Russ Parsons' Dry-Brined Turkey (a.k.a. The Judy Bird)

By • November 15, 2011 • 329 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe won a turkey taste test with staff of the L.A. Times Food Section in 2006 and Russ Parsons, the Food Editor at the paper, has been writing about it every Thanksgiving since. The technique is inspired by chef Judy Rodgers, who dry brines the famous roast chicken (and just about everything else) at Zuni Café in San Francisco, but never a turkey. Parsons decided to try it and found, not only does it work -- it comes out perfectly juicy and crisp, with none of the sponginess that you sometimes get with wet-brined birds. He tests a new variation each year, and slashes steps he decides aren't important. He's grilled the brined turkey, and added herbs and spices to the salt -- but his most genius discovery is that you can brine a frozen bird as it's defrosting. And why wouldn't you? Genius Recipes

Serves 11-15

  • One 12- to 16-pound turkey (frozen is fine)
  • Kosher salt
  • Herbs and/or spices to flavor the salt (optional -- see suggestions in step 1)
  • Melted butter for basting (optional)
  1. Wash the turkey inside and out, pat it dry and weigh it. Measure 1 tablespoon of salt -- we used Diamond Crystal -- into a bowl for every 5 pounds the turkey weighs (for a 15-pound turkey, you'd have 3 tablespoons). You can flavor the salt with herbs and spices if you like -- try smoked paprika and orange zest, bay leaf and thyme, or rosemary and lemon zest. Grind together with the salt in a spice grinder, small food processor, or mortar and pestle.
  2. Sprinkle the inside of the turkey lightly with salt. Place the turkey on its back and salt the breasts, concentrating the salt in the center, where the meat is thickest. You'll probably use a little more than a tablespoon.
  3. Turn the turkey on one side and sprinkle the entire side with salt, concentrating on the thigh. You should use a little less than a tablespoon. Flip the turkey over and do the same with the opposite side.
  4. Place the turkey in a 2 1/2-gallon sealable plastic bag, press out the air and seal tightly. (If you can't find a resealable bag this big, you can use a turkey oven bag, but be prepared for it to leak.) Place the turkey breast-side up in the refrigerator. Chill for 3 days, turning it onto its breast for the last day. Rub the salt around once a day if you remember.
  5. Remove the turkey from the bag. There should be no salt visible on the surface and the skin should be moist but not wet. Place the turkey breast-side up on a plate and refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours.
  6. On the day it is to be cooked, remove the turkey from the refrigerator and leave it at room temperature at least 1 hour. Preheat the oven to 425° F.
  7. Pat it dry one last time and baste with melted butter, if using. Place the turkey breast-side down on a roasting rack in a roasting pan; put it in the oven. After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and carefully turn the turkey over so the breast is facing up (it's easiest to do this by hand, using kitchen towels or oven mitts).
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 325° F, return the turkey to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted in the deepest part of the thigh, but not touching the bone, reads 165° F, about 2 3/4 hours total roasting. Note that because a dry-brined turkey cooks more quickly than one that hasn't been brined, it's best to check the temperature early with this recipe -- it may be done faster than you think!
  9. Remove the turkey from the oven, transfer it to a warm platter or carving board; tent loosely with foil. Let stand at least 30 minutes to let the juices redistribute through the meat. Carve and serve.
Jump to Comments (329)

Comments (329) Questions (29)

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12 days ago caroline0ne

I am brining a 12 lb turkey this way and wanted to roast it like a chicken with onions, carrots and celery. Will this make the veggies too salty?

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18 days ago Wasel Choi

Hi everyone! How was your brine & roasted turkey this year? Let us share, here is mine: https://medium.com/culinary... Happy Holidays!!

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18 days ago dipity

Thank you very much to everyone that generously gave of their time to respond to questions posted. This is my second turkey using this recipe and there will be a third and fourth... My biggest challenge with this recipe is determining the cooking time. I have an oven temperature probe but I am not skilled in putting in the right place :-) But with this year's experience I will try this formula next year. At 6 minutes per pound cook time check the turkey. Total cook time is usually between 6 to 7 minutes per pound.

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18 days ago Leith Devine

I'm glad your turkey turned out so well!

Stringio

20 days ago Judy,Goldberg

This was AMAZING! Mine 19 pounder was done in 2/5 hours start to finish. I checked it with three different thermometers because it seemed so improbable. It was totally, perfectly cooked. Moist. Flavorful. And looked gorgeous!

