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  • Writer's picturePhil Evans

Timber & Rose's Must-Try Turkey Recipes

Turkey Recipes for Thanksgiving can be handed down from parent to child, but if your childhood bird often was too dry and boring for your tastes you might want to try something more bold. If you’re in charge of a dinner extravaganza this year and have no idea where to start, we’re bringing you four incredible turkey recipes to choose from. Would you like to prepare a smoked, brined, or roasted turkey? What about taking on the challenge of making a turducken? Take a look at our favorite Thanksgiving turkey recipes for a different kind of turkey experience this year. Wish you had a bigger kitchen for the holidays? We can help with that too! Check out our monthly home-buying class here.

Dry-Brined Turkey With Tangy Honey Glaze

  • ½ cup Diamond Crystal or ¼ cup plus 1½ tsp. Morton kosher salt

  • 1 Tbsp. light brown sugar

  • 1 12–14-lb. turkey, neck reserved for gravy, giblets discarded, patted dry

  • 12 Tbsp. (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided

  • ¼ cup sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar

  • 2 Tbsp. honey

  • 4 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

  • 3 sprigs rosemary

  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 2 2x1" strips orange zest

  • Place salt and brown sugar in a medium bowl and work together with your fingers until incorporated. Place turkey on a wire rack set inside a rimmed baking sheet. (If you don’t have this setup, place your turkey on a V-shape rack set inside a large roasting pan.) Sprinkle dry brine all over outside and inside of turkey, patting to adhere and nudging some into crevices. You won’t need all of the dry brine, but it’s good to have extra since some of it will end up on the baking sheet as you season the turkey. Chill bird, uncovered, at least 12 hours and up to 2 days.

  • Remove turkey from wire rack and rinse baking sheet and rack if needed (turkey will most likely release some liquid onto pan). Line baking sheet with 3 layers of foil and set rack back inside. Place turkey, breast side up, on rack and tuck wings underneath. Let turkey sit at room temperature 2–3 hours.

  • Place an oven rack in middle of oven; preheat to 450°. Using your fingers, loosen skin on breast. Work 4 Tbsp. butter under skin, spreading evenly over both breasts. Smear outside of turkey with another 4 Tbsp. butter.

  • Tie legs together with kitchen twine and pour 1 cup water into baking sheet.

  • Roast turkey, rotating pan halfway through, until skin is mostly golden brown all over, about 30 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, cook vinegar, honey, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, garlic, orange zest, and remaining 4 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbling and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to lowest setting and keep glaze warm.

  • Reduce oven temperature to 300° and continue to roast turkey, brushing with glaze every 30 minutes and adding more water by ½-cupfuls as needed to maintain some liquid in baking sheet, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of breast near the neck registers 150° (don’t worry; the temperature will continue to climb while the bird rests), 65–85 minutes longer. Skin should be deep golden brown, shiny, and crisp. Transfer turkey to a cutting board and let rest at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour before carving.

The Best Grilled Turkey

  • 1 (15 to 18 pound) whole turkey

  • 2 onions, halved

  • 2 to 3 lemons, sliced

  • 1 bulb of garlic, top sliced off

  • 1 large bunch of fresh herbs, including sage, thyme, rosemary

  • 8 to 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (enough to cover the entire bird)

  • kosher salt

  • freshly cracked black pepper

  • dried herbs, like sage, thyme and rosemary

  • 2 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed during cook time.

  • The night before grilling your turkey, remove any giblets and the neck and pat the turkey dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a large baking dish. At this point, I stick it in the fridge overnight, uncovered – away from anything that it could touch. I’ve been doing this for a few years and it makes for amazing crispy turkey skin!

  • Remove the turkey from the fridge one hour or so before grilling. Before grilling, make sure your propane tank is full and that you have a backup!

  • Preheat your grill to medium-high heat, about 450 degrees F. I preheat all burners.

  • Prepare a stack of disposable foil roasting pans (about 2 or 3 pans) stacked together.

  • Place the turkey in a roasting pan, breast-side up. Fill the cavity with 1 halved onion, 1 lemon, the garlic bulb and a bunch of fresh herbs. Tie the legs loosely together with kitchen twine. Tuck the wings under the turkey.

  • Rub the turkey all over with the softened butter. Sprinkle it with the salt and the pepper. I also like to add a sprinkling of dried herbs, like thyme, sage and rosemary.

