I was anxious about creating an epic recipe fail (turkeys aren’t cheap, right?). I researched and researched how to brine a turkey and the best ways to bake a turkey.
Since a frozen turkey can take up to 3 ~ 4 days to thaw, why not brine your turkey while it’s thawing with something fabulous? I discovered these turkey sized Reynolds oven bags and created a brine recipe. These bags made my job so easy! The bags slowly steamed the turkey keeping it juicy and moist.
My food critic (the handsome hubby) was unable to communicate just how much he loved it because his mouth was stuffed the minute it came out of the oven! Not to pat myself on the back, but I should pat myself on the back. I can’t wait for Thanksgiving so I can make this Thanksgiving turkey again!
- Large frozen organic turkey (make sure the turkey is NOT already brine)
- 12 cups water, divided
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sage
- 2 tablespoons thyme
- 2 tablespoons rosemary
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 4 cups ice
- Olive oil cooking spray
- 2 Tbs poultry seasoning
Bring 4 cups of water to a simmering boil. Add salt and honey. Stir until the salt has completely dissolved. Turn off the heat. Stir in 8 cups cold water, apple cider vinegar, sage, thyme, rosemary, pepper, and ice. The brine is ready to be used.
Place frozen turkey in oven bag and pour brine into oven bag. Close oven bag with tie. You can double bag if neccessary.
Depending on the size of turkey, it can take up to 3 days to fully thaw. Allow the turkey to marinate for at least 12 hours on each side before flipping.
Once turkey it thawed, carefully remove the tie and discard of the brine.
Lightly spray the entire turkey with olive oil and evenly sprinkle the poultry seasoning over turkey. Place turkey back in oven bag and close with tie and cut six 1/2 inch slits in top. Place in roasting pan 2 at least 2 inches deep.
Preheat oven to 350 F.
BAKE 2 to 2.5 hours for a 12 to 16 lb turkey, 2.5 to 3 hours for 16 to 20 lb turkey, and 3 to 3.5 hours for a 20 to 24 lb turkey or until meat thermometer reads 180 F. Let stand in oven bag for 15 minutes. Enjoy your juicy and flavorful turkey!
Your fabulous turkey can’t be alone! Try these amazing Thanksgiving side dishes!