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20 days ago mk

absolutely the best turkey i have ever made. my only comment is WATCH the bird. it cooks much quicker than you think it should or would. so much better than a wet brine. turkey was flavorful, not dry and not mushy(like the wet brine can make it)

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21 days ago Deb

This came out as best turkey ever. I probably had 24 hours less than the recipe (started on Monday rather than Sunday). Used an 18.5 pound bird. Took out after the 2.5 hours at 325, and it probably should have been checked at 2 hours, it cooked that fast. But it still was moist and delicious and the turkey skin was great. Will use this method from now on

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21 days ago Agnes

my turkey came out amazing! it was moist and flavorful. my turkey was slighly frozen when i started the brine, but it worked out great!

Stringio

21 days ago Burchie

do you suggest covering the turkey with tinfoil once it's breast side-up?

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21 days ago Wasel Choi

Only when you are done cooking with your turkey, as in last step before serving, cover it with foil and let it stand for at least 30 minutes. This will allow the juices to redistribute so it stays in the bird and not leak out - Happy Thanksgiving.

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21 days ago Chani Becker

Should I add stock/water to the bottom of the roasting pan to prevent the fat from burning during roasting? Will need good drippings for gravy.

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21 days ago Aimee

Any ideas on the cook time for a 25 pound turkey?

Miglore

21 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Hi Aimee, I know this thread is long, but check out my response to Rogan below.

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21 days ago Aimee

Thanks for such a quick reply! Happy thanksgiving!

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21 days ago Linda

I forgot to flip the bird back over so that it is breast side up again, and also to uncover it for a day. Now I'm about to roast it. What might happen?

Miglore

21 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

It will be fine! Just pat the skin dry well with paper towels.

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22 days ago Melissa clements

I only have 2 days before cooking. Can I still use this recipe?
I also want to use stuffing. Is that possible with this one?

Miglore

22 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Yes, you can do both, but the stuffing needs to reach 165 degrees F, which will mean the turkey's temperature will be higher (but it will be somewhat protected from overcooking by the brining). I would undersalt the stuffing a little.

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22 days ago creamtea

When I take it out of the bag tonight to dry the skin, do I cover it with anything? Damp towel, paper towels? Or just open air?

Miglore

22 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I'm sorry I missed this! Just open air is best, to dry the skin out and help it crisp.

Stringio

22 days ago Kim Wahl

Can you rotisserie instead of baking

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22 days ago Leith Devine

Yes! It works out fine, just need to watch the temp.

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22 days ago Chani Becker

Is butter really the best bet before roasting or would oil be better?

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22 days ago Leith Devine

Up to you...I use some herb butter under the skin and then put cheesecloth soaked in broth and butter over it, like a basting blanket. Take it off 1/2 hour before the turkey is done and the skin is amazing.

Stringio

22 days ago Judy,Goldberg

Can anyone tell me how long I should cook my 19 pound turkey for?

Miglore

22 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Hi Judy, just responded on the Hotline, but I'll share my answer here too: it's best with this recipe to check the internal temperature early (I'd start checking at 2 hours), because it does cook much faster than non-brined birds. It's well-protected from the brining if you do overcook it, but still better to err on the side of caution.

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22 days ago Robin Strecker

Ugh I wet bribed my turkey this am before I read this article. .:( ...oh well I'll have to try this next year. Happy turkey day to all!

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22 days ago Ryan

Running behind... can I still do this recipe (salt etc) with the bird currently defrosted? It's 3pm on Wednesday.

Miglore

22 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Yes, it will still be helpful to salt it now -- check out my answer to Rob Reisley below.

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22 days ago Leith Devine

Yes, you can...I'd put it on a rack overnight. You can mix the salt with 2 TB of baking powder to help give the turkey a crisp skin. You can also add herbs, zest etc. Good luck!

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22 days ago frank

Bought my turkey popsicle Sunday. Brined it last night. Ground up sea salt, thyme, sage, and lemon zest. What an aroma! Still pretty frozen. Could not even get the giblets out. Noticed my fridge was on 5 so I moved it to 4. I do not recommend slider bags unless you can't find anything else. Was tricky getting a 12 pounder in a 2.5 gal. And could not get all the air out. But I think it'll be all right...

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23 days ago Jamiko Rose

I made this turkey for friends last night and it was the most succulent, delicious turkey I have ever had. Thanks so much!

