How to Brine a Turkey and Roast it Perfectly

Emily Manning

Emily Manning

December 23, 2021

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To get the most succulent, flavoursome result, brining your turkey is the way to go. This simple process will leave your turkey incredibly juicy, and there is no doubt that you will be able to taste the difference! If you’re not sure where to start, Cepta Mahon, founder of Cookalicious, explains how to brine a turkey, how to prepare it to pack in as much flavour as possible, and how to roast it perfectly so you have a show-stopping meal to enjoy.

Cepta is a home chef and cookery tutor, hosting online classes, live cook-alongs and demos. She helps people cook ‘real’ food by showing them how to create food that is fuss-free, fabulous and healthy. With an ability to teach that is infectious and full of energy, Cepta loves nothing more than sharing her passion and giving others the confidence to cook great tasting food too.

How to Brine a Turkey

How to brine a turkey

Brining is simply soaking the turkey overnight in a salted water solution. In addition to salt, you can add flavour with herbs, spices, garlic and citrus to the brining liquid. Little extras like bay leaves, lemon, peppercorns, garlic, allspice, cloves, orange rind, star anise and so on all add extra flavour in there too.

To brine a 5kg turkey, put 5 litres of water into a big pot or bucket. Add 200g flaky sea salt, 50g sugar and whatever flavourful extras you might like. I’ll be adding 2 tbsp black peppercorns, a few bay leaves, 1 tbsp allspice berries, 1 cinnamon stick, 2 skin-on quartered onions and the peel of an orange.

Once you have your brine liquid prepared, it’s time to add the turkey. Submerge the turkey in the liquid and leave it to steep overnight. If you don’t have space in the fridge, leave the pot/container in the coldest part of your house (the utility room in my case).

The next day, pat the turkey dry and get it ready for the oven with the steps below.

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How to Prepare Your Turkey

First things first, make sure your turkey is at room temperature before you cook it. Remove it from the fridge at least two hours before cooking, and, if you have brined the turkey, pay it dry and leave to dry while coming to room temperature.

Prepping your turkey well is half the battle to ensuring it is absolutely delicious! I usually make a flavour-packed butter, combining 150g softened butter with 3 tbsp of olive oil, 3 cloves of garlic, the zest and juice of 1 lemon, a big bunch of chopped flat leaf parsley, sea salt and lots of black pepper.

Once your butter is ready, loosen the skin on the crown of the turkey with your fingers and smear half of this gorgeous, flavoured butter underneath the turkey skin, spreading it out and smoothing it down. Smear the remaining butter on top of the turkey crown and all over the legs and wings too. Truthfully, it’s a bit of a messy job but it will add a HUGE amount of flavour and keep the bird mega moist!

Don’t forget to season the cavity too and pop a quartered onion in there while you’re at it to add wonderful sweetness.

How to Roast Your Turkey

Allow 30 minutes of cooking time per kg, so a 5kg turkey will need 2.5 hours in the oven. Remember, if you are stuffing your turkey, weigh it after the stuffing has gone in to ensure it will be fully cooked.

Start by preheating the oven to 220C and cook the turkey for 10 mins, then take it out, and reduce the oven to 170C fan. Cover the turkey crown with lots of streaky bacon, and cook for the remaining time needed.

If you are using a meat thermometer, the turkey is done when the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 74 Celsius.

When your turkey is done, remove from the oven and cover with foil, then leave it to rest for at least one hour. It’s a big bird – trust me, it won’t go cold. Resting allows the bird to reabsorb the juices and makes it much easier to carve. Plus, it frees up your oven for doing the all-important roast potatoes and your other vegetables and side dishes.

How to Brine a Turkey and Roast it Perfectly - Mykidstime

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Published On: December 23rd, 2021 / Categories: Food and Recipes / Last Updated: December 23rd, 2021 / Tags: , , , , /

About the Author: Emily Manning

Emily is the coffee-loving Editor of MyKidsTime. Mum of one daughter and two naughty Tibetan Terriers, she is particularly partial to Curly Wurlys and unable to resist pretty stationery and new cookbooks. As an avid foodie and domestic goddess-wannabe, she is most likely to be found in the kitchen.

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