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Can you believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner?
To Brine, or Not to Brine?
Brining a turkey adds moisture and flavor, particularly when you use a brine that contains a lot of flavors. Brines can include all sorts of ingredients to boost the flavor including herbs and spices, making the turkey taste much better than your average bird.
But perhaps the biggest pro of brining the turkey is doing away with that dry bird that so many are used to. The salt in the brine changes the muscle tissue of the turkey so that it can absorb more water and therefore more flavor. Fans of brining a turkey cite the dry breast problem as one of the main reasons to put the extra time into cooking your holiday bird.
WHAT YOU NEED TO MAKE THE PERFECT ROAST TURKEY
- Vegetable stock
- Sea salt
- Erythritol natural sweetener (non-keto can use regular sugar)
- Apple cider vinegar
- Fresh rosemary
- Fresh thyme
- Fresh sage
- Black peppercorns
- Unbleached cheesecloth
- Cracked black pepper
- Poultry seasoning
My grandfather and grandmother were the ones that ran the show over the holidays when I was a kid, and I loved hanging out with them in the kitchen while they cooked.
Grandpa made the stuffing, my Grandma always baked bread (aaahhh I can still smell it!), and pecan pie.
I remember one year my Grandmother was making her famous pecan pie.
It was like slow motion. Pie tin tips, pie begins to slip, several of us jump for it. Like we are going to be able to bare hand catch a blazingly hot pie right?
Nope, it hit the floor.
My grandmother was so upset.
Meanwhile, the rest of us went about the task of gabbing the tools that would allow us to still enjoy the scrumptious dessert.
We grabbed a spatula and a baking sheet. I carefully used the spatula to lift the pie up leaving just a thin amount on the floor and slid it on to the baking sheet.
Hey, we used to joke that my Grandma kept her floors so clean that you could eat off of them!! We were not losing this pie!!
I think I got hit in the head with a stray wooden spoon ?
I love every single one of those memories,
along with the little tips and tricks that they taught me.
I have of course, through the years, tweaked things here and there. But the basics still remain the same. Sometimes simple is just the way to go, right?
WHY USE CHEESECLOTH WHEN ROASTING A TURKEY
FAQ ABOUT PERFECT ROAST TURKEY
LOW CARB AND KETO HOLIDAY SIDE DISHES
LOW CARB AND KETO HOLIDAY MAIN DISH RECIPES
The Perfect Roast Turkey
- 1 gallon vegetable stock
- 1 cup pink salt
- 1 cup Besti Monk fruit and Allulose Sweetener non-keto can use regular sugar
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 4 large stems Fresh rosemary
- 8 sprigs fresh thyme
- 10 fresh sage leaves
- 1 tbsp whole black peppercorns
- 1 gallon ice water
- 1 16-pound turkey thawed
- Unbleached cheesecloth cut to fit your turkey
- cracked black pepper
- poultry seasoning
- 1 head garlic smashed
- 1 large onion quartered
- 2 or 3 lemons pierced with a fork or knife
- 3 quarts turkey bone broth or chicken
- Combine the vegetable stock, salt, sugar, vinegar, rosemary, thyme, sage, and peppercorns in a large stockpot over medium-high heat. Stirring occasionally to dissolve the salt and bring to a boil. Then remove the brine from the heat, cool to room temperature.
- Combine the brine, water, and ice in a large stockpot. Place the thawed turkey (with innards removed and reserved) breast side down in brine. If necessary, weigh down the bird to ensure it is fully immersed, cover, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.
- Remove the bird and discard the brine. Pat the bird dry. Season with cracked black pepper and poultry seasoning, rubbing the skin to make sure the seasoning is even all over the bird. Place the turkey on a platter or baking sheet in the refrigerator, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F.
- Place a rack in your roasting pan, or you can lay carrots and celery stalks on the bottom of the roaster to left the turkey up from the bottom.
- Carefully place the turkey in the roasting pan, breast side up. Place the garlic, onion, lemons, and herbs inside the cavity. Truss the turkey if it does not come that way.
- Loosely cover the turkey with the cheesecloth, tucking the edges into the pan.
- Heat at least 2 quarts of the stock in a medium pot, over medium heat. Add the innards (neck, liver, heart, etc) and keep the stock just below a simmer. You will use this to baste your turkey and to make your gravy if wanted.
- Place the turkey in the oven with a meat thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh.
- Cook the turkey, basting every after 30 minutes for the first hour, then every hour until it has reached an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Remove the turkey from the oven, tent with foil, and allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. The temperature will rise as it rests.
- Using the turkey baster, carefully squirt the warmed stock over the bird as you slowly peel the cheesecloth off. Be patient, don't tear the skin.
- The result will be brown, crispy gorgeous skin!
- Remove the herbs and replace with fresh for garnish
Most of my recipes are low-carb (or keto) and gluten-free, but some are not. Please verify that a recipe fits your needs before using it. Recommended and linked products are not guaranteed to be gluten-free. Recipes may contain errors, so please use your common sense when following them. Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site. Erythritol carbs will not be included as it has a glycemic index of 0 (meaning it does not spike blood sugar) and it’s not metabolized. Net carbs are the total carbs minus fiber.