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23 days ago dipity

2 more questions:
#1 can I put onion, carrots and celery under the turkey rack or will it burn? I saw some other recipe that suggested adding 1 cup of water but I think that will result in non-crispy skin.
#2. Do I use bake, convection bake or roast setting? I think I used Roast setting last year and the turkey cooked very fast.

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22 days ago Leith Devine

I always put some veggies and broth in the bottom of the roasting pan...the skin turns out fine. The dry brined turkey does cook faster, so watch your internal temperature. Convection bake cooks faster than regular the roast setting and surrounds the pan with heat.

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22 days ago creamtea

I always put water in the pan for both turkeys and chickens. You want the meat moist and juice and you don't want the juices to burn; makes for a nice basis for pan gravy too. I'm going to try Michael Ruhlman's broiler method to crisp the skin this year.

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22 days ago dipity

Should I stick with Convection Roast setting? :-)

Miglore

21 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Go for it, but keep an eye on the internal temperature, as Leith said. If it's browning too quickly, you can always cover with foil.

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23 days ago Lisa

Is it ok if the water in the bag is a little pink? My turkey was sir chilled which meant more frozen than I thought it would be. I let it sit in a cold water bath for a couple of hours yesterday before I salted it. When I did this last year I don't remember the water being pink...

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23 days ago Leith Devine

It's probably because it was a little frozen. Don't worry about it.

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23 days ago dipity

My turkey has been brining since Sunday night. Though I patted it dry I noticed there is liquid in the bag, probably from continued defrosting. Should I drain this liquid off?

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23 days ago Leith Devine

No, you don't need to. Massage the salt in every day, and on Wednesday night, remove it from the bag and put in the refrigerator overnight for really crispy skin.
Good luck!

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23 days ago dipity

Thanks! Hope you don't mind another really dumb question... I don't quite understand the concept of massaging the salt in... At this point the salt is all melted and not visible... So I just massage right?

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23 days ago Leith Devine

No dumb questions! Keep massaging it because the salt will keep being absorbed deeper into the turkey.

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24 days ago NotEnoughMomentsOfBrilliance

After the initial salting, how much salt should you do if you remember to do it for the next few days? The same amount? 1tbl per 5lb?

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24 days ago olygirl

Hi there, if I understand your question correctly, you don't add any more salt than during the initial set up. I just take it out everyday and give it a little massage and redistribute the salt into any nooks and crannies you might've missed.

Stringio

24 days ago Stephanie Mhoon Lendecky

I have a roaster that sits on my counter. Would the temperature be the same on that as the oven for this?

Miglore

24 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Stephanie, I'm sorry to say I'm not sure about this -- if you typically set the roaster to match oven temperatures, it should be fine, but I'd keep a close eye on the internal temperature: cover the turkey with foil if it's getting dark too quickly, or turn up the heat if it's not browning enough before cooking through, etc.

Stringio

23 days ago Stephanie Mhoon Lendecky

Thank you!

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24 days ago Rob Reisley

thanks!

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24 days ago Rob Reisley

Is it worthwhile using this recipe if you only have 24 hours for brining?

Miglore

24 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Yes, it will still be great, just a little less protected from overcooking, so you'll want to keep a good eye on the internal temperature as you're roasting.

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22 days ago Rob Reisley

Cooking time for 25 lbs?

Miglore

21 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Hi Rob, check out my response to Rogan below.

Stringio

24 days ago Burchie

I just brought home my 17 lb turkey and have decided to use thyme, bay leaves and orange zest with my drine brine. Does anyone have feedback about using fresh herbs as opposed to dry ones?

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24 days ago olygirl

Hi, you've probably already started, but I've used both in past years with minimal difference in taste. I'll still always throw in some sage or rosemary and lemon or orange zest, but I've not noticed a major difference in taste in past years. I think this recipe is all about the way the turkey sort of cures in the salt for a few days that makes it so great with it's moist meat and crispy skin. Hope you enjoy as much as we do!

Stringio

25 days ago TexanMaom

Yes, I did put it in a giant ziploc bag and sealed it tight as i could. It's not skin tight bc the bag turned out to be too large for a 21 lb. turkey but i did press out as much air as possible. I can go put a big twist tie on it if it needs to be really tight. Ok. I thought I would need to redo it, which, I will be glad to do if it needs it bc I am REALLY looking forward to this and I do not want to mess it up. :)

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24 days ago olygirl

You should be fine. I've left mine with a fair amount of room around the bird in the past, mainly because it's hard to maneuver a 20 pound bird in a bag by myself! It's worked fine every time. This recipe really is fairly fool proof...and I should know! :) Enjoy!

