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How To Cook A Turkey ~Herb Roasted Whole Turkey Recipe With Buttermilk Brine Recipe ~ Moist & Flavorful!!!

How To Cook A Turkey ~Herb Roasted Whole Turkey Recipe With Buttermilk Brine Recipe ~ Moist & Flavorful!!!


Easy, Moist Herb Roasted Turkey w/ Buttermilk Brine

When I tell people that I brine my whole Thanksgiving turkey in buttermilk I usually get a questionable look. Using a buttermilk brine to add moisture and flavor is normally reserved for small cuts of poultry since it can be rather on the expensive side.

BUT IT’S FREAKIN THANKSGIVING!!! IT’S TIME TO BRING YOUR A-GAME!!  During the holidays is the only time I use a buttermilk brine on my whole chickens and turkeys. It takes the moisture &  flavor to a whole new level!! And I know that I will NEVER have any leftover turkey to deal with.  By the end of the evening that poor turkey looks like a pack of  vultures got ahold to it. It is picked cleaned!

Herb roasted turkey recipe

I love this recipe because it is so quick & easy. The simple blend of butter, olive oil, and spices work fabulous with this turkey. It add succulent flavor without overpowering  it.  And that chicken stock basting crisps up the skin beautifully,  adding that punch of flavor ….PERFECTION I TELL YA!!

Whenever I make turkey any other way during the holidays I get “oh… you used a new recipe.” in other words “I would have stayed home if I knew you wasn’t going to make that Buttermilk Brined Herb Roasted Turkey!”

Happy Thanksgiving!!!!!
View my video to watch me prepare this brine & cook this turkey from start to finish & for  some really cool turkey tips!
(NOTE: I have recently changed the way I prepare my turkey.  I no longer season under the skin. After I rinse the brine off I then scold the turkey. Dry it off and brush the skin heavily with butter, olive oil and spices. Season the cavity generously with salt and pepper and stuff with slices of apple, oranges and onion slices.


5.0 from 2 reviews
How To Cook A Turkey ~Herb Roasted Whole Turkey Recipe With Buttermilk Brine Recipe ~ Moist & Flavorful!!!
  • Enough for a 10 lb. turkey. Double the recipe if needed)
  • 1 gallon of buttermilk
  • 8 Tablespoon of Kosher salt
  • 8 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 teaspoons of cumin
  • 3 Tablespoons of peppercorns 6-8 fresh, chopped garlic cloves 1 large white onion, chopped
  • Butter
  • Rub #1
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon of Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun Seasoning
  • Dry Rub #2
  • 1 Tablespoon Poultry Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
  • Final Butter Rub #3
  • ½ stick of butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of rosemary
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon of paprika (can more if desired)
  • 2 cups of chicken broth (to pour in roasting pan)
  1. Let's Brine!
  2. Remove giblet, neck, & gravy packets from inside of turkey. Place in the refrigerator or discard. Thoroughly wash your completely thawed turkey in cold water & set aside
  3. In a large bowl add buttermilk, salt, sugar & cumin. Whisk until sugar & salt is dissolved.
  4. Stir in the remaining ingredients.
  5. Place turkey in brining bag (I used a regular roasting bag) & place it into a roaster pan or a large bucket or pot.
  6. Pour the brine mixture into the bag. Gather the top of the bag tightly so that there is no air in the bag and the brine covers the turkey entirely. Tie the bag.
  7. Place into the refrigerator for 8 to 24 hours. The longer the better!
  8. When done brining wash the turkey thoroughly with cold water.
  9. Preheat oven to 325
  10. Place turkey on a wrack over the sink. (I just take out an oven rack & place it over the sink. It's a lot easier to workover the sink on a rack) Place your brined & washed turkey on the rack & pat dry.
  11. Make Butter Rub #1 by creaming the butter in a bowl. Add in poultry seasoning, cajun seasoning, & olive oil. Mix until combined. Set aside.
  12. Make Dry Rub #2 by adding Poultry seasoning, & cajun spice into a bowl. Set aside
  13. Using half of the butter mixture spread it under the skin and inside the cavity. Do not spread any on the top skin.
  14. Bring a pot of water to boil.
  15. Using a measuring cup, scoop out cup bulls of the boiling hot water and pour it over the skin of the bird. (try not to get it in the cavity.) The skin will instantly contract around the bird. This will help seal in the juices as the turkey cooks.
  16. Next lather on the remaining butter mixture on top of the skin & sprinkle on the Dry Rub.
  17. Stuff the turkeys cavity with a whole apple & orange. Do not cut the apple and orange up unless you need to.
  18. Pour chicken broth into the bottom of a roasting pan,
  19. Place turkey (breast side down ) on the rack in a roasting pan. And cook according to weight. Basting every 30-45 minutes.
  20. Halfway through roasting, turn turkey breast side up.
  21. When turkey has about 3-4 minutes left, make up Butter Rub #3 by combing all ingredients together.
  22. Remove turkey from oven and brush on Butter rub #3. Return it to the oven and broil for 3-4 minutes. This will crisp up the skin. Watch it carefully though as it browns very quickly.
  23. Remove from oven and let sit for at least 15 minutes before carving. This allows the meat to relax and the juices to settle deeper into the meat.
  24. Remove & discard the apple and orange.
Tips to a Perfect Turkey! * Be sure to brine for at least 8 hours, up to 24 hours. The longer the better! * Cook Your turkey according to weight & use a thermometer to check for doneness. Your turkey will come with a cooking chart. * DON'T OVERCOOK! You can have the best turkey recipe in the world but if you overcook it you might as well call it a wrap! There is nothing worst than a dry bird in my opinion. Don't be scared to check your birds temperature often. *If you aren't using stuffing to stuff you bird, go with an apple and orange. These are the BEST fruits to use to provide maximum moisture *Baste often, at least every 30 minutes.

