Roasting a turkey with kosher salt

There’s plenty of ways to prepare a turkey for your Thanksgiving Day meal. Some families deep fry turkeys, some brine their turkey over night, while others simply cover the turkey in herbs and butter and roast it in a pan for several hours.

One way is to roast a turkey covered in kosher salt. Why? Because using kosher salt can make for a juicy and moist turkey that’s packed full of flavor.

Here’s how.

Ingredients:

  • A whole fresh or frozen turkey
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons thyme
  • 2 tablespoons sage
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Bacon (optional)
  • Garlic powder
  • 1 Can of chicken broth (for basting)

Thawing:

If your turkey is frozen, make sure to thaw it safely. You don’t want to get sick, right? Turkey can stay frozen indefinitely, but as soon as you begin thawing, any bacteria that may have been present before freezing can begin growing again.

Refrigerator: Thaw a frozen turkey in your fridge for 24 hours for every 5 pounds. Make sure to set your turkey in a shallow pan so the drippings don’t get on your other foods.

Cold water thawing: Put the wrapped turkey in cold water. Change the water every 30 minutes or so until the turkey is completely thawed. Allow 30 minutes per pound.

Microwave: Microwaves vary in power so follow the manufacturer’s directions when thawing. Use the turkey immediately after it’s thawed.

Prep:

  1. After the turkey thaws, pull out the neck and the giblets (some turkeys have the giblets in a piece of wax paper). Run cold water through the turkey to thaw out anything on the inside that may still have be frozen.
  2. Place your turkey in a roasting pan. Dry it, inside and out.
  3. Take a liberal amount of kosher salt and rub all surfaces of the turkey. Also rub the salt on the inside of the turkey.
  4. Melt half a stick of butter and brush it onto the turkey. Take the other half and place inside the turkey.
  5. Next, mix the rosemary, thyme and sage in a small bowl. Rub the mixture on every surface.
  6. If you’d like to stuff the turkey, tie the legs together with a cotton string.
  7. Take your raw bacon (optional) and place it under the skin of the breast. You may also wrap the wings and thighs.
  8. Pour chicken broth in the bottom of the pan for basting.
  9. Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper on the turkey before roasting.
  10. Roast, uncovered at 375 F for 1 hour.
  11. After 1 hour, baste, sprinkle with season and brush with more butter. Then make a tent with aluminum foil and cover loosely. Reduce the heat to 325 F and continue roasting for another hour.
  12. Uncover the turkey and continue roasting until a food thermometer shows the meat has reached 165 F.
  13. Let your turkey rest for 30 minutes before cutting. If you cut the turkey too soon, not only will you burn your fingers, but the turkey meat will release all of its moisture and will dry out.

Cooking times:

Cook an un-stuffed turkey at 325 F for 15 minutes per pound. Roast a stuffed turkey at 325 F for 18 minutes per pound.

Notes:

We loosely followed a recipe I found at Cooks.com. Cooks.com recommends buttering after applying the spices, we disagree. Butter before the spices. Buttering afterward only brushes away all of that tasty rosemary and thyme.

About the Author

Will Flannigan is Farm and Dairy's online editor. He grew up in Salem, Ohio, and is new to the agricultural scene. Will enjoys hiking, community theater and learning new things. More Stories by Will Flannigan

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