1 of 4
How to Prep Your Turkey
What size turkey? Plan on about 1 lb per person.
How to thaw? If frozen, thaw turkey in its packaging on a tray in the fridge; it will take 24 hours for every 4 lbs. Figure 3 to 4 days for a 15 lb bird.
What to do after it's thawed: Unwrap and remove giblets and neck; carefully rinse inside with cool water to melt any remaining ice crystals. Pat dry inside and out. Tuck wings under, if desired. Season as recipe recommends.
2 of 4
How to Brine Your Turkey
Buy a fresh bird (not frozen or kosher, since those are seasoned). Here's an easy brine recipe:
- 2/3 cup kosher salt
- 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 cup hot water
- 1 cup thinly sliced onion
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 sliced jalapeño
- 12 whole black peppercorns, crushed
- Cold water
In a very large pot or medium storage bin, combine kosher salt and packed dark brown sugar with 1 cup hot water. Stir to dissolve. Add 3 cups cold water, onion, garlic, jalapeño and crushed black peppercorns. Place turkey in pot or bin; add enough water to cover by 1 inch. Cover and refrigerate overnight but no longer than 10 hours. Pat dry inside and out.
3 of 4
How to Cook Your Turkey
Roast: Brush or rub with butter, and cook at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes per lb.
Fry: In a turkey fryer, heat oil to 400°, about 40 minutes. Place turkey in basket and gently lower into oil. Fry 3 to 4 minutes per lb, following manufacturer’s directions.
Grill: For a charcoal grill, arrange medium-hot coals around a drip pan in center of grill. Brush or rub turkey with oil, and grill 9 to 11 minutes per pound, adding coals every 45 to 60 minutes. For a gas grill, preheat grill, then reduce heat to medium. Adjust for indirect cooking. Method and times are same as for charcoal.
4 of 4
How Long to Cook Your Turkey
Turkey meat (breast or thigh) should register 165° on an instant-read thermometer. (When checking temperature, do not let thermometer touch any bones.) Let bird rest 15 to 20 minutes before carving.