Stringio

25 days ago TexanMaom

Thank yo for answering! So, just to be clear- should I wipe off all the salt and herbs and do it again in 24 hours after it has defrosted a tiny bit?

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25 days ago Leith Devine

Just guessing here, but I'd leave them on, because as the turkey defrosts it should absorb the salt. As the skin gets more defrosted, you can add the salt to any places where it wouldn't stick before. I'd make sure the turkey is in a pan because you'll get more water/juices as it defrosts. Did you put it in a bag? If so, keep massaging the salt in so it can absorb.

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24 days ago olygirl

Yes, just leave on what you put on initially and rub it around every day. No need to add more seasoning if you added the correct amount initially. Enjoy!

Stringio

25 days ago TexanMaom

I don't know if I just created a problem or not... I brought my turkey home (21.10 lbs.) and it is frozen solid. I kept thinking to myself that I could still do this dry brining even though it is frozen BUT then I could not get inside to sprinkle it with the salt/ herb mix. All I could do was sprinkle a little bit of plain salt through the frozen back end which had been trussed with a plastic "truss tie". Ugh. Did I just ruin this bird because i did not partially defrost it first... I am SO worried!

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25 days ago Leith Devine

I'd put it in the refrigerator overnight and the rest of tomorrow and try again. It takes some time for a frozen bird to defrost, but if the outside is partially defrosted you should be OK. The rest of the bird will defrost during the week. You can stuff the inside with lemon, herbs etc. when you get ready to cook it. I looked it up and should take 4 days to defrost. Remove the giblets when you can. Don't run it under warm water! Good luck.

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25 days ago Beth Cote

Can I do this with a turkey breast instead of a whole turkey?

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25 days ago Leith Devine

To add to where are the big plastic bags? I just found Cook's brand at Safeway. They're called brining bags, and they're quite large and reasonably priced.

Stringio

25 days ago TexanMaom

I forgot to add this on my other post sorry. XL ((24 x20) ziplocs hold 10 gal. and Jumbo (24 x32) ziploc bags hold 20 gal. and they are very heavy duty so no leaks. Also, Plenty large enough for 20++ bird. Going to do my bird now bc it is frozen. First time in years I have been this excited to get a turkey done. Onward and upward! ;)

Stringio

25 days ago TexanMaom

FYI everyone- I did Just find XXL Ziploc bags at Target and they carry the whole line of huge bags from ziploc - plus the seal is really nice on them. It appears they will be more than large enough. Yea! No traffic to go to WFoods! They are bombed with people - no thanks.

Stringio

25 days ago TexanMaom

Oh my, thank you all for your help! If I cut my turkey up I would never hear the end of it. Lol. Next year I would REALLY like to grill this dry brined bird but this year it's going to be too cold so in the oven it will go. You know, I do shop at Whole Foods for the things that count like meat and produce and I didn't see any. I will call right now to see if they have some here in NJ. Thanks again! Food 52 ROCKS. I never sign up for forums bc I am so busy but I was so over the moon with this recipe and everyone is SO nice here I couldn't resist! Happy Thanksgivng everyone! :)

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25 days ago martacamer

They have HUGE turkey brining bags at Whole Foods and Williams-Sonoma , but I think there is a super large size of Ziploc that may work.....

Stringio

26 days ago TexanMaom

I have a 20 lb. Turkey frozen that I am going to do this FAB recipe with. Holy smokes I am so excited to try this I can't wait!! I am totally convinced after reading this that there will be NO MORE wet brining for me! I always dread it bc it is SUCH a mess AND hassle! I have one dilemma and that is what size ziploc bag should I use for a 20lb bird or how many gallons should I need in order to place the 20lb. bird into the bag and seal it.? (Cant find a brining bag anywhere) Is a 3 gallon size large enough bc it doesn't look like it.... Anyone have experience with this? Oh, I hope someone sees this...as I am starting tomorrow. Thank you so much I really appreciate your help!

Stringio

26 days ago Gigi Petery

I used a 20 lb bird last year with this recipe. What I did was to cut the turkey at the joints, so I had the legs, thighs, wings, and the breast, which I kept whole. I could not find the large ziplock bags either, so I used roasting bags. I divided the seasoned pieces between the bags and put them in the produce drawers in the fridge (obviously emptying the drawers of produce first). I was only able to brine for 2 days, but it was fine. I followed the cooking instructions from Epicurious' Deconstructed Turkey recipe. It cooked super fast (around 1.5 hrs) and was easy to carve. Amazingly moist and flavorful!

