Some of you RAVED about the herb-roasted turkey recipe I put up a few years ago and some of you said “uhhh Monique I love you and everything but that turkey is just toooooo much work with all that flipping and basting!” lol. So I thought it was time that I put up a super easy, moist, juicy, flavorful turkey recipe for beginners or for those who just want something simpler.
The meat on this turkey is so tender and the skin roasts so tight, flavorful, dry, and crisp, just the way I like it! (Because Lord knows I can’t handle turkey with soggy, flabby, chewy skin. Ick!)
Watch me make the easiest, juicy whole roasted turkey from start to finish!
I adore this easy & juicy whole roasted turkey recipe for several reasons.
1.) The brine is super simple yet produces SUPERB results! Don’t skip the brine!! It’s gonna make that turkey stupid juicy and it’s gonna allow you some wiggle room in case you accidentally overcook the turkey. Nobody likes a dry turkey!
2.) The seasonings are very simple yet give it such a nice flavor that goes well with ALL those thanksgiving fixings and makes the best gravy ever!! Don’t skip the butter!! I know I’m being kinda bossy and I really don’t mean to be. It’s just that I want you to experience the juicy piece of turkey perfection that I just ate a few minutes ago.
3.) It’s so easy. Brine. Season. Bake. No flipping. No basting. There, so now you have NO excuses not to make a turkey this Thanksgiving. None!
This recipe is for a 12-16 pound turkey. You’ll need to adjust the cooking time if you’re using a smaller or larger turkey. The rule of thumb is 15 minutes per pound of turkey (cooking on 325) or when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 180 degrees F (although some folks say 165 is safe).
Food Network has this cute little turkey calculator that does all the work for you if you just put in the size of your turkey. It will even tell you when you need to put the turkey into the oven based on when you want to eat dinner and also how big of a turkey you’ll need to feed X amount of people. So handy.
NOTE: I’ve made this turkey before and roasted it breast side down and BAAAAABY it was oozing juices when I cut into the breast! It’s still crazy juicy (and much prettier) when cooked breast side up though and so for this video I decided to do it breast side up for a prettier presentation.
Easy & Juicy Whole Turkey Recipe
- 16 lb turkey thawed, inside packets removed
- 1 gallon buttermilk
- 8 tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoon poultry seasoning.
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 6 cloves garlic crushed
- 1 white onion chopped
- INSIDE CAVITY
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 apple
- 1 orange
- SEASONED BUTTER
- 1 stick butter
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning
- 1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Combine the brine ingredients in a large bowl.
- Line a large bowl, pot or bucket with an oven roasting bag.
- Place the turkey into the bag and pour in the brine.
- Tie the bag, making sure all the air is out and the buttermilk brine is completely surrounding the turkey.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat oven to 325.
- Rinse the brine off completely.
- Dry the turkey with paper towels until completely dry.
- Combine the salt and pepper and rub inside of the turkey cavity.
- Stuff the cavity with an apple and orange.
- Combine all of the seasoned butter ingredients.
- Brush this butter mixture generously onto the turkey, until covered with butter. Reserve some of the butter if desired.
- Place turkey in a roasting pan, breast side up.
- Place on the lower rack in the oven and bake uncovered for 3 hours and 45 minutes to 4 hours.
- Cover with foil for the last 45 minutes (if you are content with the browning) and also remove the apple and orange at this point.
- Remove from oven when done.
- Let rest for 20 minutes.
Feel free to stuff the turkey with fresh herbs, onions, garlic, etc.
Don't brine past 24 hours.
Don't overcook!! Use that thermometer AND cooking guide! (oven tempts. can vary)