Roasted Turkey with Gravy

Step 1: Brining the Turkey

Brining the Turkey

To brine the turkey, place 2 quarts of cold water into a medium pot and bring to a boil. Slice the onion and add to the pot, along with the thyme and salt. Once all of the salt has dissolved, turn off the heat and set aside to steep and cool.

Next, clean the turkey by removing and reserving the neck. Discard the giblets, unless you choose to add them to your stuffing. Using your fingers, gently loosen the skin from the top of the bird. Then rinse the turkey with cold water.

In a large container, add the steeped brine mixture and 5 quarts of very cold water. Top up with 2 quarts of ice. Add the turkey and make sure it is completely covered with the brine. Place into the refrigerator or a large cooler full of ice for up to 24 hours.

  • 2 qt cold water
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme
  • 3/4 cup sea salt
  • 1 turkey (15 lb)
  • 5 qt cold water
  • 2 qt ice

Step 2: Making the Compound Butter

Making the Compound Butter

To make the compound butter, first add the salt and pepper to the butter. Finely chop the thyme and mash everything together until smooth. Set aside.

  • 1/2 lb unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tsp fresh thyme

Step 3: Removing the Turkey From the Brine

Removing the Turkey From the Brine

Remove the turkey from the brine and let it drain briefly before placing it onto a tray. Discard the brine and pat the turkey dry.

Position a rack in the lower third of your oven and preheat it to 350° degrees Fahrenheit.

Let the turkey sit at room temperature for one hour. Meanwhile, you can prepare the short stock.

Step 4: Making the Short Stock

Making the Short Stock

To make the short stock, chop the onions, carrots and celery and place into a bowl. Set aside.

Using a heavy knife, carefully chop up the bones, including the reserved turkey neck. You could also ask the butcher to do this for you.

Preheat a large, stainless-steel fry pan over high heat. Once hot, add the oil and half of the bones. Let the bones brown and caramelize, which will give the gravy its rich color and flavor. Add half of the vegetables and let caramelize slightly. Deglaze with half of the wine. Scrape up the bits from the bottom, then transfer to the roasting pan and repeat with the second batch.

Once done, add the stock to the roasting pan. Place the V-rack over top and cover with foil. Poke a few holes to let the juices run through. Coat the foil with a bit of oil then set the pan aside while you prepare the turkey.

  • 1 onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 rib celery
  • 2 lb chicken bones
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups stock (turkey or chicken)

Step 5: Seasoning and Roasting the Turkey

Seasoning and Roasting the Turkey

To season the bird, sprinkle the inside with the salt and pepper and add the vegetables and herbs. Rub the outside skin with a bit of oil and then rub about one-third of the compound butter just underneath the skin.

Place the turkey, breast-side-down, onto the v-rack and then transfer to the oven. Set your timer for one hour.

Refer to this chart for estimated cooking times.

  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1/2 head fresh garlic
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil

Step 6: Flip Turkey and Roast for the 2nd Hour

Flip Turkey and Roast for the 2nd Hour

Before you remove the turkey from the oven, melt the compound butter. Using two cloths, carefully flip the turkey over. Brush the top with some of the melted butter and return to the oven. Set the timer for hour number 2.

Step 7: Roasting the Turkey for the 3rd Hour

Roasting the Turkey for the 3rd Hour

Quickly brush the turkey with a bit more butter and set your timer for hour number 3.

Step 8: Testing the Turkey

Testing the Turkey

At the 3-hour mark, test the turkey for doneness by inserting a thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Test the same area from the inside of the cavity. The inside reading will always be lower, so this is where the final reading should come from.

Because all ovens cook differently and your turkey may be slightly bigger or smaller, the timing will all depend on the reading you get from your turkey.

If your turkey isn't done, brush it with the remaining butter and return it to the oven for about 15-30 minutes.

Step 9: Testing the Turkey for Doneness

Testing the Turkey for Doneness

Test the turkey again. The second reading on the inside of the thigh should reach 165° degrees Fahrenheit, which is perfect.

Loosely tent it with vented foil to allow steam to escape. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Step 10: Making the Gravy

Making the Gravy

To make the gravy, strain the liquid from the roasting pan and let the fat rise to the top. Skim off the fat and place it into a separate bowl.

Measure the liquid to equal 6 cups. Take 3/4 cup of the reserved fat and pour into a large sauce pan over medium heat. Once the fat is nice and hot, add the flour and stir continuously. As the roux cooks, it will turn from a light tan color to a nice, rich brown color. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes but the end result is well worth it.

Add about 1/3 of the stock and stir constantly. Stir and continue to add the stock until smooth. Once the 6 cups of stock have been added, check the consistency. Keep in mind that it will continue to thicken after you turn off the heat. If you like a thinner gravy, you may want to add up to one additional cup of stock.

For a super-smooth gravy, strain again. Cover and keep the gravy hot while you carve the turkey. Reheat over low heat if necessary.

  • 6 to 7 cups stock (from short stock)
  • 3/4 cup fat drippings
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour

Step 11: Carving the Turkey

Carving the Turkey

There are two ways to carve a turkey. In either case, make sure you hone your knife so it’s nice and sharp.

The first method is carving at the table. First slice off the wing, followed by the breast meat. When it is difficult to slice off the remaining breast meat, cut off the drumstick and thigh. Now you can finish slicing off the breast meat. This is the traditional way to carve, for most people who prefer to carve at the table.

To carve the turkey in the kitchen on a cutting board, is actually better because it makes it easier to slice across the grain of the breast meat.

For this method, simply remove the whole breast, by cutting along the rib cage. Place the breast onto a cutting board and slice vertically against the grain. Remove the thigh and drumstick, then separate. This way of carving also makes for really nice presentation, which is much harder to obtain when you are carving at the table.


Purchasing the Turkey

If you can, buy a fresh turkey. The flavor is great and it’s worth the extra cost. If buying frozen, thaw it properly in the fridge, on a try and in its plastic. For every pound of turkey, plan for about 5 hours of thawing.

10 pound turkey: Approximately 50 hours (just over two days)
15 pound turkey: Approximately 75 hours (just over three days)
20 pound turkey: Approximately 100 hours (just over four days)

A thawed turkey can be kept in the fridge for up to two days before cooking.

What is brining?

Brine is a salty solution. The salt deeply penetrates the meat tissue, opening the pores and actually unlocks the fibers. Not only does it trap water molecules and keep the flesh juicy and moist, it seasons the flesh throughout which adds a lot of flavor.

How much salt should I use?

A moderate brine is approximately ½ cup of Kosher salt per 3 quarts of water.

Salt equivalents

Table Salt (without iodine) – 1 cup (10 ounces)
Morton Kosher Salt – 1 1/2 cups (about 8 ounces) so you'll need to use 1.5 cups in total
Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt (half as potent as regular table salt) – use 2 cups (5 ounces per cup)

When using other salts, such as sea salt, pickling salt, or other brands of Kosher salt, simply weigh out 10 ounces on your kitchen scale to find its equivalent of table salt.

Create different brines by adding herbs, spices, and brown sugar, honey or molasses. Apple juice, cider, apple cider vinegar, rice wine vinegar, stock, tea, beer, wine, or other liquids can replace some or all of the water.

Always start with a cold brine

For food safety reasons, the brine must be cold (40° degrees Fahrenheit, 4° degrees Celsius) to ensure the meat stays at proper refrigerator temperature. If you need to heat the brine mixture to dissolve the salt, make sure you cool the brine down before using. The food must be completely submersed. Refrigeration is absolutely required during brining. The meat and brine solution must be kept below 40° degrees Fahrenheit at all times. If you can’t find a large enough container, fill a cooler with ice.

