How to make a dill pickle-brined turkey this Thanksgiving
The turkey is the focal point of every Thanksgiving meal, and if you’re looking to mix things up with some different flavors for this year’s holiday, Butterball’s Test Kitchen has a turkey recipe that’s sure to make your Turkey Day feast more unique.
You’ll be making your own dill pickle brine, so it does involve a few more steps than a traditional turkey. Along with a turkey, you’ll need apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, pickling spices, black peppercorns and a few other ingredients.
Take a look at the full recipe:
Dill Pickle-Brined Turkey
1 12–15-pound whole Butterball turkey
3 cups apple cider vinegar
9 cups water
3 cups light brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
4 tablespoons pickling spices, divided
2 tablespoon whole black peppercorns
1 large white onion, quartered
2 large carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces
1. Mix the apple cider vinegar, water, brown sugar, salt, 3 tablespoons pickling spices and black peppercorns together. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Let mixture cool to room temperature.
2. Remove turkey from wrapping. Reach into the bottom body cavity and remove the neck. Reach into the top cavity and remove the giblet bag. Reserve both for later use, or discard.
3. Pat the turkey dry with disposable paper towels.
4. Place the turkey in a large pot, oversized Ziplock bag or brining bag. Pour the cooled brining solution over the turkey. The turkey should be submerged if in a pot. If not submerged rotate turkey every hour to ensure even brining.
5. Place in 40 degree or cooler refrigerator for no longer than 3 hours.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
7. Remove turkey from brine and rinse brining solution off the turkey. Discard the brine. Thoroughly pat the turkey dry with paper towels, including the body cavity.
8. Sprinkle remaining 1 tablespoon pickling spices in body cavity. Stuff the body cavity with the onion quarters and carrots.
9. Place in a shallow roasting pan (2-3 inches deep) on a flat rack. Be sure to place the ends of the legs in the skin flap or tie and tuck wings under the turkey. Brush or spray the top of the turkey with vegetable oil.
10. Roast at 325 degrees for 3 to 3.5 hours, or until the breast reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees Fahrenheit and the thigh reaches 180 degrees.
11. Remove from oven and let rest for 15 minutes before carving. Discard accumulated drippings.
If you want something even more unusual, check out these Reynold’s Wrap recipes for mac and cheese turkey made with the cheesy powder from your favorite boxed brand or this Flamin’ Hot Cheetos turkey coated in Cheeto dust.
If you find you need help with your turkey this year, Butterball’s Turkey Talk-Line will be back for the 40th year, and turkey-cooking support will also be available on , social media channels, via Amazon’s Alexa and even on TikTok.
Jennie-O is also offering some help with their own talk line this year, which opens on Nov. 1. Jennie-O’s experts will be on hand to help via the 800-TURKEYS hotline, live chat or by texting “Turkey” to 73876.
Will you be trying a new turkey recipe this Thanksgiving?