The Best Bird - Turkey 101

Turkey 101

Whether it's your first (or tenth) time hosting Thanksgiving dinner, we're here to help make planning a breeze.

What size Turkey Do I need?


8-10 lbs


16-18 lbs


12-14 lbs


20-22 lbs

The Perfect



For the brine:

1 gallon vegetable stock

1 cup kosher salt

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1 tablespoon black peppercorns

1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped candied ginger

1 gallon heavily iced water

For the aromatics:

1 red apple, quartered

1/2 onion, quartered

1 cinnamon stick

1 cup water

4 sprigs rosemary

6 leaves sage

Canola oil

  1. 2-3 days before roasting, begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.

  2. Combine brine ingredients in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

  3. Early on the day or 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. Cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

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

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

  6. 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.

  7. Roast the turkey on lowest rack 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 151 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.


Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown's "Good Eats"


Hosting Thanksgiving dinner? We're here to help make planning a breeze!


Tastes better, because it's
raised better.


Here's how to enjoy your Thanksgiving Turkey and sides again... and again!