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side view of sliced turkey breast on a plate surrounded by gravy with whole turkey in the background on a green serving plate

Thanksgiving Roast Turkey with Maple Glaze

  • Prep Time: 45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 210 minutes
  • Total Time: 2445 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x


A family favorite, this Thanksgiving Roast Turkey with Maple Glaze is the BEST turkey recipe to make for the holiday season.



Turkey Brine

  • 2 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup chopped garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 4 whole bay leaves
  • 2 quarts vegetable stock or broth
  • 1 12 oz can ginger beer
  • 2 whole oranges (cut in half)
  • 4-6 quarts ice water (approximately 50/50 ice to water ratio)

Roast Turkey

  • 14-16 pound whole turkey
  • 2 whole medium yellow onions
  • 8 ribs celery
  • 1 whole lemon
  • 1 whole orange
  • 1 whole apple
  • 1 package fresh sage
  • 1 package fresh thyme
  • 1 package fresh rosemary

Maple Glaze

  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup pure maple syrup


Five to Six Days Before Roasting

  1. Allow turkey to thaw in the refrigerator for 5 to 6 days prior to roasting. See note below for thawing times.

Two Nights Before Roasting

  1. Find a clean container that is large enough to hold the whole turkey plus approximately 2 gallons of liquid. This can be a large stock pot or plastic storage bin. Make sure this container will also fit in the fridge while the turkey is being brined.
  2. In a large pot (this can be the stock pot you will be brining the turkey in) combine apple cider, brown sugar, salt, garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, vegetable stock or broth and ginger beer.
  3. Squeeze as much juice from orange halves into the pot and then add squeezed orange halves.
  4. Bring mixture to a boil over medium high heat and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until both the sugar and the salt are completely dissolved. Let cool completely.
  5. If brining the turkey in the same stock pot, add 2 quarts of ice water to the brine mixture and mix together. Slowly add the turkey to the pot and then top with remaining ice water, between 2-4 quarts, depending on the size of the pot. Make sure to leave a few inches of room from the top so it doesn't slosh out when moving the pot to the fridge.
    If brining the turkey in a separate container, pour brine and 2 quarts of ice water into the container and mix together. Slowly add the turkey to the container and then top with remaining ice water, between 2-4 quarts, depending on the size of the container. Make sure to leave a few inches of room from the top so it doesn't slosh out when moving the container to the fridge.
  6. Move pot or container to the fridge and allow to brine for a minimum of 16 hours or maximum of 24 hours. This is best done two nights before roasting to allow time for the next step.

The Night Before Roasting

  1. Once turkey has brined for 24 hours, remove it slowly from the brine and place in kitchen sink. Rinse the turkey thoroughly inside and out to remove any extra brine and pat dry with paper towels. Place turkey on a sheet pan or roasting pan in the fridge for at least 12 hours. This is best done the night before roasting to allow the full time for the turkey to dry out.

Day of Roasting

  1. Remove turkey from the fridge and preheat oven to 350°. While the oven in preheating, slice one of the onions and place underneath the turkey with celery ribs in the roasting pan. If you do not have a roasting rack, the turkey can sit directly on the celery and onions. If you have a roasting rack, the celery and onions can sit below the rack.
  2. Cut the other onion in half, along with the lemon, orange and apple. Stuff the inside of the turkey with the halved onion, lemon, orange and apple. Divide fresh herbs in half and stuff half of the herbs inside of the turkey and place the other half underneath the roasting rack. If no roasting rack is being used, the remaining fresh herbs can be place in the roasting pan around the outside of the turkey.
  3. Tuck wing tips in so they don't burn while cooking and roast the turkey in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes until skin is golden brown.
  4. While turkey is roasting, make your maple glaze. To make glaze, combine butter and syrup in a small saucepan over medium low heat until butter is completely melted. Stir and let cool while the turkey finishes roasting.
  5. Once skin is nicely browned, cover the turkey in aluminum foil and continue to roast for 60-90 minutes until the skin starts to pull away from the bones on the legs and the temperature in the thigh reads approximately 150°.
  6. Remove foil from the turkey and pour maple glaze over the entire turkey. A rubber pastry brush can be used to spread glaze over all parts of the turkey.
  7. Continue to roast turkey in the oven, uncovered for approximately 30-45 minutes, until the temperature of the turkey reaches 165° on a kitchen thermometer when inserted into the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast. (please see note below regarding cooking times)
  8. Once turkey is cooked to the proper temperature, remove from the oven and allow to rest for 30 minutes prior to carving. Juices can be reserved for use in making gravy.


Thawing a Turkey

A 14-16 pound turkey will take approximately 3-4 days to thaw in the refrigerator and can stay in the refrigerator for 1-2 days after it has been completely thawed. Smaller or Larger turkeys will take less or more time, depending on the size. 

Serving Size of Turkey

Recipe will serve approximately 12 - 15 people with leftovers. Allow for approximately 1 pounds of turkey per person or 1 1/2 pounds of turkey per person if you want extra leftovers. 

Cooking Times for Turkey

Cooking times are approximate and can vary based on size of turkey and different types of oven. A kitchen thermometer is recommended to ensure meat is cooked to the proper temperature. 

  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American


  • Calories: 578

Keywords: gluten free, maple, turkey

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