Stringio

26 days ago Gigi Petery

Also, I use the back of the turkey, supplemented with chicken carcasses, to make stock for the gravy.

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25 days ago Leith Devine

I found giant ziplock bags that can be used for food or storage. I think I got them at Target. For the past few years, I roast two small turkeys instead of one large one. You can use two bags at either end or wrap it in plastic wrap. Make sure to put the turkey in a dish to catch any drips.

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25 days ago anne7hall

I have made this recipe the last 3 years and it is amazing! I just found big ziploc bags at Target...look for the L or the XL size bags. The XLs are big, but they fold over nicely.

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26 days ago Suzanne Kay

What roasting temperature and cooking time should be used with a convection oven?

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25 days ago Gerard

Until the internal temp of the dark meat reaches 165º.

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26 days ago Sara Brackenbury

2 Questions:
What would be the best proportions of rosemary and lemon zest per 5lbs?
Any thoughts about stuffing or not-stuffing the dry-brined bird with onions, etc?

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25 days ago Leith Devine

I use about a tsp of herbs etc. per TB of salt.

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25 days ago Leith Devine

And I stuff the cavity with herbs, celery, onions and cut lemons.

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27 days ago Melanie

Has anyone cooked a turkey on a Big Green Egg with this recipe?

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26 days ago Leith Devine

No, but my husband has done it on a Traeger smoker and it turns out great. We do two turkeys....one in the oven, one bacon wrapped on the smoker. I dry them both first.

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26 days ago Leith Devine

dry brine!

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27 days ago Arby

I have a 24 lb turkey this year. I've always done wet brining, which seems to accelerate the cooking process. If I do the dry brining process how long should I expect the cooking time to be...approximately.

Miglore

27 days ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Arby, it looks like Rogan, who commented below, had a 25-pound bird that finished in about 3 hours -- it's best with this recipe to check early, because it does cook so much faster than non-brined birds. It's well-protected from the brining if you do overcook it, but still better to err on the side of caution.

Stringio

28 days ago Richard Johnson

How early can I start the brining process? Step 5 says, "at least 8 hours". Is there a no more than " " hours? and the while in the bag for 3 days is that min or max? Thanks for your help!

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28 days ago Wasel Choi

I would say min. 3 days! Marination is crucial, so less days of marinating means less marination in your meat! So it depends on your test. There is always a way to tweak and figure out things by your own. Same goes to "at least 8 hours."
When you are cooking, when you are preparing your meal, you are into it, you are into art and art has no a limited number or time. Happy Thanksgiving.

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28 days ago Lea Steinberger

I was going to do my turkey with a bacon and herb paste that goes under the skin. Could I do the dry brine and still do the paste or would it be too salty?

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27 days ago Leith Devine

Sounds yummy....I still use an herb butter under the skin, but bacon is saltier. Maybe cut down on the bacon?

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29 days ago Das_Muller

I'm thinking about trying the smoked paprika and orange zest combo. Can anyone recommend how much I should use per tbsp of salt?

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27 days ago Leith Devine

I usually eyeball the amount of the extras I add in, but I'd guess it's about 1 tsp per TB. of salt. It depends on how strong you want the flavor to be. Personally, I'd add more zest than paprika, because a little smoked paprika goes a long way. I use herbs, lemon zest, paprika etc.

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30 days ago Parisxtina

I'm planning on cooking a 20+ lb turkey. If I can't find a ziploc bag big enough to fit my bird, would it work to wrap it in plastic wrap instead for the brining?

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30 days ago olygirl

I wouldn't recommend it. During the process, a surprising amount of liquid is expelled then reabsorbed back into the meat, that's part of what makes it so tasty. I'd be afraid that wrapping it in plastic wrap would be messy and you'd risk losing the brine. This time of year especially, most markets should have either brining bags or baking bags available. I know Bed Bath and Beyond carries brining bags and last year I used a Reynolds Baking Bag, which I found at my local supermarket. Hope that helps!

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30 days ago olygirl

I should've added that I've used both types of bags the past two years for 20+ pound birds and both were plenty big enough.

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29 days ago fuck-you

Use an oven bag like this: http://www.pickyourownchristmastree...

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about 1 month ago Leith Devine

Yes, the drippings can be salty. I make gravy beforehand. Roast turkey wings and legs with herbs and onions, and use those drippings to make gravy that's finished before Thanksgiving gets crazy! I don't know about the shorter cooking time...my turkeys seem to take the regular (unstuffed) time, but I've been using this recipe since it first came out in the LA Times.