Brining time

The turkey should sit in the brine for at least 10 hours. It can process for as much as 24 hours but the turkey will have absorbed all the brine it needs in about 10 hours. The amount of brining time is not set in stone. Even a little brining is better than none. Brining for too long can ruin the flavor as well and make it too salty. If you are using a small turkey, cut down on the brining time, or reduce the amount of salt in the brine.

Once the meat is removed from the brine, you can rinse off the excess salt from the surface and pat dry. You can also air-dry poultry in the refrigerator overnight. Place a cooling rack over a baking sheet and rest the poultry on top. By letting the moisture evaporate, it is easier to achieve crispy skin.

Make sure to discard used brining liquid. It has been contaminated with raw food and cannot be reused.

Stuff or not to stuff?

Don’t stuff your turkey. Stuffing acts as insulation and makes cooking the turkey that much longer, creating dry breast meat. Hot air cannot get inside the turkey and can’t cook the meat closest to the bone, which is the area that takes the longest to cook. Simply season the turkey extremely well with salt and pepper and let the hot oven air do its work.

Preparing your turkey

Season the cavity and underneath the skin. Rub butter underneath the skin and make sure to start with a short stock for added flavor. Place the turkey on a V-rack, so it’s not in contact with the juices in the pan. The steam from the juices will keep the turkey nice and moist during the slow, long cooking time. A V-rack guarantees a moist turkey and the beginnings of a delicious gravy.

Make sure you don’t put a cold turkey in the oven. It will take that much longer to cook, and longer cooking time means dry meat. Let the turkey sit at room temperature for up to one hour before roasting.

Ideal oven temperature

The ideal oven temperature is 350º degrees Fahrenheit.

To baste or not to baste?

If you over-baste, you lower the oven temperature and the temperature of the turkey, making the cooking time longer. You create a baste by slipping butter underneath the skin. Baste another 1-2 times, but don’t get carried away.

Which way is up?

If you brine your turkey, it will be juicy any way you place it. However, if you don’t brine, start with the breast side down. The gentle steam from the pan will keep the breast meat nice and moist. At half way point, turn it over so you end up with crispy skin.

When is it done?

Turkey needs to reach an internal temperature of 165º degrees Fahrenheit; higher than this will produce dry meat. Use a thermometer, and insert it into the thickest part of the thigh. Test both thighs for accurate readings. If you don’t have a thermometer, stick a skewer into the thickest part of the thigh, making sure you hit bone; if the juices run clear, it’s time to take the turkey out.

Why rest?

Resting any kind of meat, before carving, is essential. It allows the muscles to relax and the heat to distribute evenly. It makes it easier to carve and the meat will be nice and juicy. Rest a large turkey for at least 20 to 30 minutes. Tent with vented foil. The steam must be able to escape so the skin doesn’t get soggy.

For additional information, visit:

USDA Poultry Preparation and The National Organic Program

Jurie H


I assume brining, putting butter under the skin etc. would work equally well with a goose?

Nelly T

cooking turkey

how can i get this DVD for my self before christmas

Abigail S

Moist and Delicious!!!

Surprisingly to my family and in-laws, this was the first turkey this turkey ever cooked! But I did it, wrestling two 18-pounders: my free range Deistel turkey, and my free range baby. The brining of the turkey was great. I ended up with a tasty brine mix from a gourmet shop which recommended adding sugar then vinegar. I added the onions as per the Rouxbe recipe. The gravy made from the drippings was extra flavorful I think because the drippings were coming from a brined turkey. I bought some turkey-lifting forks that facilitated turning the turkey, which worked well. Despite the fact that my father-in-law (whom I love) kept opening the oven for long periods to study the turkey, it cooked well and everyone raved about how moist it was. He couldn't understand why I didn't put stuffing inside it, or why I was basting with butter instead of drippings. But in the end, the meal spoke for itself. Thanks for helping me make a great meal!

Nora B


I will cook it.

Patricia S


Roasting a turkey or chicken is in my opinion a very simple thing to do, but until now I had never tried brining. I had heard of it but never gave it much thought. I can't believe I waited so long. The turkey (and chicken) I have made doing it this way were so moist and flavourful that I can't imagine doing it any other way from now on. Thanks Rouxbe!

Iain G

Never to not brine again!

After a day's brining and 2 hours rest in the fridge before roasting, my Christmas turkey turned out a winner. The depth of flavour was astounding. And the juiciness of ALL the meat was outstanding.

My daughter brought her boyfriend 'round for dinner and now I'm a legend in HER mind as well as mine.

I'm boiling the carcass now and the soup I'm sampling (after adding only celery leaves) is blowing my culinary cranium cortex (hereafter referred to as CCC)...

Brine on!

Lorna D

the tastiest and moistest ever

I have made many turkey dinners over the years and this was the first time I have put a turkey in brine and believe me not the last,the turkey cooked quickly and sooooo tender, even the white meat which is usually dry , was moist and tender, in fact my nephew commented that this was the best turkey he's had in his life which is a great compliment because his mom is a great cook.I can't wait to make turkey again.

Randall  M


I have brined in the past, but the salt/water ratio was much higher and, although the turkey was okay -- this one was superb! It was extremely moist and flavourful. I especially liked not having to stuff the turkey and really loved the stuffing recipe as well.

The gravy from the drippings and the method of putting stock/bones under the turkey is absolutely brilliant! Most delicious gravy I have ever made!


Tom W


I have been looking to get a roasting pan and I have some questions. I believe that you used a non-stick pan in this recipe. Are there going to be times when I will want a stainless steel roasting pan instead, assuming that I can only afford one roasting pan? Also, what are the dimensions of the pan you used. It seems that most pans come in small and large, and I'm not quite sure what size would work best for a "normal" size turkey. Lastly, racks... Flat racks, v-racks, and no-rack are the options out there. Can you school me on the different types and benefits/disadvantages? I lot of questions I know, but I've never found anything online that can give me good answers to these questions.

Joe G
Rouxbe Staff

Pans and Racks

In the turkey video, we used this roasting pan:
It is non stick which is great for cleaning up. Solid construction. AllClad is a great product.

At home I have a Calphalon Classic Bakeware 12-by-17-Inch Rectangular Nonstick Baking/Roasting Pan. It's only about $30 or $40 and is great for most things. You don't have to spend a fortune, especially if you don't use it often. However it may not last your lifetime.

If I were going to buy a really good quality one to last a lifetime though, I'd probably go with one like this:
Why? Because I love to deglaze bones and scrape the bottom for all the yummy bits for sauces directly over a flame. I do this when the roast comes out of the oven. Yes you can do this with the AllClad as well, but for this I prefer heavy duty stainless. Professionally, I never used non-stick except for cooking eggs and small frying jobs.

Big fan of the V-Rack (like the one featured above with the AllClad). It's main advantage is that it enables great heat circulation around the bird while cooking and it also allows you to make a short-stock at the same time underneath for moist birds. No disadvantages that I know of, other than they are a bit of a pain to clean sometimes unless you spray them really well.

And whatever you choose, stay clear of non-stick coated pans, unless you are okay to throw them away once they start to peel. If you want non-stick, go with dark anodized exteriors that won't chip or peel.

