Ryan’s Turkey Recipe

Posted on Posted in Cooking


Ingredients for the brine:

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon vegetable stock or cold water
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 gallon heavily iced water

Ingredients for the turkey:

  • 1 red apple, sliced
  • 1/2 yellow onion, sliced
  • 2 carrots
  • Tops and bottoms of a bunch of celery
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 bottle of Olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries
  • 1 turkey pan
  • 1 turkey baster


2 to 3 days before roasting:

Begin thawing the turkey in the refrigerator or in a cooler kept at 38 degrees F.  General rule is 1 day in fridge for every 4 lbs of turkey.

For a slow brine:

Combine the vegetable stock or water, salt, brown sugar, peppercorns, and allspice berries in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally to dissolve solids and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate.

Early on the day or the night before you’d like to eat:

Combine the brine, water and ice in the 5-gallon bucket. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area for 8 to 16 hours, turning the bird once half way through brining.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Remove the bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard the brine.

For a quick brine:

Rinse the outside and inside of the turkey with cool water.  Then, take a copious amount of kosher salt and rub the whole turkey down. This step helps to flavor the turkey initially and helps clean out any turkey juices that may have accumulated during the defrosting process.  When the whole turkey is rubbed down, turn on the water again and re-rinse the bird thoroughly washing away all the salt.  Pat dry with paper towels.


Place the bird on roasting rack inside a half sheet pan and pat dry with paper towels.

Lather the inside of the turkey cavity with the juice of half a lemon. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and 1 cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Add steeped aromatics to the turkey’s cavity. Tuck the wings underneath the bird and coat the skin liberally with olive oil.

Place turkey BREAST DOWN on the bottom of a rack over a sturdy roasting pan big enough to catch all the drippings.  Cooking the turkey breast down means the skin over the breast will not get so brown. However, all of the juices from the cooking turkey will fall down into the breast while cooking. And the resulting bird will have the most succulent turkey breast imaginable.  Cover turkey and pan loosely with heavy duty foil.  Optional: Baste turkey with a turkey baster every 30 minutes.  Remove foil and turn over turkey 30 minutes before turkey is done so the top will brown.

Roast the turkey on lowest rack of the oven at 450 degrees F for 30 minutes. Insert a probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.  Set the thermometer alarm (if available) to 165 degrees at the thickest part of the meat (such as the thigh).

Approximate turkey cooking rule: 15 min per pound of turkey @ 325 degrees F.

An 11 pound bird (for example) would be cooked 30 mins @ 450 degrees, then 105 mins @ 325 degrees, and finally 30 mins @ 225 degrees for a total time of 2 hours and 45 mins.

When done, let the turkey rest for 15 minutes before carving.

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