Brining solution (see below)
14–16 lb. turkey, fresh or thawed, gizzards and neck removed
1/2 cup canola oil
3 Tbsp. black pepper
1 1/2 Tbsp. paprika
2 bunches fresh thyme leaves, chopped (or 3 Tbsp. dried leaves, crushed)
2 bunches fresh sage leaves, chopped (or 2 Tbsp. rubbed sage)
1 bunch fresh rosemary leaves, chopped (or 3 Tbsp. dried)
2 bunches fresh parsley, chopped
Yield: 2 gallons, enough brine for one turkey, 14–16 lbs. For smaller turkeys, turkey breasts or legs, cut recipe in half.
1 gallon, water
1 1/4 cup table salt
3/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. black peppercorns
10 bay leaves
1 gallon ice water
Determine what container you will place the turkey in while brining. Use a large stock pot or other container, such as a cooler. Don’t forget – the container needs to fit in the refrigerator or if using a cooler, there should be enough room to allow for ice packs or ice. You will also need a brining bag large enough to hold the turkey and brine solution.
Bring 1 gallon of water to a boil with the salt, sugar, pepper, and bay leaves, stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and cool completely. When cool, put unwrapped, thawed (if frozen) turkey in plastic brining bag and place inside the container breast side down. Add the cooled saltwater mixture, then add one gallon of ice water. If turkey is not entirely submerged, add enough water so it is covered. Seal bag and put container in refrigerator, or in a cooler packed with ice.
Allow turkey to brine one hour per pound, when done, discard the brining solution, rinse turkey and pat dry. Rub the canola oil over the entire turkey, then rub the paprika and pepper on and inside the bird. Do the same with the chopped herbs, pressing them to adhere to the skin. Place turkey in a roasting pan, skin side up, and roast at 325 degrees, until the internal temperature at the deepest part of the breast registers 165° F. Let rest 20-30 minutes before carving. See chart below for approximate roasting times.
Whole Turkey Time
8 – 12 lbs. 2.5 to 3.5 hours
12 – 16 lbs. 3 to 4 hours
16 – 20 lbs. 4 to 5 hours
20 – 25 lbs. 5 to 6 hours
Turkey Breasts & Legs Time
Bone-in Breast 25 minutes per lb.
Boneless Breast 20 minutes per lb.
Turkey Legs with Thighs 1.5 to 2 hours