Judi G

Great family dinner

My turkey turned out perfectly and I did not have to open the oven except to turn it (and a note from Dawn about "flipping the bird" by using two cloths helped tremendously as I was alone and have previously struggled with metal spatulas and pie lifters in the past... I may invest in the forks mentioned). I did the butter under the skin basting and my gravy was possibly the best ever and the turkey was moist (although it tested 'overdone' at 180 on my thermometer - perhaps I should have tested it sooner but was abiding by the 'no peek' rule). Nonetheless, it was still moist and delicious and the stuffing done separately (to accommodate vegetarians) and was great). I will try brining next time - it sounds like a home run based on the other comments and nobody complained about the process, which I assumed to be overwhelming. Thanks for a splendidly done video and Top Turkey Tips - ALL of which (sans brining) I followed with ease and success. And I will do it all again for Christmas!!!

Donald D

20lb Bird cooked in 3 hours....

I have brined turkey many times before, so I was already sold on that concept. My issue was with not stuffing the bird, as we have always stuffed our birds.. The 'outside' stuffing was every bit as good, if not better than any I have made in the past. What I question today (the day after Thanksgiving), is the speed at which the bird cooked, & the oven temperature. Following the T-Day instructions, I checked the turkey temperature at the 3 hour mark, only to find it at 170 degrees. Kind of three me a curve (it was only 3:00PM). But it held well & was still delicious when served at 6:00PM.
I had been counting on 15min/lb. as collaborated by several of my 'goto' reference books, but now also note that most recommend cooking at 325 degrees. So, next time (probably Christmas), I will cook the first hour (breast side down) at 350, flip & continue at 325.
My only other issue with the T-Day steps, involved 'placing the stuffing in the oven alongside the turkey'. I have a standard size oven, & this simply couldn't happen. Good thing I have a second kitchen in the basement.
All in all a terrific meal, appreciated by all.

Judi G

My mistake

I just RE-read my notes from the video and the internal temperature of my bird was correct at 180-185. Somehow I had the 160s in mind, so thankfully I was not relying on memory. It was perfect.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Timing on Turkey

The one thing that never seems to be consistent when cooking turkey, is how long it takes to cook.

If the bird is brined it generally cooks quicker. The timing also depends on your oven.

Yesterday I cooked about a 12lb turkey in under 2 hours (it was also brined). Thankfully turkeys do keep warm for a long time. And thank goodness for really hot gravy.

Donald, I think your suggestion of starting at 350°F and then turning it down to 325°F, is a good idea as well. If you have the time go for it, I often do the same thing.

Charlie  H


Well yet again Rouxbe you did it....we had the most amazing dinner thanks to your site. We had 10 adults and 4 kids for thanksgiving dinner and it was a huge hit. The turkey was so good and so moist....the brining is the trick! I was really amazed at how fast our turkey cooked for a 22 lbs bird, just under three hours. I had checked the oven temperature before begining with a store bought guage and it was 25 degrees higher!! Good thing I checked or I might have had a dry turkey. We also made the gravey and the cranberry sauce, that was INCREDIBLE sauce. Again, thanks so much for being at our house this thanksgiving felt like you were in the kitchen helping with every step.

Jackie C



In your notes you mentioned to brine for 10 hours and also try to air-dry the turkey? How many hours will it take to air-dry a turkey. Also what is a good brand of dry white wine.

Joe G
Rouxbe Staff

Drying the turkey

Air drying the turkey is really important, but it's not so much the time, but more so that it is dry. I like to leave it overnight. BUT you can speed things up by patting it dry with paper towel and even using a blow dryer (yes... a hair dryer). If the skin is wet when you put it in the over, it will steam for a while before drying. You want to start forming that nice crispy skin from minute one.

Wine suggestions are here on this page (lower left):

Korye L

Excellent Recipe: try the stuffing recipe too

The turkey was delicious despite the fact that I did not brine it. I used an organic turkey that cost more, but was definitely worth it. Mine cooked quickly as others have mentioned. It actually got up to a reading of just over 180. Fortunately, it is still very moist. The herb flavors are nice throughout the bird.

I also made the stuffing / dressing recipe from this site:
I used three kinds of bread: wheat, corn and French. As I'm a bit of an experimenter, I added sunflower seeds, raisins, green apples, sausage and mushrooms to the recipe. It is absolutely outstanding! I'm so happy to have so much left over.

For our wine pairing, we had a wonderful selection from my last visit to Oregon. A 2005 Pinot Gris Estate bottle from The Eyrie Vineyards, Dundee Hills. It's a lovely medium body dry white with nice earthly and subtle floral tones of sunflower. Tastes of dried apricot and hay with a balanced smooth finish. I was very pleased with this selection, as some pinot gris are too bright for this type of meal. Yet, this wine is an excellent match for autumn poultry dish.

I really enjoy this web site.

Joe G
Rouxbe Staff

Glad it all worked out.

Thanks for taking the time to share your experiences and suggestions.

Patricia S

Needs mentioning again!

I have been doing a bit of catering for christmas functions lately, and the response I get to doing the turkey this way is fantastic! Not only are they talking about the turkey but the amazing gravy that comes of it. I love cooking it this way and now I even brine my chicken breasts (bone in). Yum Yum Yum! Thanks Rouxbe


It's snowing and no fresh thyme

Help. I'm snowed in and can't get out to buy fresh thyme. I will need to resort to dried thyme. What would the conversion ratio be?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Dried to Fresh Thyme

If using dried thyme, you want to only use about a third as much dried as you would fresh.

However if you are using this for the brine, I would omit it. Dried thyme sometimes has a tendency to taste moldy (at least to us here at Rouxbe).


Dried to fresh thyme

Thanks for the fast response Dawn. I see the recipe calls for "sprigs" of thyme. How many tsp in a sprig of thyme so I can do the conversion? Thanks again.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Dried to Fresh Thyme

1 sprig equals about a half to one will depend on the size of the sprig. So why don't you just go somewhere in the middle to get your measurements. Just don't overdo it on the dried stuff! :-) Good Luck!

Melissa K

Roasting Turkey in Convection Oven

Are you roasting your turkey in a convection oven in the video? Would there be any conversion needed if using convection? Thanks.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Roasted Turkey in a Convection Oven

In the video we are just using the oven on a regular setting - not the convection setting. The only thing that you really have to consider with convection is that the turkey will likely just cook quicker - as the air is constantly being circulated around the bird. Hope this helps!

Todd M

Turkey good, gravy was a disaster

I loved the short stock, turned out rich, flavourful and a deep brown colour. However, I separated the fat (3/4 C) as the instructions advise and heated in a pan. I then added the flour for a roux. It seemed to be going fine then added the short stock. The gravy just did not seem to come together, it was very flour-like tasting, and almost gritty. I obviously did something wrong as a friend of mine made the same gravy and it turned out great.

Joe G
Rouxbe Staff

Fixing Turkey Gravy

Hi Todd. Sorry to hear about your turkey gravy, especially with such great short-stock. Couple of questions:

1. did the roux look like the roux in the video

2. did you add the short stock gradually or all at once

Standing by. Joe

Todd M

Re Gravy

Hi Joe, Thanks for the response. The roux started out a medium blond colour and was dry. Eventually the roux darkened and also turned creamy (like the video) even though I didn't add any further liquid. I then added the stock...all at once. It was at this point that things fell apart. I wisked the gravy constantly while heating and it did not loose the floury taste. I tried straining the gravy, twice, but the texture remained gritty and the taste did not improve.

Joe G
Rouxbe Staff

Troubleshooting "how to make gravy"

He Todd,

I'm going to ask Christophe to jump in to help you understand what might have gone wrong. He's the gravy King!(and it's his recipe). Please stand by. In the interim, here's the link for the gravy video for review.

Christophe K
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Gravy

Hi Todd,

You need to add the stock in small amounts, especially the first time to allow for the roux to absorb the liquid, once you have a smooth, yet very thick gravy , you may add more stock until you reach the desire consistency. Hope this helps.

