1 whole turkey, neck and giblets reserved, about 12 pounds
dry brining – from one to three days
- Combine 6 tablespoons kosher salt with 2 tablespoons of baking powder in a bowl.
- Dry turkey with paper towels.
- Sprinkle it on all surfaces with the salt mixture by picking up the mixture with your fingers, holding it six inches above the bird, and dropping the salt mixture over the turkey. Cover but do not completely encrust. Not all of the salt will be needed.
- Transfer the turkey to a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered for 12 to 24 hours.
- Dry-brining for more than 24 hours will produce even more juicy and well-seasoned meat. To brine longer than 24 hours, loosely cover turkey with plastic wrap or cheesecloth before refrigerating to prevent excess moisture loss through evaporation. Let rest for up to 3 days.
- Without rinsing, roast.
roasting – about 4 hours
- Set oven rack to lowest position and place a Baking Steel on it.
- Preheat oven to 500°F. Allow to preheat for at least 45 minutes before adding turkey.
- Rinse and then dry the turkey with paper towels.
- Place about 6 cups stuffing in bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave stuffing on high until stuffing registers 120 to 130 degrees on instant-read thermometer, about 6 minutes.
- Spoon hot stuffing into cavity of turkey and close opening with turkey lacers.
- Tuck wings behind back and truss turkey.
- Brush breast with butter, then set turkey breast-side down on a V-rack over a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
- Brush back with butter.
- Transfer rimmed baking sheet with turkey directly to baking stone. Immediately close oven and reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
- Roast for one hour and then rotate turkey breast-side up and brush with remaining butter.
- Baste every hour.
- Roast until turkey is golden brown and deepest part of breast registers 150°F on an instant-read thermometer and legs register at least 165°F 3 to 4 hours total. (Check on turkey after 2 hours. If skin looks like it is not browning fast enough, increase oven temperature by 50°F.
- Remove from oven and let rest at least 30 minutes before carving.
Mary’s Free-Range Turkey from Whole Foods is an excellent choice.