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about 1 month ago Pammorgan

I had a pre Thanksgiving meal last night since my family is out of town for the real day. I made this turkey for the 2nd year in a row. It was so moist and flavorful. Just to let everyone know though, that the turkey takes half the time to cook than a regular bird. I had a 19 pound bird and it
took only 3 hours!!! Also, my drippings were very salty; so make sure to make adjustments if you're using your drippings for gravy. I had to add abt 2 cups of low sodium chicken broth to the drippings to reduce the saltiness. Plus I whisked in some butter as well.

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about 1 month ago willfith

Are you supposed to baste with this recipe?

Miglore

about 1 month ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

See step 7 -- it's optional, and it will be juicy and crisp even if you don't baste at all.

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about 1 month ago JDart

Do you think you can brine it for longer? I.E. if i get it at the farmers market on Saturday or Sunday, I can brine it for 4-5 days? Or will it be too long? Thoughts? Suggestions?

Miglore

about 1 month ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

If you're getting it at the farmer's market, presumably it will be very fresh, and the salt helps act as a preservative too. I'd go for Sunday just to be extra safe, if you can.

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about 1 month ago Leith Devine

Yes, it will. Kosher refers to how the bird was treated as it was brought to market. The only turkey it wouldn't be great on is Butterball, which injected with a salt water solution already.

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about 1 month ago Deb

This may defeat the brining purpose but would this work on a kosher turkey?

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about 1 month ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Kosher turkeys are already salted, so it would probably make the turkey way too salty.

Miglore

about 1 month ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I've actually tested this on kosher turkeys before and didn't find the results too salty -- neither process is very heavy-handed with the salt.

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about 1 month ago Leith Devine

The drying out process makes the skin crispy and incredible! The pre-salt keeps the breasts moist and juicy.

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about 1 month ago susan

Jana, I had this same issue last year and just dry brined bird and left uncovered in fridge overnight. (Basically steps 5 and 6.) It was moist and delicious!

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about 1 month ago Beth

I only make turkey breasts since no one in my family likes the dark meat. How should I adjust this recipe?

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about 1 month ago Leith Devine

Just follow the directions for the amount of salt per pound of turkey you're using so you don't oversalt, then proceed as written. It will be the same and taste great!

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about 1 month ago Wasel Choi

Folks, I truly recommend The Judy Bird. Judy left and left us with a true invention of new Turkey that you won't forget ever! I contacted Russ Parsons last year and I would not have made my first turkey without his talent, check it out: https://medium.com/culinary...
Happy Thanksgiving

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about 1 month ago Jana Everett

I ordered my turkey for an early-Thanksgiving celebration this weekend and it won't arrive until the day before. Can I change something in this recipe to have it work over a shorter timeline?

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about 1 month ago Wasel Choi

I believe it would be best to receive it three days earlier. If you can adjust the arrival time that would be awesome!

Stringio

about 1 month ago Gigi Petery

Yes, this would work as spatchcocked. I used the dry brine last year on a cut up turkey - brined the pieces for 2-3 days, the roasted the pieces for a little more than an hour . Turned out amazing! Moist and full of flavor. I can't wait to make it again this year!

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about 1 month ago Leith Devine

Sure, why not? The point of the dry brine is to keep the meat moist and I'm sure it would work if you spatchcock the bird. I love this recipe and have been using it since it was first published. I add fresh herbs and lemon zest to the salt.

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about 1 month ago zoemetro uk

Thanks Leith! I completely agree. I love the idea of lemon and herbs in the salt. We have been using Zuni chicken recipe for every roast since I tried it a couple of years ago. And you just gave me an idea--I am going to try the chicken recipe--but spatchcocked--this Sunday and see what happens. Thank you again.

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about 1 month ago Leith Devine

BTW, I stuff the cavity with lemons, celery and onions, and sometimes fennel. For cooking spatchcocking the bird, I'd layer the bottom of the pan with celery, lemons etc to make a natural "rack". The pan juices will be amazing! Throw some chicken broth in the bottom so it doesn't burn. :)

Miglore

about 1 month ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Food52er AntoniaJames actually wrote a great recipe combining the two techniques! https://food52.com/recipes...

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about 1 month ago zoemetro uk

Is this recipe spatchcock-able? It seems to be the new thing this season.

