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Prepared for the simple solution to cook dinner moist turkey? Make Dry Brine Turkey!

roasted turkey with a dry brine

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Brining is the method of salting meat previous to cooking.

For turkey, plan on 24 hours of dry brining.

Have lower than 24 hours or want a conventional moist brine? Take a look at our moist Turkey Brine recipe.

dry brine turkey cooked on a platter

Why Brine at All?

Throughout brining, the construction of the meat transforms.

  • Salt attracts out the meat’s juices, dissolves into them, after which is reabsorbed.
  • As soon as reabsorbed, it breaks down the meat, making it extra tender.
  • Brining seasons the meat from inside so it has taste during, not simply on the surface.
  • Brined meat can higher retain moisture.

Consequence: an extremely juicy, tender turkey with succulent taste all through.

In case your turkey has dried out previously, doubtless you didn’t brine it (or didn’t brine it for lengthy sufficient or didn’t use sufficient salt)—otherwise you overcooked the turkey (155 to 160 levels F is the quantity; see How Lengthy to Cook dinner Turkey for particulars).

Now that I’ve (hopefully) satisfied you to brine, let’s discuss.

juicy dry brined turkey in a roasting pan

Moist vs. Dry Brine

For a brine, you will have two selections, a moist brine and a dry brine.

  • A moist brine entails submerging the turkey in a saltwater resolution that’s flavored with spices, herbs, and different aromatics like citrus peels for 12 to 24 hours. (That is the most effective moist brine turkey recipe).
  • For a dry brine, a mix of kosher salt and different herbs/spices is rubbed on the surface of the turkey, then allowed to take a seat on the pores and skin for twenty-four to 36 hours.

turkey with dry brine

Why Do a Dry Brine?

Every brining methodology has its execs and cons.

9 instances out of 10, I want a dry brine over a moist brine.

  • A dry brine is simpler than a moist brine. All you do is combine up the brine, then rub it on the turkey with the brine. There’s no fear about boiling, submerging, and so on.
  • A dry brine is much less messy than a moist brine. You don’t must pour gallons of liquid in or out of a inventory pot and bucket.
  • No particular gear. You’ll be able to brine the turkey proper on a daily rimmed baking sheet; no bucket or bag required.
  • No must rinse. Not like a moist brine, you don’t must rinse dry brine off of the turkey, saving you a messy step.

dry brined turkey on a roasting rack

The downsides to a dry brine are that it takes longer than a moist brine, and a few argue that dry brine turkey shouldn’t be *as* plump and moist as moist brine turkey.

  • Plan for no less than 24 hours of dry brining time. Should you solely have 12 hours, do a moist brine as an alternative.
  • So far as moisture goes, dry brine and moist brine each make EXCELLENT juicy, moist turkeys.
  • Moist brine is a bit more moist and plump; it’s as much as you to determine if the additional fuss is value it.


For a visible of dry brine vs. moist brine, see this Baked Rooster Breast put up. I examined each brining strategies and took a photograph of every so you’ll be able to evaluate them aspect by aspect.

ingredients for dry turkey brine

Dry Brine Substances

  • Turkey. As a result of you can be salting the turkey your self, be sure you begin with a chook that isn’t salted or seasoned in any means. Keep away from kosher turkeys, that are pre-salted, and self-basting turkeys, that are injected with a salt resolution.


Should you aren’t positive in case your turkey has been salted, simply verify the components. You shouldn’t see salt listed.

  • Kosher Salt. Sure, the kind of salt you utilize does matter. I used Morton kosher salt. Utilizing kosher salt is non-negotiable, as desk salt isn’t coarse sufficient and can make your turkey style metallic. Should you use Diamond Crystal model kosher salt, add an additional 1 ½ teaspoons per tablespoon of Morton’s.
  • Rosemary. Probably the greatest herbs with turkey! Chopped recent rosemary offers the turkey pores and skin a comfy, earthy taste that’s good for the season.
  • Lemon Zest. To present the turkey brightness. Lemon pairs effectively with rosemary.

dry brine in a bowl

The best way to Dry Brine a Turkey

  1. Thaw your turkey (see How Lengthy to Cook dinner a Turkey for suggestions).

dry brine ingredients

  1. Put together the brine combination.

dry brining a turkey

  1. Pat the turkey dry. Add a number of the brine to the within of the cavity, then rub the remaining brine on the surface.

dry brine turkey covered for brining

  1. Cowl the turkey with plastic wrap and place it within the fridge.

dry brined turkey

  1. Uncover the turkey 1 day earlier than cooking, permitting the pores and skin to dry. Let the turkey come to room temperature 1 hour earlier than cooking. ENJOY!

Meal Prep Tip

As much as 1 day earlier than brining the turkey, put together the brine combination as directed. Cowl and refrigerate the brine till you’re prepared to make use of it.

dry brined turkey roasted on a platter

roasted turkey with a dry brine

Did you make this recipe?

Let me know what you thought!

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Ceaselessly Requested Questions

How Lengthy Do I Have to Dry Brine a Turkey?

I like to recommend dry brining a turkey for no less than 24 hours. In case you have much less time, do a moist brine, which works in as few as 12 hours. If you wish to brine a turkey in 1 day, do a moist brine.

