Joanne Weir Follow @ChefJoanneWeir

Perfect Roast Turkey

Perfect Roast Turkey

I would like share with all of you my tried-and-true method for making the most perfectly moist roast turkey. Be prepared, you have to start a few days in advance but it's well worth it.


Turkey (preferably about 14 pounds and organic, free-range or heritage – not pre-frozen)

Kosher Salt

2 sticks butter



At least 4 days prior to Thanksgiving
Purchase a turkey (preferably about 14 pounds and organic, free-range or heritage – not pre-frozen).

Three days before Thanksgiving
Prepare brine solution using the following formula: For each 1 cup of water add 1 tablespoon kosher salt.  Place the turkey in either a large stockpot or brining bag and brine for 2 days in the refrigerator.  This will ensure a juicy turkey.

One day before Thanksgiving
Remove the turkey from brine solution and pat completely dry with paper towels. Place the turkey on a cooling rack placed over a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator to dry for 24 hours.  This will help to yield crispy skin on your turkey.

On Thanksgiving day, take a double layer of cheesecloth and drench it in 2 sticks of melted butter. Cover the turkey with the cheesecloth and tuck the cheesecloth into the sides of the turkey, covering it completely.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Place turkey in deep roasting pan and roast until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the turkey thigh reaches 160 to 165°. There is no need to baste using this method but if desired, you can baste the turkey with a turkey baster drizzling the liquid from the pan onto the cheesecloth. 

Remove the turkey from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.