Best Wet-Brined Turkey
Wet brining ensures a juicy turkey. Put brine and turkey in a large bag, then in an iced cooler if you don't have room in the fridge!
  • salt (1 cup per gallon of water, approx 2 cups salt for 18lb turkey)
  • 1 turkey (see notes on cooking time at bottom of recipe)
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 4 yellow onions, peeled and chopped (about 2lbs)
  • 4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 3 apples, peeled and chopped
  • 4 sprigs thyme
  • 6 leaves sage
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup good dry white wine, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc
  1. Thoroughly coat the turkey with salt, inside and out.
  2. Put the turkey in a very large container. A stockpot or a food-safe, thick bag works great. Fill with enough water to fully submerge turkey.
  3. Transfer container to refrigerator or iced cooler and brine for 12 hours (overnight).
  4. Preheat oven to 350F. Remove turkey from brine and rinse thoroughly, then pat dry. If you have the space, let the turkey sit in fridge for a few hours to dry the skin.
  5. Rub melted/softened butter all over the turkey. Put turkey, breast-side down, on a roasting rack. Stuff with half of the vegetables and herbs. Put remaining vegetables and herbs on bottom of pan and pour in wine.
  6. Roast uncovered for about 15 minutes per pound, until the thigh reaches 180F. Two-thirds of the way through your cooking time, flip the turkey so the breast is up and brush with butter.
  7. Let the turkey rest for 30 min before carving to allow the juices to return to the meat and flavor to settle.

Approx. cooking times for stuffed turkey:
  • 10lb: 3h15
  • 12lb: 3h30
  • 14lb: 3h40
  • 16lb: 4h
  • 18lb: 4h15

Approx. cooking times for unstuffed turkey:
  • 10lb: 2h55
  • 12lb: 3h
  • 14lb: 3h45
  • 16lb: 4h
  • 18lb: 4h15