A roasted turkey is the crowning glory of any big holiday dinner, and you want to make sure it turns out just right, so we’ve put together the perfect turkey roasting guide. The secret to a great turkey? Brining and glazing.
Brining takes a little bit of planning ahead, as you have to soak the bird overnight before you cook it, but it’s always worth the effort. It prevents the turkey from drying out in the oven, so your finished turkey is succulent and delicious, while the glaze will ensure the skin doesn’t dry out too fast and make the turkey extra flavourful
How to brine your turkey
What you need for the brine
- ¾ cup + 2 tablespoons (219 g) kosher salt
- ¾ cup (150 g) Redpath Turbinado Sugar or Redpath Golden Yellow Sugar
- 4 cups (946 mL) water
- 1 carrot, peeled & diced
- 1 large onion, peeled & diced
- ¼ (40 g) cup diced celery
- 2 large sprigs thyme
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon (4 g) pickling spice
- ¼ teaspoon (1 g) crushed red pepper flakes
- ¼ teaspoon (1 g) fennel seeds
- extra cold water for topping
Yield: enough brine for up to a 16 pound turkey
Active Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook and Resting Time: 6 hours
- Feel free to experiment with the brine ingredients. Try different spices and herbs, or even try replacing 2 cups of the water with wine, apple cider or even beer.
How to prepare
- Bring salt, sugar, and 4 cups water to boil in a very large pot (at least 16-quart), stirring frequently. Continue cooking until the salt and sugar have dissolved.
- Remove from the heat. Add remaining ingredients to the brine, then refrigerate, uncovered, until cool, about 4 hours.
- Find a large bowl or pot that will fit your turkey. Place the turkey into the bowl or pot, then pour the brine over top. Add more water as needed to the pot, until the turkey is covered completely. Place a plate on top of the turkey to keep it submerged in the brine. Let turkey soak in the brine overnight in the fridge, at least 6 hours.
- Once the turkey has finished it brine, remove it, discard the brine, and dry off the turkey using paper towel. Remove any pieces of seeds or herbs from the turkey, and then you’re ready to roast. As a food safety precaution, always wash hands and all surfaces thoroughly that have come in contact with raw poultry.
How to roast & glaze your turkey
What you need for the glaze
- 1 cup (236 mL) chicken stock
- ¼ cup ( 50 g) Redpath Golden Yellow Sugar
- 2 teaspoons (7 g) paprika
- 1 teaspoon (3.5 g) onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon (3.5 g) garlic powder
- ½ cup (113 g) unsalted butter
- one 8 to 12 pound (4 to 5 kg) turkey
Yield: 1 ¾ cup glaze
Active Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook and Resting Time: 3 ½ to 4 ½ hours (Roasting times in this recipe are for an 8 to 12 pound turkey.)
- If the pan is dry during the roasting, add a cup or two water to the pan.
- If the turkey appears to be browning too quickly, simply tent with aluminum foil.
- If you want to roast vegetables with the turkey, add them around the outside of the turkey during the last 45 minutes of roasting.
- If you have a convection oven, turn off the fan while roasting your turkey, to prevent the turkey from drying out.
How to prepare
- Position rack in bottom third of oven and preheat to 325°F (165°C).
- Rinse turkey inside out and pat dry. If you’ve brined your turkey already, skip the rinsing. If making stuffing, stuff the turkey now. Fold neck skin under and secure with a skewer. Tuck wing tips under and tie legs together loosely. Place the turkey in a large roasting pan.
- Roast the turkey uncovered while you prepare the glaze.
- To make the glaze combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan and cook together over medium heat, simmering until the sugar has dissolved. Approximately 5 minutes.
- Brush the turkey with glaze every 30 minutes during the roasting time.
- Continue to roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 165 – 170°F (70 – 77°C), about 3 ½ to 4 ½ hours.
- Once fully cooked, transfer turkey to a platter, tent loosely with foil and let rest 20 minutes before serving to allow the temperature to even out.
- Carve and enjoy your perfect, show stopping turkey.