Brian’s Brined Turkey
- 15 lbs turkey whole – fresh or frozen
- 1 gal vegetable stock
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- 1 tbsp black peppercorns
- 1 ½ tsp allspice berries
- 1 ½ tsp candied ginger chopped
- 1 gal water heavily iced
- 1 red-apple sliced
- ½ onion sliced
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 cup water
- 4 sprigs rosemary
- 6 leaves sage
- canola oil
2 to 4 days before roasting:
- Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38˚F.
- 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.
The night before you'd like to eat:
- 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 halfway through brining
- Preheat the oven to 500˚F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.
- Place the bird on a roasting rack inside a half-sheet pan (or roasting pan) and pat dry with paper towels.
- 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.
- Insert a remote probe thermometer into the thickest part of the breast.
- Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 159˚F.
- Roast the turkey on the lowest level of the oven at 500˚F for 30 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350˚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.