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about 1 month ago Wasel Choi

It is not new for this season but new in the sense of Judy' recipe of her dry-brining turkey in 1980s. It became nationally popular since she started it from her restaurant, Zuni Café, in San Francisco.

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11 months ago juicyrebound1

In agreement with Deanna, easiest and best bird ever and the gravy was the tastiest I have ever had. It was a bit of an arm-wrestling match to get people to pass it at table.

Stringio

12 months ago Kristen Dandar

AHHH-MAZING!!! This was the best turkey I've ever eaten!! I cannot believe I cooked it myself! I dried some fresh orange peel in my dehydrator and mixed it with my sea salt and Earth's Pride Organics all purpose seasoning from BJ's and it was great!

For those of you who couldn't find a bag big enough, I used a medium size SPACE BAG (https://www.spacebag.com) and vacuumed all of the air out!

I was even more aggressive with my high heat. I had a bird just under 16 pounds. I started it out at 500 degrees for 30 minutes and only turned it down to 375 degrees (we were baking brownies at the same time). I was a little worried the higher temp. might be too much, but it still came out perfect and the whole thing was roasted in about 2 hours and 20 minutes!!!

Even the leftovers where moist and delicious! My husband who doesn't usually eat leftover turkey because he doesn't like the dry texture gobbled up the leftovers. Best turkey recipe ever!!!!

I put the carcass and bones in my slow cooker overnight and I also have AHHH-MAZING turkey bone broth! SCORE!!!

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about 1 year ago Rogan

I only got my brine in for 30 hours and it was still perfect - moist and delicious. We had a 25 pound bird and it was done in 3 hours - thank god I checked it often or I would have overcooked it. This was the first time in years we sat down to Thanksgiving dinner before 7pm…everyone raved.

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about 1 year ago deanna1001

It's everything promised and more. I stuffed the bird and roasted according to a 1980 Bon Appetit cover article with Craig Claiborne and Pierre Franey...been using their jalapeno cornbread stuffing and cooking procedures for 30 years with never a complaint. But this bird really tasted superior. Made great gravy too - didn't need any additional seasoning. Just perfect. Will never wet brine again. Thank you cooking gods (and food 52) for this!

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about 1 year ago Ln

A great, simple method of dry brining. Not messy or time consuming at all. Turkey turned out moist and great flavor. I used lemon rinds and rosemary with the salt. We'd had a 10 lb bird and cooked within 2 hours with no stuffing. However, I did put in an apple, onion, and half a lemon. This is a keeper!

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about 1 year ago joanne

I had said that if this did not work for me that I was never making another turkey. Myself and family said that it was the best turkey they have ever tasted. It was very easy to do really and I did not put it breast side down to start it off I just roasted it at 325. It took about 3 1/2 hours and then we let it set for 45 minutes really awsome recipe. Another thing is I did not stuff my turkey (this was also a first) I cooked my home made dressing in a crock pot worked great and freed up my oven.

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about 1 year ago dipity

This is a keeper. I will be preparing my turkey this way from here on in. Here are some notes on my experiences:
- My turkey was a 13 lbs. Diestel Natural Turkey from Whole Foods
- I too had a hard time finding a 2 1/2 gallon sealable plastic bag. If someone has a brand and source please share. I was otherwise very lucky because the butcher at Whole Foods gave me a bag that totally worked. My husband suggested using a garbage bag, but I could not get past the word garbage.
- Since the instruction said "roast" not "bake". I used the Thermador Convection Roast setting. I was also using the oven's temperature probe to control the timing. The temperature probe in the thigh reached 165 degrees in just 1 hour. Since this was far shorter than the 2 3/4 hours stated in the instruction, I took out the probe and continued roasting without the probe (because I thought I must not have inserted the probe properly). Fortunately I decided to check the thigh temperature using an instant read thermometer after 15 minutes. At that time the thigh temperature was way over 165 (I don't remember the exact number). So my total roasting time was 30 minutes at 425 degrees and 1 hours 15 minutes at 325 degrees.
- since the turkey was done too early, I decided to tent the turkey while on the counter. I think this is a mistake as the skin lost its crispiness.
- in spite of the high thigh temperature, the breast was VERY moist. I'm a white meat person, so I forgot to taste the dark meat. :-)
THANK YOU FOOD52 for this recipe. Although the instructions seems lengthy and complicated at first glance, I actually think that it is easier than what I was doing before. My previous method requires that I separate the skin from the meat and brine that way. AND it requires that the salt be washed off. The washing and drying after brining is VERY challenging for me. As was brining between the skin and meat without tearing the skin.
Again, MANY THANKS for this!

