Justin Wangler's Roasted Brined Turkey

Culinary chef Justin Wangler welcomes us into his kitchen with a delicious brined turkey recipe.

Justin Roasted Brined Turkey
Prep Time:
45 mins
Marinate Time:
8 hrs
Roast Time:
2 hrs 45 mins
Stand Time:
20 mins
Total Time:
45 mins


  • 1 8 pound fresh or frozen natural turkey, thawed

  • 1 recipe Brine (see recipe below)


  • 1 bunch fresh thyme

  • 5 bay leaves

  • 45 black peppercorns (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 1 ½ cup kosher salt*

  • 1 ½ cup sugar

  • 3 quart hot water

  • 3 quart ice


  1. Rinse turkey and pat dry; discard neck and gizzards. Prepare brine. Submerge turkey in cold brine (increase amount of brine to cover turkey, if necessary). Press and weight down turkey with a clean plate or two. Refrigerate 8 to 12 hours.

  2. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove turkey from brine, discard brine and drain turkey well. Pat turkey dry with paper towels.

  3. Place turkey, bone side down, on rack in shallow roasting pan. Tuck drumsticks under band of skin across the tail, or tie drumsticks to tail. Twist wing tips under back. Push meat thermometer into center of inside thigh muscle.

  4. Roast turkey, uncovered, for 2-3/4 to 3 hours, or until a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees F, cutting the band of skin or string holding drumsticks halfway through roasting. If necessary, tent turkey breast with foil during last 30 minutes to prevent overbrowning (covering whole turkey will slow down cooking).

  5. Remove turkey from oven. Let stand, covered, for 20 minutes. Makes 10 to 16 servings.


  1. In 10-quart pot combine 1 bunch fresh thyme, 5 bay leaves, 45 black peppercorns (about 1 teaspoon), 1-1/2 cups kosher salt*, 1-1/2 cups sugar, and 3 quarts hot water; stir to combine. Add 3 quarts ice; let stand until ice melts.

Turkey Breast Option:

Use a 2-1/2-pound natural turkey breast portion with bone and 1/2 recipe of brine. Refrigerate 8 to 12 hours. Remove turkey breast from brine; discard brine and drain turkey well. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Place turkey, bone side down, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, in a 325 degree F oven for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until juices run clear and turkey is no longer pink (170 degrees F). Let stand 15 minutes before carving. Makes 6 servings.

*Kosher salt has larger crystals than table salt. If you use table salt, reduce to 3/4 cup.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

184 Calories
5g Fat
1g Carbs
30g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 10
Calories 184
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 6%
Saturated Fat 2g 10%
Cholesterol 109mg 36%
Sodium 651mg 28%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Protein 30g
Calcium 20.2mg 2%
Iron 1.8mg 10%

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.