How to Roast a Turkey With Moist White Meat

Опубликовал Admin
16-04-2021, 23:30
Are you tired of eating Thanksgiving turkeys that look great, but are way too dry? By making a few changes to the way you roast your turkey, you'll get moist white meat and crisp skin every time. Start by brining the turkey in a salty-sweet solution. Then rub butter on its skin and cover the turkey's breasts with foil for most of the roasting time. Carve the moist turkey meat after it's rested for 30 minutes and enjoy!


  1. Take the turkey out of the package and remove the parts from the cavity. Get out a 16 to 18 lb (7.3 to 8.2 kg) fresh or thawed turkey and remove it from the packaging. Check inside the turkey's cavity for any parts, such as the neck, gizzards, or liver. Discard these before you brine the turkey.
    • If you like, save the turkey parts to make giblet gravy.
  2. Pour hot water, salt, and sugar into a clean cooler. Place a clean 5 US gal (19 L) cooler with a drain spout on the counter next to your sink. Put ⁄2 gallon (1.9 L) of hot water from the tap into the cooler and add 1 pound (450 g) of kosher salt along with ⅔ cup (150 g) of granulated sugar.
    • To clean the cooler, wash it with hot, soapy water and rinse it well.
  3. Stir the mixture until the sugar dissolves. Use a large spoon to mix the hot water with the salt and sugar. Keep stirring for about 1 minute or until the salt and sugar dissolve completely.
    • The mixture will be cloudy once the salt and sugar dissolve.
  4. Mix in ice and vegetable broth. Slowly pour in 1 gallon (3.8 L) of vegetable broth and stir until it's incorporated. Then add 8 pounds (3.6 kg) of ice to the cooler. Use ice cubes instead of chips so the brine stays cold for longer.
    • You can purchase vegetable stock or make your own.
  5. Put the turkey into the brine so it's submerged. Lower the turkey into the brine so the breast side is facing up. The turkey should be completely covered by the brine, but if it floats you can weigh it down.
    • To weigh the turkey down, pour enough water into a 1 gallon (3.8 L) resealable bag to fill it completely. Zip the bag shut and lay it on the turkey.
  6. Close the cooler and leave the turkey for 8 to 12 hours. Leave the turkey in the cooler so the meat will become tender and flavorful. Turn the turkey over after it's been in the brine for about 4 hours. It's also important to check that the temperature of the brine doesn't go above 40 °F (4 °C).
    • To check the temperature of the brine, insert a thermometer about 2 inches (5.1 cm) into the liquid.
  7. Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse it. Once the turkey has been in the brine for at least 8 hours, you can begin to prepare it for roasting. Use your hands to slowly lift the turkey out of the brine. Tilt the turkey so the brine inside the cavity drains into the cooler. Then rinse the inside of the turkey under cold water and pat the whole turkey dry with paper towels.
    • To drain the cooler itself, open the drain spout so the brine falls directly into the sink.

Seasoning for the Extra-Moist Turkey

  1. Adjust your oven rack and preheat the oven to 500 °F (260 °C). Take out all of your oven racks except for 1. Move that rack to the second-lowest position in the oven. This will give you enough room in the oven for the turkey. Then turn on the oven to 500 °F (260 °C).
    • Set the extra oven racks aside.
  2. Chop carrots, celery, and onion into 2 in (5.1 cm) pieces. Use a sharp knife to carefully chop 2 large carrots, 2 celery stalks, and 1 onion into rough pieces that are about 2 inches (5.1 cm) in size.
  3. Fill the turkey cavity with herbs and chopped vegetables. Put the chopped carrots, celery, and onion into the cavity along with a few sprigs of fresh herbs. For example, use 3 or 4 sprigs of thyme, rosemary, sage, or a combination of them.
    • Keep the vegetables and herbs loose instead of packing them down in the cavity.
  4. Set the turkey on a rack that sits in a roasting pan. Get out a large roasting pan and place a rack in it. Most roasting pans come with racks that are V-shaped. Put the filled turkey directly onto the rack so the breast side is pointing up.
    • Cooking the turkey on a rack will keep it raised up so the meat stays juicy and the skin becomes crisp.
  5. Make a foil cover for the top of the turkey. Tear off a sheet of aluminum foil that's large enough to fit over the turkey breasts. Press it onto the breast so it fits the shape of the meat. Lift the foil away and spray it with cooking spray. Then set the foil aside.
    • You'll use the foil to protect the turkey breasts from drying out as the turkey roasts.
    • Since the foil has come into contact with the raw turkey, keep it away from other food to prevent the spread of germs.
  6. Rub the butter onto the turkey's skin. Take 2 tablespoons (28 g) of unsalted butter and rub them between your hands. Then rub your hands across the entire surface of the turkey. Massage the butter into the turkey's skin.
    • The butter will keep the turkey moist as it roasts.
    • If you don't like touching the turkey with your bare hands, put on disposable gloves before rubbing the butter into the turkey's skin.