Peter M

Making more gravy

With a 20lb bird, I'm afraid 6 cups won't be enough gravy (especially for left-overs!). Are there any recommendations for producing more using the same method or is the limiting factor the flavor produced in the area of the roasting pan? Thanks and happy holidays!

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Making more gravy

If you are looking for leftovers, simply double the ingredients in the short stock (step 4) and also for the gravy (step 10). Yum - you can never have too much gravy!

Peter M

Re: Re: Making more gravy

Just in case anyone reading has a similar goal of increasing the amount of gravy, I simply doubled the ingredients of the stock steps and gravy-making step, but wound up with way to much roux... and in spite of worrying about it went ahead and wound up with a very thick, floury gravy (I definately knew better but after three days of cooking I was not thinking so well anymore!). I wound up having to thin it with plain stock which really diluted the flavor. Having said that, this gravy method was about to produce the best gravy I ever made! The short stock under the bird is a keeper!!! Also... 20 lb bird in 3 hours was perfect!

Suzanne C

Where did the list go?

I'm doing the 'Thanksgiving Turkey' dinner for Christmas and I went online to get the shopping list...Where did it go?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Where did the List Go?

We will make this available again for the holidays. In the meantime, here is a link to the planner and multi-task player

Happy Holidays!

Suzanne C

Can I brine partially frozen poultry?

I don't have enough time to thaw and brine my bird. Can I brine for part of the thawing time?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Can I Brine Frozen Poultry?

In short the answer is that you should not brine frozen meat. That being said I sometimes brine my chickens even if they are still a bit frozen. I just try not to make it a habit. For more on this subject read this thread about brining and why you wouldn't want to brine from frozen. Hope this helps!

Suzanne C

Re: Can I brine frozen poultry?

Thank-you for the quick reply, so...pasta today and poultry on Monday!

Arianna A

Help! Sooo many options!

Hi, I would like to invest in a roasting pan and am a bit confused by all of the options. Any thoughts on the type of pan to select? Non-stick? Aluminum? Caphalon? I'd guess a non-stick V-rack, but what about the pan? Also, some come with a fancy domed lid. Is that a good option to have?

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Roasting Pans

Here is a drill down that provides more information on choosing Roasting Pans & Racks. A lid can be good when cooking certain dishes, but is not required for roasting turkey. Hope this helps!

Bill P

Any special considerations if cooking a 12lb turkey?

I think this was mentioned earlier, but thought I'd ask again.

Any particular adjustments or suggestions if using a 12lb turkey instead of a 15 pounder?

It's always a trick to insure it doesn't finish cooking too early.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Any Special Considerations for a 12 lb Turkey?

The only consideration is time. The smaller it is the quicker it will cook.

Here is an earlier answer that talks about a bit this as well. Cheers and happy turkey cooking!

Rob W

Brining Container

I'm hoping someone can tell me where I can purchase a container like the one that is used in the video to brine the turkey?

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Brining Container

The container used in the video is called a "cambro". These food-safe containers come in various sizes. The one in the video is 15 quarts. Cambros can be found at restaurant supply stores. Many restaurant/industry supply stores sell to the public, so check your local listing and call around. Cheers!

Drew H

Short Stock

If I'm not going to make my own gravy, do I still need to make the short stock to place under the turkey during roasting? (i.e. Does it add anything to the roasting process such as keeping the bird hydrated? If so, can I just replace it with water or a purchased stock?) Or, is it just for use in the gravy?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Short Stock

If you do not intend to make gravy, there is no need to make a short stock. You may need to add some water on the bottom of the roasting pan to prevent the fat and drippings from burning and smoking during the cooking process.

I do have to say however, you are missing out by not making the gravy. It makes me want to cry a little bit every time I eat it because it is soooooo good! Have a great dinner!

Bill P

Does Using Brined Drippings Make Gravy too Salty?

Some quick brining questions. . .

1. Most of my brining recipes state not to use the brined turkey drippings for gravy because they are too salty. I guess this recipe avoids this problem by having the short stock in the pan?

2. What is the purpose of the ice in the brine? Just to cool it from the stove before it hits the turkey?


Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Does Using Brined Dripiings...

If you have not already, you may want to watch the lesson on Brining as much of this is covered in that lesson. Cheers!

Franklin G

Make ahead?

I've got a very small kitchen and oven and to save time I am trying to make as many things ahead of time as possible. Can I follow a similar process to make the gravy a couple days ahead of time using just roasted turkey legs and backs instead? Will it keep well in the refrigerator for 2 days? Any suggested adjustments to the process? Thanks in advance.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Making Gravy Ahead

If you need to, then yes you could make the gravy ahead using turkey legs and backs. Just note, that you will not necessarily end up with the same rich flavor as you will not have the drippings etc, from the roasting turkey. On the day, you may want to deglaze the roasting pan and then add the pre-made gravy to the pan (with the deglazed drippings) to add more flavor. To finish, strain the gravy again before serving. Cheers!

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Make Ahead

You can make a really flavorful short stock (even with some stock as the liquid - see Topic 2 with the legs, backs (even with chicken bones) to make the gravy ahead of time. I wouldn't keep it for more than 2 days. Place a bit of liquid on the bottom of the pot before adding the gravy (to prevent scorching). Most importantly, make sure to bring the gravy to a gentle boil for at least 5 minutes prior to serving. Cheers!

Aarti R

Brining ratio

Please help: I need to know the salt to water ratio for brining a 8-10 lb turkey. How long should I brine?
Should I check the time after 2 hrs? Really appreciate your response.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Brining Ratios

Just curious Aarti, have you watched the brining lesson yet? You have asked a few questions now on brining and I really think the lesson could be helpful. For instance, how long to brine according to weight is covered in the lesson. Cheers!

Bill P


I just saw the brining lesson -- very helpful. Thanks for the earlier referral. Made me rush order a food scale and a brining container :)

Tristan A

Can the roasting pan be used for browning the veggies and bones?


Is there any reason I couldn't brown the bones and veggies in my roasting pan instead of a fry pan? The one I have is stainless steel and safe for use on the stove.

Thank you.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Roasting Bones and Vegetables in a Roasting Pan

You can use your roasting pan to roast the bones and vegetables. We do this when we make a dark stock. Cheers!

Rod R

Thank you Roubxe

"Best Turkey EVER", "Moist & Delicious" & " To die for"
Just some of the comments I received for Thanksgiving Dinner.

I brine d 2 Turkeys & smoked 1. That was the best gravy I ever made.

The checklist and shopping list was a great help. One other hint I got from Rouxbe that was to delegate some of the work,
WOW it all worked GREAT!

Many Thanks to the Roubxe staff & Happy Thanksgiving!

Lucia M

Mrs Lucia Madrigal Sardon

I'm spanish and I have a daughter with an american boyfriend,who is in my house now.He spent his thankgiving here,but in Spain we don't celebrate this day,so as I wanted to do it for him,I got your recipe of turkey,cranberries,stuffing...and I cooked the best turkey everybody had tried in their life.Thanks a lot to rouxbe and all the team for this wonderful help!!!God bless you!!!

Rod R

Thank you Roubxe (P.S.)

Whats cookin for Christmas?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: What's Cookin for Christmas?

Because we are a cooking school and not necessarily a recipe site I would say that what is up for Christmas is practice practice practice :-)

This is the perfect time of year to practice those meals that we only make one or twice a year, such as Turkey etc.

It is also a great time to practice your knife skills and perhaps some of the practice recipes that you may have not got around to from each of the lessons. When was the last time you made a broth-based soup or maybe some fresh pasta?

