Molasses-Brined Turkey



A very tall stock pot
18-lb Turkey, remove giblets
7 Quarts water – or enough to cover the turkey    in the bag
¾ C Coarse sea salt or ½ cup fine sea salt
1 C molasses
2 bunches fresh thyme, roughly chopped
1 bunch fresh sage, roughly chopped
2 large onions, chopped
4 garlic, halved 

The rub

3 Tbs oil
1 Tbs ground black pepper
1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
1 Tbsp chopped fresh sage

The Baste

4 C low-sodium chicken broth
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 C orange juice


Step 1

  1. Line very large bowl or soup pot with 2-30 Gal plastic bags, one inside the other.
  2. Rinse turkey inside and out. Place turkey in plastic–lined bowl.
  3. in another large bowl, combine water, salt, agave, molasses, 1 bunch thyme and ½ bunch sage.
  4. Stir until salt dissolves.
  5. Pour mixture over turkey. Gather tops of bags together and press out any trapped air.
  6. Seal bags and refrigerate turkey for up to 24 hours.

Step 2

  1. Remove turkey from brine and rinse off brine residue. Discard brine.
  2. Pat Turkey dry inside and out. Fill cavity with remaining 1 bunch thyme, ½ bunch sage, onions and garlic.
  3. Stir oil, pepper, chopped thyme and sage in small bowl to form paste; smear all over outside of turkey.
  4. Roast turkey 1 hour, tenting loosely with foil or cheese cloth if turkey starts to brown quickly.
  5. Roast turkey 30 min. Pour 1 C of broth over turkey then re-tent.
  6. Baste with ½ C of broth every 30 min until thermometer registers 175°F about 2 hours longer.
  7. Let turkey stand 20 minutes before carving.


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