Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Brine-Cured Roast Turkey

WebMD Recipe from

Total Time: 3 hrs (plus 3 days brining time)

Brine-Cured Roast Turkey

A big turkey is so spectacular you hardly need to do anything to embellish it. But brining can be that extra touch that makes it so juicy and flavorful that you’ll remember it for years to come. Brining the turkey takes 3 days so you’ll need to plan ahead, but the lengthy brining time really pays off with fabulous flavor. Make sure you start with an all-natural bird without any added water and sodium solution. (Recipe adapted from Alice Waters.)


  • 3 gallons water, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 leeks, dark tops trimmed off, chopped
  • 1 small stalk celery, chopped
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 star anise
  • 5-6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 12- to 14-pound naturally fed, free-range turkey
  • 1 large sprig rosemary, for basting
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for basting


Step 1
Bring 1 gallon water to a boil in a large nonreactive pot that will hold your turkey and fit in your refrigerator (see Tip). Stir in sugar and salt until completely dissolved. Turn off the heat. Stir in carrots, onions, leeks, celery, bay leaves, peppercorns, coriander, crushed red pepper, fennel seeds, star anise and thyme. Add the remaining 2 gallons water. Place the turkey in the brine and weight it with a plate, if necessary, so it stays below the surface. Refrigerate for 72 hours.
Step 2
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Step 3
Remove the turkey from the brine, brush off any briny bits and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes (discard the brine). Tuck the wing tips under the turkey. Tie the legs together with kitchen string. Place the turkey on a roasting rack set in a large roasting pan.
Step 4
Roast the turkey until the skin starts to brown, about 40 minutes. Use rosemary sprig to baste the turkey with oil. Reduce oven temperature to 350° and continue roasting the turkey, basting with more oil about every 30 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh without touching bone registers 165°F, 1 to 1 1/2 hours more, depending on the size of the turkey. If the skin begins to darken too much, cover it loosely with foil.
Step 5
Carefully transfer the turkey to a large, clean cutting board; let it rest, loosely covered with foil, for 20 minutes before removing the string and carving.


Kitchen Tip: If you do not have a pot large enough to hold the turkey plus the 3 gallons of brining liquid, bring 1 gallon of water to a boil in a smaller pot, add the flavorings (Step 1), then transfer the brine to a clean large bucket or medium cooler (small enough to fit in your refrigerator). Add the remaining 2 gallons water and the turkey. To fit the brining turkey into your refrigerator, you may need to remove a shelf or two.

Healthy Recipe Finder