Tips to a Perfect Turkey!
* Be sure to brine for atleast 8 hours, up to 24 hours. The longer the better!
* Cook Your turkey according to weight & use a thermometer to check for doneness. Your turkey will come with a cooking chart.
* DON’T OVERCOOK! You can have the best tirkey recipe in the world but if you overcook it you might as well call it a wrap! There is nothing worst than a dry bird in my opinion.  Don’t be scared to check your birds temperature often.
*If you aren’t using stuffing to stuff you bird, go with an apple and orange. These are the BEST fruits to use to provide maximum moisture
*Baste often, atleast every 30 minutes.

For more tips, advice, & calculations on how long to cook your turkey according to weight and all that other good stuff click here to go to butterball.com. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this site when it comes to calculating, thawing, planning portion sizes and everything else to do with turkey. LOVE IT!


  1. I’m confused about when to brine the turkey. Do I completely thaw the turkey first or do I start the brine when I have 24 hours of thawing left. Just don’t want to make the family sick lol! Made this last thanksgiving but I forget the order I did it in. Thanks!

  2. Similar to many other reviewers, I made this turkey last year for my first Thanksgiving…and I have been dreaming of Thanksgiving ever since because of this delicious turkey! I was pretty nervous because the recipe was pretty involved and I wouldn’t be able to have a redo. Fortunately, your directions were clear and helpful. I’ll add a few more of your recipes to my table this year!

  3. This is the ONLY recipe for cooking a turkey I will ever use again.

  4. I made this for my first Thanksgiving dinner. This was amazing! I love how detailed the instructions are. Thank you so much for helping me with my first Thanksgiving.

  5. I made these and the Southern Candied Yams for my first Thanksgiving dinner. They both turned out awesome! My husband was beaming with pride. I think it was the Buttermilk Brine that did the trick. Family members who do not like turkey breast were requesting more! Thank you so much!!

  6. Let me tell you…this was my “bestest” (yes that’s correct) turkey EVER!!! I had sooo many compliments on this bird. My brother in law thought I had fried it, because it was so pretty and flavorful. I can’t go back after this…thanks for making my turkey the hit of our family Thanksgiving dinner!

  7. Thank you Diva! I was always intimidated about cooking turkey. I saw your video on YouTube and said to myself, “I think I can do this”. You made it look so easy! So I made it for thanksgiving last night and love love loved it! The turkey was tasty and moist!!!! We were happy! Thank you for posting.

