Salted Roast Turkey
How many times do you want to make a turkey for Thanksgiving dinner and try a different way than usual? Well I finally got that chance. I am not hosting Thanksgiving dinner this year and we bought this 13 pound turkey for only 47 cents a pound! I have always wanted to make a liquid salt brine and brine the turkey over night. However, I could not fit the turkey with the cooler, that I was going to brine it in, into the refrigerator. It wasn’t cold enough outside to put it in the garage so I once again, gave up. I need a bigger refrigerator!
After watching some cooking shows I remember seeing where they prepared chicken with just a dry Kosher salt. After some research I found that my 13 pound turkey should be salted with 6-1/2 tsp of Kosher salt, refrigerated for 2-4 hours and you don’t rinse the salt off before you bake it. That seemed like a lot of salt but since this was just for us I went ahead and tried it. I also sprinkled the turkey with pepper.
Why make a Salted Roasted Turkey? Because the salt penetrates the skin and meat which turns the skin a crisp golden delicious flavor. The turkey was very moist but keep in mind, I kept a close eye on it with the thermometer. I do not use the pop up button they put in the turkey, I pull it out and throw it away before I prepare the turkey. I find my turkey is never at the right temperature with the button pops up and I prefer a thermometer. I check the turkey breast and thigh at the thickest parts with the thermometer and when it is 165 degrees it’s cooked perfectly.
Kosher Salt and Pepper
Place the turkey on a plate in the sink.
Remove the outer wrapper.
Remove the neck from the cavity.
My turkey had a bag of
gravy in the cavity too!
I was really disappointed to see
that they cut the skin on the breast.
In the neck cavity there
was another paper bag.
Inside this bag you will find
the heart, gizzard and liver.
You can save these for homemade
stuffing, discard them or do like I do and
rinse them off and put them back
in the cavity without the bag.
Rinse the turkey inside and out
removing any pin feathers
they may have missed. Place
the turkey in a roasting pan.
Tuck the wings under.
Salt and pepper all of the skin
of the turkey, both sides.
It will seem like a lot of salt
(1/2 tsp Kosher salt per pound of turkey)
but it will be delicious.
Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
Remove the pan from the refrigerator.
Set the pan on counter for 1 hour
without the lid before baking,
or until it’s room temperature.
Pour about a cup of water or chicken
broth in the bottom of the pan.
Don’t pour it on the turkey.
Bake in a preheated 325 degree
oven without a lid. If it starts
to get too brown before it is
165 degrees, put the lid on.
Continue to bake until a thermometer
inserted in the thickest part of the turkey
reads 165 degrees. Below is a chart for
approximately how long to bake your
turkey but use your thermometer
so it is not over or under cooked.
If you stuff the turkey, make sure
the stuffing is 165 degrees too.
Remove from the oven and let it
sit for 20-30 minutes then slice.
Salted Roast Turkey
- 1 whole turkey, thawed or fresh
- kosher salt, 1/2 tsp per pound of turkey
- pepper, to taste
- 1 cup chicken broth or water
- Place the turkey on a plate in the sink. Remove the outer wrapping.
- Remove the neck, bag of heart-gizzard-liver, and anything else inside the cavity. I even found a bag of gravy in mine! Make sure you check the neck cavity too.
- You can save the bag with the heart, liver and gizzard to chop up and put in your stuffing, rinse it and put it in the turkey cavity to cook or discard them.
- Rinse the turkey inside and out with cold water from the faucet then drain.
- Place the turkey into a roasting pan. Tuck the wings under so they don’t dry out.
- Rub the salt and pepper on the turkey covering all of the skin on both sides.
- Put the lid on the pan and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
- Remove the pan from the refrigerator and remove the lid.
- Let the turkey sit in the pan on the counter for one hour or until it is room temperature. Do not rinse the salt off of the turkey.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Pour 1 cup of chicken broth or water into the bottom of the pan being careful not to pour it on the turkey or you will wash off the salt & pepper.
- Put the turkey in the oven without the lid and cook until the thickest parts (breast and thighs) read 165 degrees on a thermometer. If any part of the turkey skin starts to get too dark, put the lid on the roaster pan.
- Remove the turkey from the oven and remove the turkey to a cutting board. Let the turkey rest for 20-30 minutes, slice and serve.