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Dry-Brined Thanksgiving Turkey


  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 3 tablespoons dried marjoram
  • 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon coarse black pepper
  • 16 to 18 pound turkey, fresh or thawed
  • 4 ribs celery, cut in chunks
  • 1 large onion, cut in wedges


  1. In a small bowl, combine garlic, salt, thyme, marjoram, paprika and black pepper. Set aside.
  2. Remove turkey from the packaging and discard or save giblets and neck for another use. Pat turkey dry.
  3. Carefully loosen the skin of the turkey over the breast and the thick part of the legs.
  4. Rub the turkey with the dry brine mixture under the skin, in the cavity and over the outside of the skin on breast and legs.
  5. Tuck the wings back and tie legs if necessary. Place the turkey breast-side-up in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered for at least 1 day or up to 3 days.
  6. Remove the rack from the roaster oven. Cover and heat roaster oven to 325°F.
  7. Place turkey on rack. Stuff cavity with celery and onion.
  8. Using handles on rack, place rack with turkey in roaster oven and cook 2 to 3 hours or until meat thermometer registers 165°F.

Serves: 10-12

Test Kitchen Tips: 

  • For food safety, turkey must reach an internal temperature of 165°F. Visit www.foodsafety.gov for more information on safe internal cooking temperatures.
  • Always thaw a frozen turkey in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. A 12-15 pound frozen turkey will take 2-3 days to thaw in the refrigerator. If pressed for time, this size turkey can be thawed in cold water in 6-9 hours. Be sure to change the water often.
  • The roaster oven cooks a turkey in less time than a regular oven, but use a meat thermometer to make sure your turkey is thoroughly cooked.
  • Turkey cooked in a roaster oven will be very moist, but less brown than a traditionally roasted turkey. Seasoning rubs add flavor and enhance the appearance of a roaster oven cooked turkey.




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