  • Pour 1 to 2 cups chicken stock in the bottom of the roasted pan. Add the other lemon wedges and onions.

  • Place the roasting pan on the grill and turn the center burner to medium-low. Close the grill. Ideally, you want the temperature to be about 425 to 450 degrees F during cook time, so adjust accordinging with your grill.

  • Grill the turkey for 2.5 to 3 hours, checking the bird every 30 minutes or so. You want to be sure you don't run out of propane and that the grill is holding it's temperature. You can baste it with the juices in the bottom of the pan, but only keep the grill open for a minute or so at a time.

  • Halfway through cook time, rotate the roasting pan and add more stock to the bottom of the pan if needed.

  • After 2.5 hours, check the turkey - you want to cook it until the the temperature taken in the thigh reaches 180 degrees F.

  • Once the turkey is finished, let it rest for 30 to 60 minutes before slicing.

Smoked turkey

  • 1 15-pound turkey (defrosted)

  • 2-3 Tablespoons olive oil or melted butter

  • 2-3 Tablespoons Sweet Rub (a brown sugar-based rub that combines smoked paprika, Real Salt, and the perfect balance of spices for a classic, smoky BBQ flavor.)

  • 4 cups water (to start, more to refill)

  • Preheat. Preheat whatever type of grill you are using for indirect smoking at 225 degrees F. If you're using gas, turn on half of the burners to medium-low and leave the other half off. If you are using charcoal, preheat your coals until just ashed over, dump them on one far side of your grill, and set the vents to about 25% open. If you are using a dedicated smoker, preheat your grill to 225 degrees F. Add the wood chunks or chips, if needed, to achieve a thin blue smoke.

  • Prep the turkey. Remove your defrosted turkey from the packaging. Remove the neck and giblets from the inside cavity of the bird. If your turkey has been brined, carefully rinse the exterior of the turkey with cold water. Pat the turkey down on all sides with a paper towel. Tie the legs together with butcher's twine and tuck the wing tips behind the shoulder joint.

  • Season. Coat the exterior of the bird with olive oil or melted butter and then season on all sides with the Sweet Rub.

  • Smoke the turkey. Place the turkey directly on the grill grates, close the lid, and smoke the turkey. At 225 degrees F, you can plan on approximately 30 minutes per pound for your turkey to smoke. For example, this 15 pound turkey will take 7 and 1/2 hours at 225 degrees F. I always plan an extra 30 minutes, just in case.

  • Remove to a serving platter. Use an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of the turkey in the breast and thigh. Make sure you test both sides of the bird, ESPECIALLY if you are smoking on a gas or charcoal grill where the temperatures of your grill may have been higher on one side than the other. You will be going off of the lowest reading you get from each side of the turkey. Once all temperatures are above 165 degrees F, it is time to remove the smoked turkey to a large platter or cutting board.

  • Rest. Allow the turkey to rest for about 15 minutes before slicing and serving. If your turkey is done a little early, cover the turkey with foil and wrap with towels to insulate and keep the heat at a safe serving temperature.

  • Enjoy! All that's left is to decide if you're a light or dark meat person, slice into that pretty bird, and get after it! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sweet & Spicy Turkey Recipe (Southern Living)

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

  • 1 tablespoon onion powder

  • 1 tablespoon paprika

  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger

  • 2 teaspoons dry mustard

  • 3/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

  • 1 (12-lb.) fresh whole turkey

  • 3 tablespoons canola oil, divided

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Sriracha)

  • 3 cups water

  • Stir together salt, brown sugar, onion powder, paprika, ginger, dry mustard, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Reserve 2 tablespoons of salt mixture.

  • Remove giblets and neck from turkey; reserve for another use. Pat turkey dry, and remove excess skin. Starting from the neck, loosen and lift the skin from the turkey without completely detaching it. Spread remaining salt mixture evenly under skin. Carefully replace skin. Drizzle skin with 2 tablespoons of the oil, and rub with reserved 2 table-spoons salt mixture. Tie ends of legs together with kitchen twine; tuck wingtips under. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, or refrigerate 12 to 24 hours. (If refrigerated, let the turkey stand at room temperature for 1 hour before cooking.)

