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How to Dry Brine a Turkey

By • November 11, 2013 • 3 Comments

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The turkey is the star of a classic Thanksgiving table. And, like a real-life celebrity, turkey can be fussy, difficult, and a general drama queen. But when it's good, it's really good. From the fight for the drumsticks to the final snap of the wishbone, Turkey Day just isn't complete without...well...its namesake. 

More: Still in search of the perfect bird? We've got your back.

So the pressure is on. How to be the hero of your Thankgiving? It's called The Dry Brine, and while it may sound like a 50's-era dance move, it's actually the secret to a juicy, crisp-skinned turkey, every time. And, unlike it's wetter cousin, The Dry Brine involves minimal mess, stress, and fridge space, which is the ultimate premium around the holidays.

So what are you waiting for? Get your dry brine on.  

Video by Kyle Orosz

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Tags: videos, how-to and DIY, dry brine, turkey, thanksgiving

Comments (3)

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11 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

I have less horizontal than vertical real estate in my fridge during Thanksgiving Week, so I put my dry brined turkey in a bag in a narrow stock pot until the night before. I put the lid on as there is usually room on top for something else. On Wednesday night, I put the turkey in a bowl to dry, but pour off any liquid that accumulates several times, patting the bird dry. (I always roast a small hen, so this might not work for those who are roasting much larger birds.) ;o)

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11 months ago iwilk

I've seen a lot of instructions for dry brine that tell you to rinse off the salt with water before cooking. Is this true? If so seems like you would need another day of drying to get the crisp skin.

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11 months ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

Would you ever put sugar in your dry brine? I'm really curious about the photo that accompanies the provisions brining mix: http://food52.com/provisions... One would think that putting sugar (or, eventually, a sugar-salt syrup, because the moisture will dissolve the sugar) all over the outside of the bird would wreak havoc on the roasting process. I.e., the skin would be affected, especially if roasting at very high heat. Thanks! ;o)