The Best Thanksgiving Turkey

Sharing is caring!

The first year we decided to host Thanksgiving I called my grandma to get all of the recipes I grew up with. She gave me 3 or 4 different recipes for turkeys she had made in the past.

I ended up doing a combination of the recipes she gave me and a few ideas from Jared’s cousins. We ended up with the most amazing turkey. It was so tender we didn’t even need to use a knife to carve it.

How to Brine and Bake a turkey for Thanksgiving or any other occasion. Follow this recipe for a moist and flavorful turkey the easy way.

Now each year the turkey is the highlight of our Thanksgiving meal. I look forward to eating it all year and I’m often tempted to make a turkey at other times because it is so good!

Growing up I always loved the dark meat on a turkey because it was so tender and flavorful but with this turkey recipe each slice of turkey is tender and flavorful.

Today I want to share the recipe so you can try it, I know your family will love it!

To get as much flavor as possible and a soft and tender turkey there are several steps.

Related Post: Raspberry Cream Cheese Pie

Before you start to brine or cook the turkey you need to make sure it is thawed and remove the neck, heart, and gizzard from the brined turkey.

I like to thaw the turkey in the fridge, it usually takes about 24 hours for every 5 pounds your turkey weighs.

The Turkey Brine

The night before Thanksgiving we put the turkey in a brine. I like to have the turkey brine for about 10-12 hours.

Depending on what time we are going to have dinner and an estimated time cooking I figure out what time to start the turkey.

Depending on the size of turkey you may need to double this recipe. The recipe is about the perfect amount of brine for a 10 lb turkey. Our turkey was 20 lbs and we ended up doubling the brine.

To make the brine heat water, salt, and sugar until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Let the mixture cool.

Put the turkey in a large pot or 5-gallon bucket with the above mix. Add fresh onion, jalapeno, and crushed black peppercorns.

Then add cold water until the turkey is covered by 1 inch. Let turkey soak in brine overnight. (keep in the refrigerator).

Thanksgiving Morning

Thanksgiving morning take the turkey out of the brine, rinse well and pat dry with a paper towel. Set the turkey in the oven bag inside the roasting pan.

The Thanksgiving Turkey Stuffing

In a bowl stir together onion, celery, lemon, rosemary, and thyme. I usually mix this together a couple of days ahead of time to save time Thanksgiving Morning.

Thanksgiving Turkey ready to stuff

Divide the stuffing mixture between the main and neck cavities. Fold neck skin under and secure.

Turkey Seasoning

Take a stick of butter at room temperature. Coat the whole turkey breast with butter and put the remaining butter inside the main cavity with the stuffing.

Now that the turkey is covered in butter sprinkle it with seasoning. (I mixed the seasoning a couple of days earlier and then just added the lemon peel right before seasoning the turkey.)

Baking Turkey

Now that the turkey is seasoned put 1 stick of FROZEN butter under the skin at the high point of the turkey breast.

Put the turkey in an oven cooking bag with 2 cups of chicken/turkey stock. Seal the bag.

Thanksgiving Turkey stuffed, seasoned and ready to bake

We have cooked our turkey in an electric roaster oven and a regular oven. Both work great an electric roasting oven is nice so you can use the oven to bake Thanksgiving sides while the turkey cooks.

Start cooking the turkey at 350 for 45 minutes then turn down to 325 until done.

When we carved the turkey it was so tender we didn’t even have to use a knife the meat came off the bones easily with a fork.

Thanksgiving Turkey baked and ready for Thanksgiving Dinner

I hope you enjoy this turkey as much as we did.

Yield: 1 Turkey

The Best Thanksgiving Turkey

Thanksgiving Turkey baked and ready for Thanksgiving Dinner
Prep Time 7 hours
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 10 hours

Ingredients

Turkey Brine

  • 1 Gallon Water
  • 1 Cup Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Sliced onion
  • 2 Sliced jalapeno
  • 12 crushed black peppercorns

Turkey Stuffing

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 whole lemon, chopped with peel
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup room temperature salted butter

Turkey Seasoning

  • 1/3 cup and 1 Tbs Kosher Salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves crumbled
  • 1 tsp lemon peel, heaping

Other Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup frozen salted butter
  • 2 cups Chicken or Turkey Stock
  • 1 Turkey Oven Cooking bag

Instructions

Turkey Brine

  1. Heat 1 Gallon Water,1 Cup Kosher Salt and 1/2 Cup Sugar
  2. Heat until sugar and salt are dissolved.
  3. Put the turkey in a large pot or 5-gallon bucket with the above mix
  4. Add 1 Sliced onion, 1 Sliced jalapeno, 12 crushed black peppercorns
  5. Then add water until the turkey is covered by 1 inch. Let soak in brine overnight. (keep in the refrigerator).
  6. Next morning - Take turkey out of the brine, rinse well and pat dry with paper towel.
  7. Set turkey aside.
  8. For our 20 lb turkey I doubled the recipe.

Turkey Stuffing

  1. In a bowl stir together: onion, celery, lemon, dried rosemary, dried thyme
  2. Remove the neck, heart, and gizzard from the brined turkey if you haven’t already. Reserve these to cook with the turkey.
  3. Divide the onion mixture between the main and neck cavities. Fold neck skin under and secure.
  4. Take 1/2 c (1 stick) butter at room temperature. Coat the Whole turkey breast with butter and put the remaining butter inside the main cavity with the stuffing.
  5. Now that the turkey is covered in butter sprinkle it with seasoning. (I mixed the seasoning a couple of days earlier and then just added the lemon peel right before seasoning the turkey.)

Turkey Seasoning

  1. Combine ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. If you have a mortar and pestle this works great to crush the herbs together. If you don’t have one just use a spoon and crush the herbs the best you can.

Baking the Turkey

  1. Now that the turkey is seasoned put 1 stick of FROZEN butter under the skin at the high point of the turkey breast.
  2. Put the turkey in an oven cooking bag with 2 cups of chicken/turkey stock. Seal the bag.
  3. We cooked our turkey in an electric roaster oven, but you can do it in a regular oven. Start cooking the turkey at 350 fr 45 minutes then turn down to 325 until done.
  4. When we carved the turkey it was so tender we didn’t even have to use a knife the meat came off the bones easily with a fork.

Notes

The brine recipe is based on a 10 lbs or smaller turkey, for a larger turkey just double the recipe.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

1

Serving Size:

1 grams

Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Save this post!

The Best Thanksgiving Turkey I have ever eaten - When we carved the turkey it was so tender we didn't even have to use a knife the meat came off the bones easily with a fork. #thanksgiving #turkey #thanksgivingdinner #hostingthanksgiving #bestturkey

2 thoughts on “The Best Thanksgiving Turkey”

  1. Pingback: 50 Fun Fall Family Activities List {Free Printable} - The Keele Deal

  2. Pingback: Thanksgiving Traditions - The Keele Deal

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Skip to Recipe