Besides that we are here working away on some great new lessons for the new year...very exciting. Happy holidays!

Karla D


Rouxbe, my first brined turkey using your recipe turned out to be the BEST turkey I and my guests have ever eaten! It was a lot to do, but worth every step! You guys are the BOMB! Looking forward to trying more!

Arianna A

Christmas Dinner

Are you planning to do a similar Christmas multi-tasking video? It was sooo incredibly helpful and I learned so much. It would be truly appreciated.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Christmas Dinner

Believe it or not, the Multi-Task Player/Holiday Meal Planner took months to write, shoot, edit, code and develop. Because tradition is a big part of celebrating holidays we tried to create the Multi-Task Player so that it could work for both Thanksgiving and Christmas (or any other holiday or large get-together).

Currently we are working on more lessons for the cooking school. Lessons that teach about the basics of cooking, not a particular holiday or current fad or even "the most searched". Learning the basics of cooking, which is extensive, will make cooking any meal that much easier to put together with ease and confidence. Does that make sense? Hope you understand. Cheers!

Suzanne C

Turkey resting time

I can't fit anything beside the roaster in my oven. Cooking the stuffing will have to come after the turkey is cooked. Can I let the turkey rest fore the 1 hour cooking time for the stuffing??

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Turkey Resting Time

This can work - it is better if you put the stuffing in a shallow casserole dish so it cooks through quicker! Have a super dinner!

Suzanne C

Thank-you Kimberley

That makes life easier!

Laurie A

Where do the bones come from?

I'm clearly missing something, but where do the bones come from? Thanks!

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Where do the bones come from?

I'm not sure I am clear on your question. In Step 4, two pounds of chicken bones are used for the short stock. Cheers!

Laurie A

Where do the bones come from?

I totally missed that step! Thank you so much!

Jillian R

Thanksgiving dinner

We have 9 family members staying with us, and would like to say thanks for this menu, we all had great fun making this, the average age of the group(apart from me and my husband is 24) everybody got involved either preparing, sautéing, cooking. And then eating! It was great to see young men as well as the girls enjoying cooking from scratch, one of the young men only normally eats junk food, and went home saying he was going to make time once a week to make a proper dinner for him and his girlfriend. So a great success all around. :). Thanks yet again !

Herminia C

nearly there

i just fed my family this recipe, i used a chicken instead of a turkey.
the gravy was delicious.

as for the chicken though it was not to bad it was a bit dry and required a bit more salt. since i used a chicken in place of a turkey i felt like i should put less salt in my brine, maybe that is where i went wrong.
inspite of a few flaws every one seemed to enjoy it.

i think i have now have a better handle on the whole roux making process. i am definately enjoying making these new dishes for my family.


regular bake vs convection roast vs convection bake

I'm not sure when best to use all these setting options. I would think convection roast creates a crispier skin but might dry out the turkey if used for the whole time to cook. In general terms, would you please comment on the optimal use of all these different cooking cycles? thx.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Convection Ovens

I am not sure of your particular oven. You may want to check the manual to say what the manufacturer says regarding the different settings. For more information on convection ovens type in "convection" in the search field (top right of each page) and you will find many other discussions on this subject. Cheers!


convection ovens

Hi Dawn, I guess I'm just wanting to optimize these options on my oven (Bosch). I realize cooking time is less with convection but which cooking option would be best for cooking this turkey: regular bake, convection roast or convection bake? thx.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Difference Between Convection Roast and Convection Bake

There are often inconsistencies from manufacturer to manufacturer in what their settings truly mean, which is why I hesitate to say exactly what you should do. I would assume (but my mom told me never to do that) that the "convection bake" means that it will cook things at a lower temperature and the "convection roast" setting will cook things at a higher temperature: therefore I would say to use the bake setting as we say to cook the turkey at 350 F. Hope this helps. Cheers!

Judi G

My goof

I made the turkey again for this Thanksgiving and it was delicious. BUT making the gravy is where I drove it into the ditch. After reading some of the previous comments I probably erred and added the short stock too quickly. My gravy was THICK and BLONDE with the taste and consistency of wallpaper paste (not what I was looking for). With the guests ALL OVER my kitchen, talking, drinking, laughing and me not wanting to be left out of any of it made the reading and following of instructions a bit challenging. This is probably the one thing I really don't like about doing the turkey - the things that need to be done last minute. I have solved this in the past by cooking the turkey early in the day, carving it up nicely, making the gravy and relaxing. It's the only way I will do it from now on. I've learned my lesson - you are either a cook or a party person. NOT both. And having hot gravy with the cold turkey is just fine. I also hacked the heck out of the bird trying to carve it in the midst of all the celebrating. Sharp knives and a 'well lubricated' chef - another bad idea. So, I will try again in the quiet of my kitchen and know it will work out. Thanks again. I love the instructions!

Suzanne C

Cranberry Bread Recipe

Do you have a recipe or Cranberry Bread? It's a part of my envisioned leftover Turkey sandwich. Yum, leftover Turkey ;)

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Cranberry Bread Recipe

We do not; however, you can skip the cinnamon and substitute dried cranberries for the raisins in this recipe for Cinnamon Raisin Nut Bread. Cheers!

Kathleen F

Multi-Task Player/Holiday Meal Planner ?

Is it possible to re-publish this again soon? We need to have our Thanksgiving dinner on Veteran's Day this year as some family members aren't available on the traditional day. It was so incredibly detailed and helpful and a shame to not have it available for anyone having a holiday dinner any time of the year. I'm curious as to why you remove items like that which are so helpful year-round. It's easy to understand that it took you months to prepare to give it to us. Many thanks for all the work you do that takes us moments to watch or read! :) Sort of like the dinners that take hours to learn to make in the beginning and they are gone in a flash!

Paul B

Multi-Task Player

Hi Kathleen,

So glad you found the multi-task player helpful. We are working to make the multi-task player available over the next few days. I know it's getting down to the wire for your early Thanksgiving celebration -- it wouid already be up on the site but we need to make some updates so that it will work with our new technology platform (maybe more information than you wanted!).

If you'd like we can email you the PDF documents (checklist, etc) so that you can start planning. Just send a contact form (contact us at bottom of screen) and we'll get back to you quickly.

Fyi -- the multi-task player will be free to students on an Annual or Monthly tuition plan, and will be available for purchase on an a-la-carte basis for everyone else.

Paul B

Multi-task player update

Hi Kathleen -- just wanted to send you a quick update on this. We have posted the multi-task videos on the site. They are available on this page to students with either an Annual or Monthly tuition plan:

I hope this is in time for your Thanksgiving meal.

Kathleen F

Giving Thanks for Rouxbe!!

Yes, in plenty of time as I've already practiced the brining lesson with a roasted chicken. I'm a little apprehensive about the brining of the turkey because while the chicken was wonderfully moist and not too salty, the drippings were so salty that I couldn't learn how to make the gravy. I used the basic brining recipe, times 5, and weighed the salt. My husband and I both taught math related subjects so we double checked the measurements before mixing. At the bottom of the recipe it states that since it is a low-salt brine, a chicken is large enough to leave it in the fridge overnight. My overnight of 9 hours might have been longer than what the recipe intended for a 5 pound bird. For a 17 pound turkey can I really leave it for 17 hours in the brine? And then leave it for another 8 or 9 hours drying time before the hour out prior to roasting? Everyone is counting on lots of gravy so I don't want to repeat my mistake, whatever it was.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Brining the Turkey

The brining of the turkey in this video is one that you can trust. While preparing the recipes for the Multi-Task Player we cooked over 20 turkeys using this recipe and they were all delicious. Rest assured that your dinner will be great. Happy Thanksgiving!

