T-Shirt Turkey? Vom Fass says it’s the Secret to Success



This turkey recipe comes from Vom Fass Owner Kim Weiss. Her secret ingredient? Using a t-shirt in the cooking process to ensure her bird stays moist.

Don’t you love the holidays? Good food and family. During my childhood, my grandmother and my aunts would literally cook for days to make a meal that would be devoured in 15 minutes! Now, I cook for my much smaller family, but I still eagerly anticipate the devouring part of the program, which still only takes about 15 minutes.

So, let’s talk turkey. It is a traditional staple of many holiday meals, but it is rarely what it should be; moist, evenly done and flavorful.

Here is my recipe for a moist, evenly done turkey, guaranteed every time:

Oiled Turkey


  • 1 fresh, defrosted turkey
  • 1 1/2 cups coarse kosher salt
  • Fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • Tepid water, enough to cover turkey
  • Avocado oil or peanut oil
  • 1 stock pot or 1 small, clean cooler
  • 1 t-shirt


  • Once your turkey is defrosted, remove the organs and neck from the cavity.
  • Rinse the bird thoroughly, inside and out. Inspect and remove any remaining pin feathers.
  • In a large stock pot, add kosher salt and enough tepid water to cover the turkey.
  • Place the turkey head down in the stock pot, cover and place back in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours but not more than 48 hours.
  • If your turkey is too big or your stock pot is too small, use a small clean cooler and place ice in with the bird so that it stays cold.
  • Check the cooler every few hours to make sure it doesn't need more ice.
  • Remove the turkey from the brining liquid and discard the liquid.
  • Rinse the turkey again, both inside and out.
  • Pat it dry with a paper towel.
  • Coat the turkey with avocado oil or peanut oil.
  • Liberally apply freshly ground pepper of your choice, but don't add salt (the turkey is already salty because of the brining process.)
  • Preheat your oven to 450 F.
  • Put the turkey breast up in an open roasting pan on top of a rack.
  • Take a clean t-shirt and cut out the back so that it is one continuous piece of fabric.
  • Soak the t- shirt in the same oil you used on the turkey.
  • Place the oil-soaked t-shirt over the breast and tops of the legs.
  • Put the turkey in the oven, and immediately turn the oven temperature down to 350 F.
  • Using a turkey baster, baste over the t-shirt every half hour or so.
  • You may have to use low-sodium chicken broth to baste until the turkey has produced enough juices of its own.
  • Bake for 15 to 18 minutes per pound of turkey.
  • About a half hour prior to your estimated done time, peek under the t-shirt to make sure the skin is turning golden.
  • If the skin isn't browning to your liking, then take the t-shirt off for the last half hour of baking.
  • When you remove the turkey from the oven, let it rest for at least 15 minutes before carving.

First, most turkeys available to us have been frozen. Whether it’s flash frozen (which means quickly frozen and quickly thawed as well) or frozen as hard as a bowling ball, you have to buy your turkey with sufficient time to spare to allow it to thaw before you brine it. Allow three days for a fully frozen (bowling ball style) turkey to defrost in your refrigerator. Please do not defrost by simply leaving the turkey out on the counter or sink or in any other variation thereof. Allow at least one day to defrost a “fresh” turkey (fresh turkeys are typically flash frozen).



About Author

Born and raised in south Georgia, Casey moved to Colorado after graduating college and has now settled in Jackson, where she loves to snowboard, hike and water-ski. She's a true southern food junkie, but loves every type of food (there's nothing she won't eat) and will try anything once. A lifelong love of food combined with a Journalism degree made her realize she could combine her two passions which led her to the position of Editorial Assistant. She loves hot sauce and anything pickled, and you'll always find her on the hunt for the perfect Bloody Mary.

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