3 Secrets of Moist and Perfect Turkey

Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com

The perfect turkey is deep brown on the outside and so flavorful and moist on the inside that every bite practically melts in your mouth. Follow our foolproof guide to delicious results every time.

Brine the Turkey in Advance

Brining the turkey ahead of time infuses it with moisture and flavor. Most brines include some combination of salt, chicken broth, bay leaves, pepper corns and sometimes something tangy like apple cider.

This classic combination is a good place to start.

Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com

Put all your ingredients in a large stock pot and bring to a simmer just long enough for the salt and sugar to melt completely, about 3 minutes, while stirring often. Allow to cool.

Place the plastic oven bag inside your roasting pan, leaving the opening wide. Set your thawed turkey inside the bag and pour the brine over the top. Close the bag.

Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com

Refrigerate for AT LEAST overnight but up to 3 days, flipping the turkey every 12 hours.

Prep Your Turkey Inside and Out

Coating your bird's skin with oil or butter will create a gorgeous caramelized effect on the outside, while sealing the moisture and flavor inside. But don't stop there. Adding fresh produce to the cavity of a turkey also helps create savory juices.

Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com

Brush the outside of the bird with either vegetable oil, olive oil or melted butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Prepare the inside of your turkey by also adding salt and pepper, then stuffing with an onion cut in quarters, a lemon cut in half, plus fresh sage, thyme and rosemary.

Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com

Get the Time and Temperature Just Right

For a turkey that looks fresh off the cover of a magazine, start at a high temperature and lower after the turkey becomes golden brown. Cook your glazed and stuffed turkey at 500 degrees F for 30 minutes. Once it's brown, turn the heat down to 350 degrees F. Cover the breast portion of your turkey with foil to prevent overcooking and roast for about another 2 hours until the internal temperature of your turkey reaches 165 degrees F.

Let your turkey rest under a blanket of aluminum foil for at least 15 minutes before carving.

Charity Curley Mathews, founder of Foodlets.com