Alton Brown Talks Turkey Day and His 5-Star Turkey Recipe

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, November 15th, 2011

Just in time for Thanksgiving, we caught up with Alton Brown and chatted about his plans for the upcoming food-focused holiday.

Speaking of his Turkey Day tradition at home with his family, Alton said, “It’s really simple. Really simple.  I’m not one of those guys who wants to cook for 13 hours and eat for five. So it’s very, very basic stuff.” What exactly is on his menu? “I handle the turkey. There’s some dressing.  My mother-in-law makes a pecan pie. I like Brussels sprouts. And we, like, cook some sweet potatoes, and it’s done.” he said. I bet Alton makes a mean batch of Brussels sprouts.

We also talked with Alton about his Good Eats Roast Turkey (pictured above), Food Network’s most popular turkey recipe, boasting a 5-star rating and more than 3,400 user reviews.

Of that easily brined bird, Alton said, “That turkey is done as well as it’s done because it is repeatable and completely doable.” He assured us that even casual home cooks could approach this recipe with ease. “They’ll have a 97 percent success rate with it because it’s very elemental, and it’s very simple to follow.  There are no mysterious steps in there,” he said. Alton suggests first roasting the bird in a 500 degree F oven for just 30 minutes, to give it perfectly crisp skin of a glowing golden color, before lowering the temperature to 350 degrees F for a few hours to finish cooking the inside. This no-fail method will yield tender, juicy meat time after time.

When asked what he can attribute the success of his famed turkey, Alton simply noted, “Turkey freaking rocks.” That is so true, Alton. Well said.

Catch Alton Brown as the host of The Next Iron Chef: Super Chefs on Sunday nights at 9m/8c.


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Comments (16)

  1. Robert goodfellow says:

    I watched the show looks and quality trukey when done

  2. Tom Gilleylen says:

    Alton, we tried the way you cut the breast on Thanksgiving Live by cutting the breast off the keel and then cutting it against the grain. It was great and like that way much better than slicing the breast in thin wide pieces. Thanks for showing how it was done.

  3. Cindy says:

    We will be celebrating Thanksgiving two days late because we have had stomach flu. We have a 23 pound turkey and want to use Alton Brown's recipe. How many hours do you anticipate it will take to cook?

    • Sotello says:

      I would suggest looking for the a temp of 160 in the deepest part of the breast instead of looking for the time. I had done a 20 lb turkey without stuffing and it took a total of 3 hrs15 mins for the it to hit 160 deg f. Then i had let it rest for 30 mins.

  4. Karen says:

    I would like to know why everywhere I search it says the temp for the turkey should be 180-190. But Alton says 165. Why so low? Is that a safe temp? Why are my cookbooks saying 185?

    • jeri says:

      If you cook to 185 the bird comes out DRY, not good! Cooking to 160-165 it stays moist, it will reach 180 while resting and allowing the juices to redistribute. And yes, it's safe, and delish!

  5. jeri says:

    Hope everyone's Thanksgiving was good!

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