  • Stir together honey, hot sauce, and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl until well blended.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Place rack in a roasting pan; coat rack with cooking spray. Place turkey on rack, and transfer to oven. Add 3 cups water to pan. Bake in preheated oven 1 hour and 10 minutes. Rotate pan halfway (on same rack), brush with half of honey mixture, and continue baking until a meat thermometer inserted in thickest portion of thigh registers 165°F, about 25 more minutes. Remove turkey from oven, and brush with remaining honey mixture. Let stand at least 30 minutes.


  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 small chicken (3 1/2 to 4 pounds pre-boning; 1.6 to 1.8kg), bones removed

  • 2 pounds (907g) raw bulk sausage meat (see notes)

  • 1 duck (4 to 4 1/2 pounds pre-boning; 1.8 to 2kg), bones removed

  • 3 tablespoons (44ml) vegetable oil

  • 1 turkey (10 to 13 pounds; 4.5 to 5.9kg), carcass removed, legs and wing bones left intact

  • Season chicken evenly on all sides with salt and pepper. Lay chicken flat, skin side down, on cutting board. Shape 12 ounces of sausage into a log roughly 2 inches in diameter and place in the center of the chicken. Lift one side of chicken and wrap tightly around sausage. Lift the other side, allowing the skin from both sides to overlap and form a seal. The chicken should now be wrapped around the sausage. Wrap tightly in several layers of plastic wrap so that chicken forms a tight cylinder (see note). Alternatively, chicken can be tightly trussed with butcher's twine.

  • Place chicken inside a vacuum sealer bag and seal. Place in a large stockpot and cover with warm water. Place over medium-high heat and heat until bubbles just begin to rise from the bottom. Reduce heat to lowest setting and cook until chicken feels firm to the touch and an instant read thermometer inserted through the plastic into the center of the chicken registers 140 to 145°F, about 45 minutes.

  • While chicken is cooking, season the duck on all sides with salt and pepper. Place a 36- by 12-inch piece of plastic wrap on the cutting board. Lay duck flat, skin side down, on plastic wrap. Spread remaining sausage evenly over surface of meat. When chicken is cooked, remove from bag and plastic wrap and carefully pat dry with paper towels. Place hot chicken directly on top of duck, aligned along the center. Using the plastic wrap to aid you, carefully shape the duck around the chicken. Roll into a tight cylinder in several layers of plastic wrap. Alternatively, duck can be tightly trussed with butcher's twine.

  • Place chicken/duck inside a vacuum sealer bag and seal. Place in a large stockpot and cover with warm water. Place over medium-high heat and heat until bubbles just begin to rise from the bottom. Reduce heat to lowest setting and cook until Duck feels firm to the touch, about 30 minutes.

  • Remove duck from water. If you used a vacuum bag or plastic wrap, remove both, then tightly truss the duck with twine. Dry exterior thoroughly with paper towels.

  • Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add duck/chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until well browned and crisp on all sides, pouring off excess rendered fat as necessary (you can reserve this fat for another use), about 15 minutes total.

  • Adjust oven rack to lowest position and preheat oven to 425°F. Place turkey skin-side-down on a cutting board and season exposed surface with salt and pepper. Remove twine from duck/chicken and place in the center of the turkey, aligned along the center. If necessary, trim duck/chicken roll so that is is the same length as the turkey breasts. (You can serve the excess duck/turkey as well).

  • Carefully lift one side of the turkey to cover the duck/chicken, then lift the other side, letting the skin overlap by at least 1 inch. Use metal or wooden skewers to secure the skin in 5 to 8 locations. Carefully transfer turkey to a V- or U-rack set in a roasting pan, seam-side down.

  • With the turkey's legs facing you, place a long piece of butcher's twine behind the breasts, tucking it into the wing joints. Pull it around the breast along its base to the bottom of the breast, then allow the ends to cross over. Wrap each end around the end of the drumstick, and pull them tightly together. Loop the ends of the twine around both drumsticks a few times to secure, then tie a knot and trim the excess. Rub remaining oil all over turkey and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to oven and roast until golden brown, turkey breast meat registers at least 150°F on an instant read thermometer, and thighs registers at least 165°F, about 1 1/2 hours.

At Timber & Rose Realty Group we wish you a memorable and delicious holiday season. We're thankful for the opportunity to help so many families become homeowners and start building wealth each year. If you're thinking about selling your home in the future and want to know what it's really worth, get your home value here. Happy Thanksgiving!!

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Nov 18, 2022

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