Brining is the best way to ensure a juicy turkey. I recommend using a cooler to hold a large turkey and the brining liquid. Begin the brining process at least 36 hours before roasting, as the turkey must air-dry for at least 24 hours before roasting to yield a super crispy skin.
Serves 10-12 / Prep Time: / Total Time:
Brine and air-dry the turkey:
- Bring 1 gallon apple cider, the salt, bay leaves, thyme and parsley to a boil in a large stockpot, stirring to dissolve the salt.
- Pour the brine into a cooler large enough to hold the turkey and brine. Add 1 gallon apple cider and the ice and cool to room temperature.
- Completely submerge the turkey in the brine. Close the cooler lid and transfer to the coolest location in your house (or outside), and brine the turkey for 12 to 14 hours.
- Remove the turkey from the brine and hold over a sink to drain the liquid out of the cavity. Thoroughly pat the turkey dry with paper towels.
- Arrange the turkey, breast-side up, on a rack set in a roasting pan. Tuck the wing tips behind the turkey’s back and loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string to close the cavity. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill, uncovered, for 24 hours to dry out the skin. (This step is key to crispy skin.)
Roast and glaze the turkey:
- Preheat the oven to 300°F.
- Heat the butter, honey, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium-low heat until the butter melts, stirring to blend.
- Place the parsley and thyme inside the cavity of the turkey. Brush the outside of the turkey with the glaze and transfer to the oven. Roast for about 15 minutes per pound, or until the inner thigh of the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 155°F, basting with the glaze every 30 minutes or so. If the turkey begins to brown before the meat is fully cooked, butter a piece of aluminum foil and place, butter-side down, over the turkey.
- Remove the turkey from the oven, loosely tent with foil, and let rest for 30 minutes before carving. (The temperature of the turkey will continue to rise as it rests).