  1. Put the turkey into the oven. Put the roasting pan with the turkey on the rack into the preheated oven. Position the pan so the neck-end is closest to the back of the oven. Remember that the turkey breasts should be facing up.
    • Arranging the turkey like this and starting with high heat will help brown the turkey breasts.
  2. Roast the turkey for 30 to 40 minutes. The turkey breasts should become a rich brown color after they've roasted at high heat. Keep in mind that the turkey itself will not have finished cooking by this point, but the skin will be golden brown.
    • There's no need to check the internal temperature at this point since the turkey still needs to cook.
  3. Put the foil on the turkey breast. Once the turkey breasts are browned, open the oven door and very carefully place the greased foil onto the turkey breasts. Push the foil down so it's touching the skin.
    • The foil will prevent the turkey breasts from drying out while the turkey finishes cooking.
  4. Roast the turkey at 350 °F (177 °C) for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Close the oven door and turn the temperature down to 350 °F (177 °C). Set a timer for 2 hours and leave the turkey to roast with the foil covering in place.
  5. Check if the turkey temperature's is at 165 °F (74 °C). Insert an instant-read meat thermometer into the thickest part of the turkey's thigh. This is just below the drumstick where the thigh meets the breast. The turkey is finished cooking once it reaches 165 °F (74 °C).
    • If the turkey isn't done, roast it for another 15 to 20 minutes and check it again.
  6. Rest the turkey for 30 minutes before you carve it. Turn off the oven and wear oven mitts to remove the roasting pan from the oven. Cover the entire turkey loosely with a new piece of aluminum foil and leave it to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Then you can carve your moist turkey.
    • The turkey will finish cooking as it rests and the juices will redistribute within the meat. This will keep the turkey moist since the juices won't run out when you carve the turkey.
    • Put leftover turkey into an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to 3 to 4 days.



  • ⁄2 gallon (1.9 L) of hot tap water
  • 1 pound (450 g) of kosher salt
  • ⅔ cup (150 g) of granulated sugar
  • 8 pounds (3.6 kg) of ice
  • 1 gallon (3.8 L) of vegetable broth

For the Extra-Moist Turkey

  • 1 16 to 18 lb (7.3 to 8.2 kg) fresh or thawed turkey
  • Fresh herbs (such as thyme, rosemary, and sage)
  • 2 large carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 onion
  • 2 tablespoons (28 g) of unsalted butter
Makes 12 servings


  • If you don't have time to brine the turkey, you can purchase a turkey in brine. Rinse the turkey and pat it dry before seasoning it. Then you can roast it until it's tender.
  • Don't fill the turkey's cavity with stuffing, which will add to the cooking time. The longer the turkey cooks, the more likely it is to dry out.


  • Raw turkey may contain harmful bacteria. Always wash your hands, utensils, and work surfaces with hot, soapy water after handling raw turkey.
  • To avoid splashing bacteria around your work area unnecessarily, don’t wash your raw turkey. You can carefully rinse out the inner cavity after brining it.

Things You'll Need

  • 5 US gal (19 L) cooler with a drain spout
  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • Aluminum foil
  • Knife and cutting board
  • Instant-read meat thermometer
  • Paper towels
  • Large roasting pan with V-shaped rack
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