How to Cook the Perfect Turkey {Stress Free!}

by GettingFreedom on April 17, 2012

April typically isn’t when everyone is thinking of cooking up turkeys.  Cooking whole turkeys {hams, and even chickens} is an easy way for us to save money on our grocery budget–so we do it rather frequently.

A few years ago, Smockity Frocks introduced to me to a stress-free way of cooking turkeys, and I haven’t looked back {in fact, we’ve ventured further}.  I’m frequently questioned in my method. Especially when I cooked 4 turkeys for a HUGE church dinner.  Everyone just knew it wasn’t going to work.  When everyone raved about their juicy-ness and awesome flavor, all I could do was smile. ;)

I’ve made some changes since doing my first turkey.  I never thought we could improve on it, but I was wrong!

Brining and Cooking a Turkey

Brining and Cooking a Turkey

Brining your turkey in a salt solution for 24 hours {up to 3 days!} results in juicy, flavorful turkey you'll never forget!


  • One Turkey {16-20 pounds}
  • 2 Cups Salt
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • Pepper
  • Garlic Powder {Or minced Garlic Cloves}
  • Ice
  • Water


    To brine
  1. Combine the salt and brown sugar.
  2. Rub mixture all over thawed turkey, inside and out.
  3. Sprinkle with cracked pepper and garlic powder {or minced garlic cloves}.
  4. Place turkey in a cooler.
  5. Add in ice and enough water to cover turkey completely.
  6. Let sit in brine for 24-48 hours making sure that there is always ice in the cooler.
  7. To Cook:
  8. Wash all of the brine off of your turkey, and place breast side down in an electric roaster, set to 500° {or as high as it will go}. If you do not have an electric roaster, an oven will also work.
  9. Cook until internal temperature is 165°.
  10. Length of cooking time will depend on your size of bird. I was able to cook a 20 pound turkey in right around 3 hours {a little less}. The average cooking time is between 2 and 3 hours.


You can add additional seasonings and aromatics to your brine, such as rosemary, apples, cinnamon or even oranges.

Trust me when I say that this turkey will not disappoint!  You may be thinking there is a major typo on the cooking time–but I assure you there is not.  No more stressed out Thanksgiving dinners full of starving people {they might be starving, but not because the turkey isn’t done}!

As you might have guessed–the abundance of turkey recipes on our menu plan this week is the result of having just brined and cooked another turkey.

What is your favorite recipe that calls for turkey?


This recipe is part of the Newlyweds Recipe Linky.

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