Echo S

substitute chicken for turkey

if i substitute

Echo S

substitute chicken for turkey (oops on the last post)

if i substitute chicken for turkey, should i follow the exact steps as it is on the recipe? or maybe i should just do a roast chicken recipe instead...?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Chicken Instead of Turkey

You can pretty much use the same techniques. Times will obviously be different with everything as would most ratios and of course so will the over all flavor but it will still be good.

You may also want to check out the lessons on Roasting Chicken Basics and Enhancing Roast Chicken in the Cooking School. Cheers!

Kathleen F

over-the-top awesome turkey!

We had our family Thanksgiving early (Vetsgiving one member called it) and everyone of the 12 people said it was the best turkey ever. I told everyone I didn't want any of their hints on making gravy :) as I was going to follow the steps given on Rouxbe. Oh, my, was it ever so good and others were interested in what a short stock was. Funny, though, my veteran husband, who was a medic in the Army, had to stitch up the skin on the turkey as my sister and I got a little carried away with laughing while we loosened the skin-didn't notice that in the video someone had only used two fingers so she put her whole hand in and then the skin got torn and continued to tear after she removed her hand. Looked very appropriate for Veteran's Day! Many thanks for ALL your help!!

Echo S

using rosemary instead of thyme

is it possible to use rosemary instead of thyme as i only have fresh thyme. will the aroma be too strong? thank you for answering:)

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Substituting Fresh Rosemary for Thyme

Ultimately, you are free to make any substitutions that you like. You just need to know that it will alter the final flavor and as long as you are okay with that then feel free to try it. Just remember that it is quite a strong herb, so I would be careful not to use too much.

Afterwards, assess the turkey and ask yourself (and maybe even your guests), "did I love the rosemary?", "did I not like it?", "was it perhaps too strong or overpowering for a holiday turkey?" and then reassess for next time. That's the great thing about cooking, the more you experiment and explore the more you learn. Cheers!

Eric F

Chicken bones

I'm having a hard time finding chicken bones. Any suggestions on where to get them?

Joe G
Rouxbe Staff

Where to Buy Chicken Bones

Just phone any butcher in your area and order them. I'm pretty sure all will have them. In fact, you can even ask the butcher at your supermarket and I'm sure they will be able to find some for you in their back fridge.

Last resort, phone a poultry supply store in your area. If you think about all the deboned chicken in your supermarkets, there are lots of bones around. You just might not find them packages alongside the meat - you'll have to ask.

Hope this helps.

Mark B

why can I not find the planner

Why when I do a search for the Holiday planner does it not show up? I have to keep going back to my email to access the planner .... love the site but a bit frustrated with the search engine.

Kathleen F

link to planner

Mark, scroll up to a Nov. 4th answer by Paul, Rouxbe staff. The link is there. Multi-task player update is the name and, yes, the search function doesn't have enough keywords entered into its software so that it comes up. At least I can't get it to come up with planner, thanksgiving, multi-task, etc. I have learned to click on the different tabs to find things but I am still experiencing difficulties with searching also. Perhaps Rouxbe will add more words in the titles to work in the search field. The planner really helps! And I appreciate all the videos-we followed them for a most wonderful result!

Mark B


thanks for your response Kathleen ... and yes I love the tips in the planner video ... keeps me on track with my holiday cooking and gives me a few pointers that I did not know. Thanks again for such a great website.

Concetta H

More Salt to Brine if Turkey is 24lbs?

Should I add more than 1-1/2 cups kosher salt to my brine if my Turkey is 24lbs? I see you have noted that you are using a 15lb Turkey. Thank you...

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Adding More Salt to Brine

Yes if you turkey is bigger you will want to add more salt. For this recipe we used about 1/2 cup of kosher salt for every 5 lbs of meat. If however, you have already brined the turkey, don't worry you should still be fine.

For more information on brining and the ratios of salt, when you have time, you may want to check out the lesson on "How to Brine".

Happy Thanksgiving. Cheers!

Tim C

Keep an eye on the amount of liquid in the pan.

I cooked my small turkey in a large roasting pan. When I came to baste the bird the second time, all of the stock in the pan had burned, wasting the gravy making goodness, as well as the time spent making it. If I had added more water to the pan, it would have worked well. I'll try it again next Thanksgiving because I was really looking forward to that gravy!!

Joe G
Rouxbe Staff

Great point Tim

Yes... you need to make sure the dripping / short stock doesn't burn (all liquid evaporated). However, I'm wondering if you remembered to add the 6 cups of stock at the beginning as this should not be a problem with this recipe.

Hope everything else worked out well for you and your family. And hope you try this again as the gravy is amazing. Maybe just try with a roast chicken sometime.


Colleen S

Water & stock?

For the short stock, if I don't have 6 cups (I probably have more like 3 cups) of chicken stock, is it reasonable to just top it off with water?

I have lots of veal & beef stock, but not much chicken stock....


(Prepping for a late Thanksgiving...)

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Water and Stock

I would probably use veal stock and some water (depending on how concentrated/strong in flavor your veal stock is). Maybe 1.5 cups veal stock and 1.5 cups water. If you use 3 cups water with the chicken stock you have, it might dilute the flavor too much and this gravy is to die for! Veal stock will change the flavor a bit, but it'll still be great. Cheers!

Mark M

Thawing Time for frozen 18 lb Turkey while in the fridge

Hey there,

I am doing my first turkey for christmas dinner this year and am going to attempt a Brine before hand. My wife already bought the turkey and its says it's a Grade A turkey, and in the freezer and is 8.00 kg.

I am going to thaw it in the fridge then brine it. Couple quesions.

1. How long will an 18lb Turkey take to fully thaw in a fridge at 38 deg F.
2. I was going to Brine it for a Day after this, then Air dry it for over the next night.
This would end up being about a 3 - 4 day process. Are there any food safety issues to be concerned with if I am storing the Turkey in the Fridge?

3. Should I temper it for about an hour at room temperature before seasoning and placing in the oven?
4. Any ideas on cooking times for a bird like this that has been brined?

Thanks again and wish me luck!
Merry Christmas

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Thawing Time for frozen 18 lb Turkey

Please refer to the detailed notes at the bottom of the text recipe. Plan for about 5 hours of thawing time in the refrigerator for every pound of turkey. Providing you use a cold brine and keep the turkey cold in the refrigerator at all times during brining and air-drying, it will be fine. And yes, follow the instructions in the video recipe and temper the turkey for about 1 hour prior to roasting to take a bit of the chill off.

It is very hard to say how long the turkey will take to cook as everyone's oven is different. Our 15 pound turkey took somewhere between 3 to 3.5 hours so yours might be a bit longer. Just make sure to properly test it according to the instructions in the video and you'll be fine. Happy turkey roasting & Merry Christmas! Cheers!

Mark M

Thawing Time for frozen 18lb Turkey

Hell again,

Just wanted to make sure you meant 5 hours per lb, or possibly 5 hours per kg as this would take me 90 hours to thaw the turkey at 18lbs wouldn't it?


Mark M

thawing turkey from frozen

any ideas on how i can shorten this time as well if it is 5 hours per lb


Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Thawing Time for frozen 18lb Turkey

5 hours per pound is the norm. I would take your turkey out soon and start thawing it. At 18 pounds, yours will likely take 3.5 - 4 days or so. If it is still a tiny bit frozen when you go to brine it, the brine will help to thaw it as well. You will need to work backwards from when you want to serve dinner and figure out when to start brining. You don't have to panic once the turkey has thawed to get it into the brine but you'll want to time it to be close. Don't worry. Take it out tonight and you'll be okay. Cheers!

