Roasting a Heritage Turkey

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Seriously, we roast our heritage turkey just like we roast our heritage chicken. The only difference is the bird's a lot bigger so it takes longer.

Do yourself a favor and purchase a digital probe thermometer that can be set to go off at a certain temperature. We have one and it's been invaluable, especially for cooking turkey and ham.


To Brine or Not To Brine?

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(WARNING: highly opinionated. Proceed at own risk.)

The short answer is: if you're preparing a commercial turkey, yes. Absolutely. Don't even ask. The poor thing is going to need some help after all. It's a mushy, flavorless, water packed, thing that will be bone dry without brining.

However, if you have the good sense to be preparing a heritage bird, preferably one raised on range or pasture, then it's entirely up to you. Personally, we don't think it's necessary. The whole point of brining a turkey is to add flavor and moistness. A heritage bird needs neither. It has it's own natural flavors. And if you cook it correctly (in other words NOT like you'd cook a commercial turkey) it will be quite moist and juicy. We haven't brined a bird since we started eating our own.


Come to think of it, there is no long answer. But if you must use a brine, see below for some options.

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Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey

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Roast Heritage Turkey from Local Harvest

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Roast Heritage Turkey from The Daily Green