  8. You didn’t mention the garlic in the video. Did something change ?

  9. Is it okay if I leave the cajun seasoning and rosemary out? Looking forward to trying the recipe!

  10. How is the gravy with the drippings from this recipe? My husband will be upset if he doesn’t get great turkey gravy :) I want to cook this tomorrow for Thanksgiving so if someone has a fast response that would be great. Thanks for your help.

  11. I used this recipe last night for a harvest party for 30+ guests (doubled the recipe with a 25lbs turkey)… It was awesome! Everyone loved it!! It was my first time cooking a turkey so I was very lucky to have found this recipe on Pinterest for the best turkey ever!!!! Thanks soooooo much!

  12. Can’t wait to try this recipe during my first big Thanksgiving dinner with 30 ppl. One question would wrapping foil or using a roasting bag add even more favor and moisture.

  13. This is my 1st time making my own turkey ! And I’m making the turkey for my in-laws who never like or eat turkey bc they either dont like it or never have it moist.. I pray this is the recipe I need to knock there socks off !! Just wondering if I’m supposed to cover the Turkey in the oven

  14. I found your recipe and i will be trying this year of 2012 . i will post pictures on your facebook when i do ( ;
    keep up the amazing work you do

  15. Followed the recipe to a “T” last Thanksgiving and I have never received so many compliments on a turkey in my life. The meat was so tender and flavorful, even all the kids at our gathering were ranting and raving over it! Can’t wait to make it again this year, thank you SO much for this recipe :)

  16. This turkey looks good! I’m going to try to make this for this year Thanksgiving dinner.

  17. Made this for the first time this Christmas.Wow it was delicious and very moist.Will be visiting this website for more recipes and tips.OFF COURSE DIVAS CAN COOK.yes we can

  18. Thank You SO MICH for this recipe! I made it this year for our Thanksgiving dinner and everyone said it was DELISH! It came out really moist and flavorful! Your recipes are THE BEST

  19. ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE. I made our Turkey this way for Thanksgiving yesterday and it was just out of this world. Had to cover it with foil b/c I bought too big of a bird AND I just knew my husband or I would drop it while turning it over lol. It was still absolutely superb! Thank you for sharing. Its one those recipes most ppl would guard with their life.

  20. Is that ok if I used cultured reduced fat buttermilk ??? Please can somebody answer ASAP?

    Thank you

  21. OMG THAT PROB WAS THE MOST FLAVORFUL MOISTESS TURKEY IVE EVER HAD! :-) ..girl when I was pourin the brine off of it….It was smelling sooo good and I was smelling with pride…thanks a mill..the black eyedd peas greens and mac and cheese were delicious too…I bow down to u!!

  22. Can I use regular salt?

  23. Are u suppose to dry turkey after boiling water?

  24. Thanks for your recipe, can’t wait to try on the Thanksgiving. But I still have one more question, do I have to cover with foil at the first half cooking them? Thanks.

  25. My comment makes no sense!! lol… Typing fast before the boss sees that Im doing no work lol… basically I just want to know if you have a recipe for buttermilk

  26. Buttermilk is sooooo hard to find…. ive recipes for buttermild where they put either vinegar or lemon juice and mild but of course I had to get divas opinion!! Would it still be the same or should i still keep hunting…..

  27. I just bought a kosher turkey which is already soaked, salted and rinsed (The regular ones are all gone). Can I still use your brine method? Will it be too salty?

  28. What do you mean when you said you scold the turkey?

  29. OK girlie girl, this is the first time ever that I have disagreed w/ you…take the giblets, neck and discard? Oh no!! OK, gravy packet yes, but the others, you want to cook in chicken broth til done and pick meat off neck bone, cut up other meat and add to stuffing and then add the broth from cooking them to either stufing if not stuffing the bird or add it to the gravy.
    I know that you know, you have to cook the s#*@t out of stuff to extract the best flavor.
    You are still my fav cook, and that includes all the foodnetwork chefs BTW.
    You really have it going on.
    I hope to see you one day w/ your own show.
    With your knowledge, talent and enthusiasm, I can’t imagine that that won’t happen.
    Good luck!!

