Somebody Help This Poor Girl: Best Way to Cook a Turkey

So many possible jokes, so little time. Let’s get down to it.

Hey Nancy. I  know this isn’t really a cooking blog but I need some help from your readers. I’ve been tasked with cooking the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve only cooked one once. My mother-in-law is a really great cook and she suggested I brine it. (I’m totally had to look that up.) Could you ask your readers for tips? There must be other people in the same boat.


  • robshearer
  • Jill

    Brine is overnight and then inject it with duck fat. Thank you to TheBrad.

  • The Glut Life

    FRY IT

  • Sparky

    Brine it using a sugar/salt/spice solution (Alton Brown’s works well), inject it with whatever you want (orange juice cut with that cajun butter stuff works well), then fry it. Takes a lot less time and gives you a ton more leeway on overcooking it.

  • Ian

    The “Judy Bird” from the LA Times:,0,5791531.story#axzz2kYciragD

    It has the benefits of brining, without the weird sponginess you can get. Stuffing a half cup of compound butter under the skin before cooking is also a great addition. This has been my foolproof turkey for 4-5 years.

  • twinwillow t

    Spatchcock the bird.

  • Carol Beggs

    Order a smoked turkey from Greenberg Turkey Co. from Tyler, TX at You will never bake another turkey again AND they were included on Oprah’s Favorite Things!!!

    • sliver o’ liver

      You can also call and order one at Central Market for pickup the week of Thanksgiving. $54.99 for a 9 pounder. I did the math and I think that’s a smidgen cheaper than ordering from Greenberg once you add in the shipping. I just got through ordering mine.

  • Mickie

    I cook Thanksgiving Turkey for 40 people every year; and this is an awesome brine. I use a dry brine from Bon Appetit: 1/3 c coarse kosher salt, 1.5t dry rosemary, 1.5 t dry sage, 1.5t dry thyme, 1 t. black peppercorn, 3 bay leaves torn, and 1 t. grated lemon peel. Mix together in a bowl. Buy your turkey Monday or Tuesday to thaw. On Wednesday morning, take out the giblets, etc. from the cavity of the bird. Rinse and put the bird in a big brining bag. Rub the dry brine all over the turkey inside and out. Seal the bag and put in frig for 18-24 hours. The next morning, take the turkey out and rinse the brine off completely. Pat dry. Stuff lightly with chopped onion, celery and lemon. Spread 1 stick of very soft butter all over the bird, and under the skin. Roast at 325, basting every 45 minutes with the juices in roasting pan until about 165F at thickest part of thigh. Take out and let rest 35 minutes. Good luck!

  • TheBradsBlog