I can proudly say that our first attempt at cooking a whole turkey turned out surprisingly.. awesome. We got this recipe off of AllRecipes - the brining process is essential to guaranteeing a tender turkey. We also decided to go for a healthier stuffing choice as all the other junk we were making included a heart attack amount of butter.


1 (18 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed*
2 cups kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 large onions, peeled and chopped
4 carrots, peeled and chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 apple, peeled and chopped (optional)
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped (optional)
2 sprigs fresh thyme (we used italian herbs, supermarket ran out of thyme)
1-2 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine

*Our turkey was ~12 lbs and the recipe still worked fine.


Rub the turkey inside and out with the kosher salt. Place the bird in a large stock pot, and cover with cold water. If you don’t have a pot large enough, use two oven bags (double layer=stronger) which would be big enough to hold the turkey filled with water, tied and knotted at the top. Place in the refrigerator, and allow the turkey to soak in the salt and water mixture 12 hours, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Thoroughly rinse the turkey, and discard the brine mixture. For crunchier skin, leave the turkey in the refrigerator for another few hours. When ready to place it in the oven, brush the turkey with 1/2 the melted butter. Place breast side down on a roasting rack in a shallow roasting pan. Stuff the turkey cavity with 1 onion, 1/2 the carrots, 1/2 the celery,  1/2 the sweet potato and apple, 1 sprig of thyme, and the bay leaf. Scatter the remaining vegetables and thyme around the bottom of the roasting pan, and cover with the white wine. Roast uncovered 3 1/2 to 4 hours in the preheated oven, until the internal temperature of the thigh reaches 180 degrees F (85 degrees C). Carefully turn the turkey breast side up about 2/3 through the roasting time, and brush with the remaining butter. Allow the bird to stand about 30 minutes before carving.

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  1. wecancook posted this