Juliana A

Brining and Roasting

I'm trying this recipe for Christmas, i'm a little nervous because is a huge piece of meat!
I have some questions:
1. One of the notes say: "A thawed turkey can be kept in the fridge for up to two days before cooking".
I have a 15 pounds turkey. 2 days ago was ready thawing. I'm planning on brining it tomorrow, is that all right?
2. I would also like to know if it is possible to roast the turkey the day before Christmas, would it be and taste the same?
3. I can't find cranberries where i live, can i use some other fruit?

Joe G
Rouxbe Staff

Turkey Planning

Hi Juliana,

Answers to your questions:

1. Yes.. this is absolutely fine... even a few more days would be fine (think of how long they sit in the store. But fresher is better.

2. I would not recommend cooking the turkey the day before. I know it's a bit nerve-wracking if this is your first time but try to give yourself some extra time and remember, when it's cooked, it doesn't have to be served right away (in fact it shouldn't be served right away - it should rest).

It can rest, covered with foil, for 30 minutes to an hour (or more) no problem. Just let the turkey rest uncovered for five minutes before covering with foil (vented) to stop the cooking process. I remember my grandmother cooking the turkey every year and wrapping it in foil, then driving 45 mins to our house. Then the turkey sat in our warm oven for another hour... and it was perfect every time. Just cook it to 160 degrees or as shown in the video.

3. Just use canned cranberry sauce (not jelly). Everyone will love it.

Good luck.

Juliana A


Hi Joe, thank you for the answers. I just finish the brine :)

I have to let you know that i haven't being able to find the cranberries or canned cranberry sauce! Here there is only cranberry juice. What can i do? I haven't try this fruit before, so i don't know what can work as a substitute.

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Cranberries

Here are a few substitutes for cranberries. You might want to bookmark this site for future reference regarding food substitutions. Some may gasp from me saying this, but your dinner will be fine without it so don't stress if you can't find any. Many people forget to pull out the cranberry sauce before dinner anyway and realize it near the end of dinner! A properly cooked, juicy turkey will be delicious on its own. Cheers!

Gloria M

Air Drying the Turkey

I really appreciate the Multi-Task Planner. It takes a lot of the guess out of preparing a turkey dinner for a crowd.
1. The lesson on Brining indicates the turkey should be air-dried in the fridge for 8 - 12 hours, however, this recipe only suggests resting at room temperature for 1 hour before roasting, with no mention of air-drying. Will the result still be a crispy skin?
2. When making the short stock, and for topping up the stock for the gravy, if necessary, will store bought, regular sodium, broth be suitable or will it make the gravy too salty?
This will be the first time I have tried brining a turkey and can hardly wait for the result.

Mark M

Omitting short stock

Hey there,

Ive already made my gravy ahead of time using some homeade chicken stock using roasted chicken wings and vegetables, and have it frozend waiting to use it Christmas Day, where I was going to add in the drippings from the rested turkey and finish it off.

Was wondering if I need to should add some water in the bottom of the pan since I don't need to do the short stock now, to help prevent any of the drippings from burninng.

any suggestions would be appreciated.


Mark M

Water Level for Steeped Brine Mixture

Hi guys,

One more question :)

After revieweing the how to brine exercise, it says to roughly use 30 grams of salt per litre of water needed for the brine.

In the recipe however, only 2 quarts of the total water is boiled with all the salt required and aromatics to make the steeped brine mixture.

My question is how to determine how much of the total water I need for the steeped brine mixture as opposed to the top up quantity if I need more or less than what is in the recipie. As well will the ice at the end not dilute the brine?


Juliana A

Turkey skin

Last hour and i didn't get brown skin on the turkey, why is that?

Juliana A

At the end...

The turkey turn out really delicious, but I had to spend the Christmas night on the kitchen!
Anyway, the good thing is i got a lot of experience out of it.

Elizabeth S

Thank You

This was my first time ever cooking the Christmas turkey and it was excellent. I received a lot of compliments. The gravy was excellent and my mom used the stock to make her dressing and everyone told her it was the best dressing she ever made. My mom's dressing has always been excellent, so who knew it could be improved. I added fresh parsley instead of the Thyme (only because I didn't have any). I love all that I am learning from you guys. Thank you!!

Elizabeth S

One More Thing

Some of my family came in the kitchen to see how beautiful the turkey turned out. Everyone thought the color was just beautiful (this coming from the elders in the family) You can only imagine how proud I was. :)

Juliana A


Hi, i wanted to ask why sometimes portions of meat in chicken and in this case turkey, looks dark pink after is done?

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Color of Chicken / Skin

It is just the different pigments in the meat. As long as the meat is fully cooked through, it is safe to consume.

Regarding the color of the skin, it's hard to say. Did you test the temperature of your oven with an oven thermometer? Making sure the turkey was patted dry very well (or even air-dried in the refrigerator) will help with browning the skin. Also, depending on how high/low the turkey was positioned in the oven, this can impact the browning. You might find the Enhancing a Basic Roast Chicken lesson helpful for some extra tips. Cheers!

Diane N

Turkey brining

Thank you, what a great video....

Kathy F

a little heat

Made the turkey exactly as you said. It was amazing! This was a trial run for Thanksgiving when family is here. Just one concern. Our family likes spicy everything. Not sure how to kick up the flavor a little. Cayenne or crushed red pepper maybe? Or hot sauce? Would I add it to the brine or at another stage? Would it alter the thyme, salt, onion ratios? Thanks.

Kathy F

make ahead

Can I make the short stock a day or two ahead of time? Thanks.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Adding a Little Heat to Thanksgiving Dinner

You could try adding some chili flakes to a few things; however, keep in mind that some guests might not like spicy, or if they maybe expecting a "traditional" Thanksgiving. As for when and where to add spice, it really depends where you want to add the spiciness. Do you want everything to be spicy (not what I would recommend btw), or do you just want the turkey or the stuffing to be spicy? For the turkey, you could add it to the brine, but I am not sure that the turkey is the best thing to make spicy, IMO of course. You could easily make the stuffing spicy and a perhaps some of the sides. You could also serve chili flakes on the side for people to add as they like. You might also just try adding a bit more pepper to things. This is where personal preferences and experimenting to find what works for you comes into play. Hope that helps. Happy Thanksgiving. Cheers!

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Making Short Stock Ahead

Indeed you can make the short stock ahead of time. For more information as to what can be made ahead, you may want to check out the "Multi-Task Meal Planner". Happy Thanksgiving. Cheers!

Julie P

Roasting at 450 degrees vs, 350 degrees

I am very impressed with the video on preparing roast turkey, especially seeing how much pan drippings/ short stock you have to make gravy. I'm used to reading recipes and preparing the Big Bird using higher roasting temperatures; starting at 500 degrees for 15 minutes and finishing off the bird at 450 degrees. Never had much in the way of pan drippings I admit but the theory in hot roasting was to seal in the juices. So now I have two questions: 1: Does roasting the bird at 350 steam the bird so that creates all the liquid? 2: Is there any value in flash roasting at 500 for 15 minutes to seal the meat? Thanks, Julie

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Roasting at 450° vs. 350° Degrees

First let me start off by saying you are not alone in thinking that "roasting or searing is done to seal in the juices"; however, this is not true at all. There is no way to seal in juices. Searing or roasting is done to add color and flavor.

Roasting at a lower temperature, say 350°F does not steam the bird but it can make for a juicer bird. But in the end, not over cooking the bird is (no matter what temperature you cook it at) is what will make for a juicy bird. Another thing that might explain the juices below is the that the lower heat, does not evaporate the juices as quickly as a higher heat would.

