We Have a Turkey Roasting Tip; Share Your Holiday Secret

If you're going to roast a turkey this holiday season, here's a way to make it the most juicy and flavorful bird you've ever made. What's your secret to a great holiday dinner?

The holidays include a lot of meals and while there are similarities from house to house, everyone seems to have that little something to make it special. It could be a special side dish or dessert handed down over the generations. Or maybe it's a little kitchen trick that saves time and effort.

In the spirit of the season, let's share our collective wisdon, shall we? 

We'll get things started with the star of many holiday meals, the turkey. Folks have tried many ways to add flavor and moisture, but don't be fooled. You need to rely on solid scientific principles, which lead you to one simple solution - brine your turkey.

Most folks cringe at the idea of using a brine, because they think it will make their bird taste salty. Watch the video we've attached to this story and you'll see that, for good scientific reason, your bird will NOT be salty.

While Alton Brown supplies a great brine recipe in that video, we'd like to offer an alternative that works just as well.


  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3 oranges, quartered
  • 3 lemons, quartered
  • 8 sprigs thyme
  • 6 sprigs rosemary

Dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water. Here in the Patch kitchens, we've mixed this in a new, 5-gallon bucket from our hardware store, somtimes lined with a heavy-duty garbage bag. Once you've got everything dissolved, add the citrus and herbs. It might help to give the herbs a really rough chop before tossing them into water.

Put the bird in breast-side down to start. It should be in the brine at least 12 hours and you should rotate it once during that time. Once it's done with its soak, give it a good rinse before roasting.

Your turkey will taste better and be juicer. What's not to like?

Now how about returning the favor and sharing your Thanksgiving tip? 

Karl Smith November 23, 2011 at 08:41 PM
Kinda bummed that no one is sharing their secrets. :(
Liz Shockley November 23, 2011 at 09:18 PM
I heard on Martha Stewart one time to brush the turkey with oil before cooking because then you won't have to baste it. Seems to work! Not really a secret since I saw it on tv but it's what I do.


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