    • LOLLL don’t worry, you aren’t the first person to say “hold up now sista!!” when it came to discarding those inner packets lol. I use to use the neck when I do my pan dripping gravy but messed around and tried using smoked turkey necks and I’ve been converted. I love that tip about adding it to the stuffing *taking notes*

  30. Hi Monique…just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed cooking your Buttermilk Brine Turkey Recipe last year.for the whole family…..was tempted to try another brining recipe but will be making the Buttermilk recipe again….Thank you again for all your recipes and cooking tips (first time to visit your website). God Bless you and your family…Happy Thanksgiving!!! Gee

  31. I found it Monique… sorry for the confusion. I will be def trying this for TG!! God Bless!

  32. I just got here today and I love you already. I’ve been sold on brining but never thought about it on this scale. I cannot wait to try it!

  33. Hmmm.. I told myself I didn’t want turkey this year(because mine are dry). I only wanted a ham… but with reading all these reviews, I may give it another shot.

  34. I used your recipes for the turkey and the green beans for Thanksgiving last year and, like Monique W., they were indeed superb! I don’t yet know which of your side dishes I will use this year but the turkey show WILL be a repeat performance!

  35. I did this for Thanksgiving last year and fried the turkey after. It was GONE in one sitting. No turkey soup, sandwiches, with gravy, or to be thrown out. It was the best I have ever had.

  36. when u broil it, do u put it bck on the rack or directly in the pan??

  37. Will be using this recipe for Thanksgiving! What kind of butter do you use? I will send a review afterwards! Thanks again!

  38. Monique, I tried your recipes for the turkey and the mac n cheese for Thanksgiving last year and they were superb! I will revisit them again this year! You are soooo talented, a million thanks! I hope you go very far! I’d love to see a Divas Can Cook Show on Food Network one day soon!

  39. hey, monique, can i use this brine recipe for a whole chicken??

  40. what a wonderful recipe,i will try it for Easter:)

  41. Just had to come and tell you how superb this recipe is. The tip on the boiling water was great!! Thanks a bunch. So moist, delicious and flavorful.

  42. OMG!!!!! Monique thank you x's infinity for this recipe!!! This thanksgiving was my first time making a turkey on my own. I used a 20-lb turkey and used this recipe (doubling the ingredients of course) and it was a hit!! My mom was soo happy she couldnt sit down, my sister who "hates" turkey due to the dryness was going back for 3rds and 4ths. I was so happy about the outcome, I've mustve took about a hundred pictures of the turkey. Thanks again and keep up the good work! 2 thumbs up ( if I had more than 2 thumbs they would have been up too!

  43. This was my FIRST turkey and I made a 23lb Turkey with your recipe for a group of 20 people. Everyone said it was the best turkey they ever had. It was moist,flavorful & pretty easy to make. Even my mother in law ( who usually does the turkey) was asking for the recipe. Thank you!

  44. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
    I just had the most delicious, moist and flavorful turkey that I have ever prepared. The brine was definitely the key. Never thought that stuffing it with fruit would add so much flavor..genius! Thank you for sharing your tried and true recipes, it is much appreciated.

  45. OMG!!!!! I was the HIT of Christmas dinner! I fixed this TO THE LETTER and it was amazing!!! I received soooo many compliments on how moist and tender it was and people were begging me for the recipe. I must admit, though, I informed them that this recipe is staying with me – hey, I want to enjoy family super stardom for a while! Thanks, so much, and you are hereby named – SUPREME Diva!

  46. The video is so good and helpful! I wish I found this site 2 days earlier. Next time I'm going to follow your recipe exactly, maybe I can try it for Christmas. I'm going to try your mac n cheese too!
    Thanks for the tutorial!

  47. I have been searching for some type of new Thanksgiving recipe, and I stumbled on this while last minute shopping. I started the brine tonight (8 hours), and have all the ingredients for tomorrow. Soooooo…looking forward to the end result. Thank you so much!!! I'm officially bookmarking your page! Best Wishes and Happy Thanksgiving! Jeff

  48. I've never heard/ seen the hot water tip. Good stuff!!

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