Does My Turkey Have to Be Thawed?

Thawed is finest when brining a turkey, as a result of you understand it is going to be absolutely thawed earlier than it goes within the oven, but when your turkey is shut and you continue to have 24 hours to go (which you must since you’re doing a dry brine), you’ll be able to actually brine a frozen turkey.

Do I Rinse Dry Brine Off of a Turkey?

No, dry brine doesn’t should be rinsed off of the turkey. It’s one more reason this dry-brined turkey recipe is simple! The salt you utilize for the brine may even taste the turkey because it cooks.

Can I Dry Brine a Turkey Breast?

Completely! Merely scale down the quantity of brine to fit your piece of meat. This dry brine works effectively with different cuts of meat too.

What Cooking Strategies Work with Dry Brine Turkey?

Any you want! Use this dry brine for roast turkey, smoked turkey, grilled turkey, or nevertheless you and your loved ones take pleasure in getting ready it.

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  • 1 14- to 16-pound turkey* thawed (see step 1 for steering)
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt** I exploit Morton’s
  • 1 ½ tablespoons minced recent rosemary
  • Zest of two small or 1 massive lemon Reserve the zested lemons for stuffing the turkey if desired
  • 4 to six Days Earlier than Cooking (relying upon weight) – Thaw Your Turkey (if wanted): Place the turkey within the fridge for twenty-four hours for each 5 kilos of turkey (that is 3 days thawing for a 15-pound chook). For sooner thawing, place the turkey in a chilly water bathtub and alter the water each half-hour. It will take about 8 hours for a 15-pound turkey.

  • 1 to 2 Days Earlier than Cooking – Brine the Turkey: In a small bowl, mix the salt, rosemary, and lemon zest. Take away the neck and giblets from the turkey and discard or maintain for gravy. With paper towels, pat very dry (you don’t want to rinse the turkey; this has a better probability of spreading micro organism than eradicating it). Switch the turkey to a rimmed baking sheet or shallow baking pan. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of the salt combination contained in the cavity.

  • Rub the remaining all around the outdoors of the turkey, together with below the wings and the legs, and concentrating particularly on the breast (no must salt the very bottom of the chook that’s touching the pan).

  • Cowl tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for twenty-four to 48 hours, till both the day earlier than or morning of cooking the turkey (the size will rely upon how early you began.)

  • 1 Day Earlier than or the Morning of Cooking – Let the Pores and skin Dry Out: Uncover the turkey, then return it to the fridge. Refrigerate uncovered for twenty-four hours, or till 1 hour earlier than cooking. This step dries the pores and skin, which is essential to ensure that it to crisp. The pores and skin will flip considerably translucent.

  • 1 Hour Earlier than Cooking – Let Come to Room Temperature: Take away the turkey from the fridge and let stand at room temperature (don’t brush off the brine). If you have not eliminated the plastic “service” connected to the legs, achieve this now. Cook dinner as desired. (Strategies for roasted turkey and spatchcock turkey coming quickly!).

  • IF YOUR TURKEY IS FROZEN: Flash-thaw the turkey in an ice-water bathtub. Submerge the turkey in water, making certain the water all the time stays between 33 levels F and 38 levels F. This course of will nonetheless take about 8 hours for a 15-pound turkey.
  • *MAKE SURE YOUR TURKEY IS NOT PRE-SALTED: Kosher turkeys (that are already salted) and pre-brined or pre-salted turkeys will probably be far too salty if dry-brined. Search for a pure or heritage turkey; in the event you aren’t positive, verify the ingredient checklist—you shouldn’t see added salt.
  • **USE KOSHER SALT: I used Morton’s kosher salt, which is coarser than desk salt and has a a lot cleaner taste. Don’t use desk salt, because it tastes metallic. If utilizing Diamond Crystal, use an extra 1 ½ teaspoons, as it’s coarser than Morton’s. Should you use a fantastic salt, use ¾ of the quantity referred to as for.
  • SCALING THE BRINE FOR A LARGER OR SMALLER TURKEY: In case your chook is smaller than 14 kilos or bigger than 16 kilos, comply with these tips: For each 5 kilos of turkey, use 1 tablespoon kosher salt, 1 ½ to 2- teaspoons recent herbs, the zest of ½ a small lemon, and ¼ teaspoon black pepper.
  • FRESH VS. DRIED HERBS: I completely advocate utilizing recent herbs for turkey brine and roasting. They’ve far superior taste and can make an enormous distinction in your outcomes; plus you want the sprigs for the cavity anyway. Should you should substitute dried, use one-third the quantity.
  • Diet data was calculated for a 14-pound turkey.
  • The whole time for this recipe can fluctuate primarily based on the scale of your turkey and whether or not or not it was absolutely thawed. 

Serving: 1(of 10); 1 14-pound turkey with dry brineEnergy: 636kcalCarbohydrates: 0.2gProtein: 98gFats: 25gSaturated Fats: 7gPolyunsaturated Fats: 7gMonounsaturated Fats: 8gTrans Fats: 0.3gLdl cholesterol: 325mgPotassium: 1013mgFiber: 0.1gSugar: 0.3gVitamin A: 262IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 53mgIron: 4mg

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