Tried of making a turkey breast only or it to come out dry as the desert? Try making Guy Fieri's Foolproof Turkey Breast and never be disappointed again. This turkey breast is brined and dry rubbed for full throttle deliciousness.
Our family is a whole turkey kind of family.
We like our white meat and we like our dark meat. I know other out there would just like to stick with the white meat, so they opt for a turkey breast.
In order not to exclude those blog readers who are white meat only and to take advantage of a sale, I picked up a couple frozen turkey breasts.
I wanted to try a couple recipes off of Food Network's website. Guy Fieri's Foolproof Turkey Breast was one of the ones I wanted to give a go (and Ina Garten's was the other)
It's a bold statement to call anything foolproof. But what can I say Guy Fieri is a bold guy (sorry I could not stop myself with the bad pun...expect more of them!)
What make this recipe unique, at least for this guy (me, not Mr. Fieri) is that is includes both a brine and a rub. This is also the first brine I have done that uses molasses.
Here are my notes from preparing this turkey breast.
Buy a Whole Turkey or Turkey Breast
The recipe calls for a whole turkey and for you or your butcher to remove the legs and wings. Of course you could just start with a bone-in turkey breast as I did. If a whole turkey is cheaper than why not. You will have the wings and legs for later use.
Guy's Brine Ingredients
Here is the list of ingredients in Guy Fieri's brine
- 6 quarts Water
- 8 cups of Ice
- 1 cup Kosher Salt
- ⅓ cup Brown Sugar
- ½ cup Molasses
- 7 fresh Sage leaves
- 1 tbsp Whole black peppercorns
I realize the brine was going to be more than I need to completely submerge the turkey. So I pour it out of the pot once it had completely cooled. The turkey breast then went into a gallon sized bag inside of another gallon sized bag. I poured enough brine to cover it.
As for the rest of the brine, it went into a plastic bag and then into the freezer to use for the next time I want to brine some poultry.
Guy's Dry Rub Ingredients
Here are the ingredients Guy used if his dry rub that goes on after the brining is done.
- 1 tbsp Dry rubbed sage
- ½ tsp Garlic powder
- ½ tsp Onion powder
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp Dried oregano
- 1 tsp Dried thyme
- 1 Lemon, zested
- 1 tbsp Canola oil
How Long to Brine the Turkey Breast?
Guy calls for the turkey to be in it's brine for 12 hours.
This is where you have to time it right, so you also have to allow the rub to sit on the turkey for 4 hours - for a total of 16 hours inactive time.
If you want your turkey ready to go in the oven at 3pm, then you need to start the soak at 11pm, the previous day.
Don't feel stuck to these times. If you need to shorten the time, you can do so by a little, and I don't think it will make a huge difference. I end up going a little short of the 4 hours for the rub to sit.
What Temperature to Cook the Turkey Breast At?
Guy starts the turkey off at high temperature to brown it and then lower it for evening cooking. He says to flip it over after roasting at 425.
I did not think that was necessary. If the breast starts to get too brown you can always tent it with foil. I did not like the idea of trying to flip that thing mid-cooking.
Mine turns out perfectly fine, didn't even need to tent it.
How to Check the Temperature of the Turkey
A probe thermometer comes with a probe that goes right in the bird and you just wait until you hit the right temperature. Then you don't have to keep opening the door up, losing heat, and making the turkey take longer to cook.
The turkey breast came out moist and flavorful.
The brine added flavor to the interior of the meat. The rub didn't bring as much flavor punch as I would have liked.
Next time I would put it directly on the meat, not the skin, since we don't really eat the skin in our family, but if you do, by all means follow Guy's instructions.
One thing I will tell you it was a lot easier to brine a turkey breast than it is to brine a whole turkey!
Side Dishes to Make with This Turkey Breast
Guy Fieri's Foolproof Turkey Breast
- 1 bone-in turkey breast 6-7 pounds
Brine the turkey breast
- In a large pot combine all of the brine ingredients except the ice.
- Bring to just a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.
- Remove from the heat and add in the ice cubes.
- Place the fully defrosted turkey breast into two large gallon bags.
- Once the brine is completely cool , pour over the turkey breast. You may not need all the brine. Just enough to cover the entire breast.
- Refrigerate for 12 hours on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Place the bag inside another vessel in case it leaks at all.
To make the rub
- Combine all the rub ingredients minus the oil together in a small bowl. Mix well to combine.
- Remove the turkey from the brine and discard the brine. Carefully pat dry
- Rub the oil all over the outside of the turkey. Then rub the spice rub all over the skin. If you have extra you can put it in the cavity.
- Return to the fridge for another 4 hours.
To cook the turkey breast
- Remove the turkey from the fridge. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
- In a roasting pan with a rack, place the turkey breast side up and roast for 35 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 375 degrees. Insert the probe of your thermometer to monitor the temperature. We are looking for 165 degrees. It should take about 1 ½ hours or so.
- If turkey is browning too fast before interior is done you can gently cover it with aluminium foil.
- Allow the turkey to rest or 15 minutes before carving.
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