Out of curiosity, have you tried cooking the bird the way we showed? We cooked many many turkeys using that method and everyone was quite happy with the results. Hope that helps. Happy Holidays. Cheers!

Julie P

Roasting at 450 degrees vs, 350 degrees

I read the recipe and looked at the comments and I'm going to try your recipe this year. It's always a little nerve racking trying a new method but I was impressed with the short stock gravy method and I'm going to try it. So it's 350 all the way. Will get back to you with results. Thanks for all your advice.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Roasting Turkey at 350°F Degrees

You are most welcome Julie. Good luck with your dinner. I am sure it will be great. You may also find this "Holiday Meal Planner" helpful. Cheers!


Step 4

In Step 4 Making the short stock, the last thing is stock. Is this something I can buy at the store? I have seen canned broth at the store but I don't every remember seeing stock. I really hope it's not something I have to make because I don't really have the time, my goal for cooking this is to practice brining.

Julie P

The best Turkey Recipe EVER

I attempted the recipe for Thanksgiving and I LOVED IT! I followed the recipe except I only added 4 cups of stock/ water to the pan (as opposed to 6c). 6 c. would have raised the liquid level above the base of the rack and I didn't think that was a great idea. Well, the gravy was great and there was plenty of it which was the BEST part. Thanks again Rouxbe.

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

The best Turkey Recipe EVER

Yeah, so glad to hear that everything worked out so well. I imagine the leftovers, if there were any, were great. Cheers!

Ivan M

Oven Temperature

I recently replaced my probe thermometer with a dual sensor - one for the meat and one for the oven. Was amazed to find the 350 oven was actually 325. Verified that with a dial oven thermometer. I wondered why my roasting always took longer than the recipe called for.

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Oven Temperature

Hi Ivan- Oh, yes- that is common indeed. It's amazing how a $8 oven thermometer can help overcome the realities of most ovens. Do you turn up the heat to 375°F?

Ivan M

Oven Temperature

370 setting will tend to do the job as the oven is electric. The temperature swings from 370 to 380 as the elements cycle.

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Oven Temperature

Oh, good - not a bad temperature to use for roasting vegetables! As long as the oven gets reliably hot, you're good to go.

Ivan M

Turkey Carcass

Did my 2nd turkey in a month - Turned out great. Had this carcass and carrot, etc stuffing. Used it to make turkey stock - 20 cups worth. Now am saving most vegetable cuttings to throw into the stock pot for additional flavors.

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Turkey Carcass

Keep up the good work, all of those extra vegetables will help build a more flavorful stock for sure. Enjoy!

Kalyn S

short stock

Can I use cooked chicken bones to make the short stock?

Ivan M

Meat Thermometers

Recently cooked a turkey - the thermometer read 190 but the turkey was not done. Temperature probe was at fault.

You should "calibrate" your thermometers every so often. First, fill a glass with ice and water and measure the temperature - Should read about 32 degrees. Boil water and measure the temperature - Should read about 212 degrees.

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Meat Thermometers

That is a good reminder Ivan. You should also look for the visual indicators- like how the juices look or how tight the thigh bone is sitting to the cavity (i.e. tension) - among others. If the birds was (overcooked) 190°F, those other indicators would be very clear.

Kalyn S

Short Stock

Can I used cooked chicken bones to make the short stock for the gravy?

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Short Stock

Absolutely, you can use roasted chicken bones for short stock. If they were cooked already using a moist method (i.e. you simmered the chicken) then it is NOT suitable for additional stock making as the gelatin and flavor has already been largely extracted. I hope this helps!

Monique O

help with timing!

Hi I'm cooking a turkey that I must then carry over to friend's house for dinner. Should I under cook it and then finish it at their house or should I time it so that I take it just before we go, therefore letting it rest approx. 30 mins?

Also I'm making Baked Mac & Cheese for the same day and have the same question.

Thanks in advance!

By the way, this is my second time baking a turkey and my first time was your fabulous brined Rouxbe recipe, so I'm definitely confident :)

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Help with Timing

You might want to finish cooking the turkey at your house, as you never know whether or not your friend's oven is completely free for the final cook.

As for the mac' n cheese, while it is generally best to make as close to serving as possible, you could make that ahead of time, you might just want to add a touch more liquid so that as it sits it doesn't dry out.

Keep up the great work and enjoy your dinner. Cheers!

Monique O


Thank so much Dawn. I truly love Rouxbe. It is one of the best gifts I could have ever given myself. As a wife and mother of two, It is helping me to make my own traditions for my family. Long live Rouxbe!!!

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Thanks

Thanks Monique! And for the record, we love you right back :)

Keep up the great work and yes, "long live Rouxbe!"!

Caroline D

turkey stay hot

how long does a 19lb turkey stay hot before cutting it? I need my oven for baking my side dishes. thanks

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: how long with a tukeystay warm

After roasting, you have a good 20-30 minutes or so where you should let it rest before slicing. In all, you have at least 45 minutes of lag time - keep the bird lightly tented with foil and it will help retain a bit of heat. Cheers!

Caroline D

roasting time

Hi where is link which shows the guideline how long to cook a turkey? I thought it was on this page. I can't seem to locate it. I need to know how long to roast my 19lbs turkey after it has been sitting out for one hour. thanks

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Thanksgiving Guidelines PDF's

Here are the links, you are looking for. I believe, the second one is the one you are referring to (bottom of the page). Hope that helps. Good luck and Happy Thanksgiving. Cheers!

Karin C

Temp of thigh

Should temp of thigh be 165 or 180? Confused by some of the comments. Thanks

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Temp of thigh

Hi Karin - Per the recipe, the thigh should read 165F. It can read higher but then you risk the white meat being very over-cooked. ~Ken

Jim M

Updated Link

The location of the turkey cooky times table at the USDA website has moved. The new location is

Please forgive the tinyurl, but the actual url is incredibly long.

Jim M

Can Gravy be Frozen?

Can left over gravy be frozen? Does it affect texture or flavor?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Can Gravy be Frozen?

Yes gravy can be frozen. Will it affect the texture and flavor? Yes, a bit — freezing foods generally does change the flavor and texture of foods; however sometimes the trade of is worth it and the difference in either texture and/or flavor is not greatly noticed. Cheers!

Jon G

Break the skin to loosen it up?

I'm not sure if this is the particular turkey I got, but it seems like the skin is sealed or something. When I put my fingers under them to try to loosen it up, I find that there isn't much space before I can't go further unless I want to break through something that seems to be attaching it to the meat.

I'm not sure if this makes any sense, but it is true on both sides of the bird. Any suggestions?

Jim M

Just wiggle your fingers in to separate the skin.

I've found the same thing. There is the outer skin and the inner meat, and connecting the two is a membrane of sorts. I just wiggle my fingers in and separate the skin from the meat with a slight twisting of my fingers. It works just fine.


day ahead

Can I make the turkey a day ahead of time? My local store said they sell par-cooked turkeys, you can take home and finish cooking the next day. but on line they say to cook the turkey all the way, cut it up and serve it the next day. What do you think?

Ken R
Rouxbe Staff

Re: day ahead

Hi Marilyn- You 'can' (i.e. it is possible) but there are many reasons why it's usually not a good idea.

Par-cooking such a large piece of meat (in a dry cooking application like roasting) is a no-no from a food safety point of view. It would need to be cooked to at least 145F, cooled rapidly to 40F (this is the hard part) and then reheated to 165F. Risky and if you overcook it (either time) it will be dry.

Best to cook it day of... if you can. Or cook fully, cool, carve and then reheat pieces very carefully. ~Ken

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