5 Ways to Perfect Your Thanksgiving Turkey Technique

Marlon Braccia, an expert yogi and the author of The Enlightened Cook, shares her five tricks for the juiciest turkey ever this Thanksgiving.

Kara Rota
2-minute read
Episode #77

5 Tricks to the Juiciest Turkey Ever!

Marlon doesn't see the point of using tons of butter to make a naturally low-fat protein juicy. Most of her techniques just require a little bit of ahead-of-time preparation for an extremely moist turkey.

1.) Get your turkey a couple of days before the big meal, so you can wash it and then brine it with two handfuls of kosher salt and water in the refrigerator, completely submerged, for 48 hours. . There's no need to include herbs in the brine. On Thanksgiving day, take the turkey out of the brine, rinse it off, and drain it well. 

thanksgiving turkey technique

2.) Time for seasoning! Try juniper, basil, tarragon, or ginger, or go with the traditional sage, rosemary, and thyme. Mince your herbs and mix them with some black pepper in a bowl so you have about a cup of the mixture. Use your hand to separate the skin from the flesh, still leaving the skin attached to the bird, and apply the herbs between the skin and the flesh so the seasoning really gets into the bird.

3.) While seasoning your turkey, preheat your oven to 475 degrees. Put a water bath on the bottom rack or floor of your oven, using an aluminum foil tray. The water bath should be larger than the bird. Place a rack over the water bath: this is where your turkey will go. Grease the rack slightly and put the turkey directly onto it. The moisture from the steam bath makes the turkey extremely juicy as it cooks.

4.) Start cooking turkey breast-side down and begin roasting with a tent of aluminum foil, which you'll remove 15 minutes before the end of cook time. 

5.) Use a silo-shaped metal insert in your turkey to conduct the heat, making it cook from the inside out as well as the outside in. 

With these tips, you can skip the butter and end up with an incredibly juicy and moist turkey! Serve it with cranberry sauce, potatoes, and a green salad.

Check out this week's bonus recipe for Juicy Herbed Turkey.



About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.