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about 1 year ago Wasel Choi

Thank you food52, thank you everyone for helping me to make my first turkey! You can read my experience at medium.com/p/623ee848d62a

Happy Thanksgiving

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about 1 year ago Alyssa

5 stars!! I made this for Thanksgiving dinner, 17.7 pound bird and followed the 15 pound recipe in terms of how much salt to use. I was fearful of the meat tasting too salty, but it was perfect! It was moist, but without a strange brined texture. The only thing was that the kitchen filled with a bit of smoke during the roasting time. I would definitely make this every year, way better than wet brining. Also, I used two garbage bags to wrap the bird because we didn't have ziplocs or roasting bags big enough.

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about 1 year ago Susan Perlow

Excellent recipe! I've probably roasted 60+ turkeys in my life; always used the wet-brine method. I've never made a "bad" turkey, so I was hesitant to switch it up. So glad I ventured away from tradition; this is by far the best turkey I've ever made! I used the "tablespoon of salt per pound of turkey", plus about a tablespoon each of fresh rosemary, time, sage, and crushed garlic and paprika. Followed the recipe as outlined; then let it rest for half an hour after roasting. My only advice would be that if you use pan drippings for gravy, it's already very salty and as in my brine, heavily seasoned, so don't add salt!!!! I added more milk and water to the drippings than usual and used only fresh pepper. Drippings made a lot of really great gravy! Best turkey, best gravy I've ever made. Juicy, moist and flavorful, and so much easier than traditional wet brining! Thank you for this amazing recipe!

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about 1 year ago Susan Perlow

Edit above to tablespoon of salt per five lbs turkey; my bird weighed 22 lbs, I used a little more than 5 (heaping) tablespoons salt plus fresh seasonings....

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about 1 year ago Chan

Did not work out for me. My turkey was so dry. I started the brine on Sunday and cooked on Thanksgivings morning. What did I do wrong?

Stringio

about 1 year ago Garrett Browning

Some thoughts: Did you pat it dry before salting? Did you bag it airtight during brining? Did you adhere to the recommended temp? Did you start the roast at 425 with breast down and then turn bird over and lower temp to 325?

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about 1 year ago Chan

Yes I followed the recipe exactly. The look though was beautiful. I have tried few different recipes and different methods from wet brine to cook under ground (Hawaiian style). The only one time that my bird came out moist was deep fry. I try this again for Christmas

Miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Chan, sorry this didn't work out well -- hope you had good gravy to make up for it. Did you check the internal temperature in the thigh when you took it out? Dry brining makes the recipe pretty forgiving, but if it goes way above 165 F in the thigh it will dry out (and it will get there more quickly than other non-dry brined turkey recipes).

Stringio

about 1 year ago Garrett Browning

Followed the recipe -- works to a tee and everyone thought it was the best turkey they ever had. Lotta work but tastsy and moist.

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about 1 year ago QbanLuli

I'll be cooking 2 turkeys this year side by side. One is 14.5lbs the other is 17lbs. About how much cooking time do you think it should take after I flip them and put them on their backs again?

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about 1 year ago Clayton

The dry brine will work out great for your grilling.

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about 1 year ago martacamer

hmmm....I just dry-brined my organic non-frozen Diestel turkey, no hormones or additives, but here I am 10pm on the eve of TDAy and wondering if I made a mistake? I am planning on cooking my turkey on the webber. I usually season shortly before cooking, and my cooking time on the webber is usually about 2 hours. Any advice?? Will the dry-brine have a positive or negative effect and can I remedy if so?? Help!! :)

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about 1 year ago Noor

Someone posted that they Dry-brined their turkey 24 hrs before cooking and it worked, but I am not sure if results would be the same with grilling.

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about 1 year ago Noor

This is what a someone posted on here re bring a day before:
I did this again this year, this time with a frozen bird. After the bird had been in my fridge for 24 hours, I took it out, patted it dry as best I could, dug out the neck (the giblets were too frozen still), and salted it all over, then packed into a brining bag that I picked up at the grocery store. It continued defrosting, I flipped it once when I remembered. The night before, I took it out of the fridge and out of the bag, dried it again, put it on a tray and put it back in the fridge uncovered until the following day. Took it out about an hour before hand and then followed the instructions as above, though I put a cup of water in the roasting pan to help make sure the drippings didn't burn up. Had plenty of drippings for gravy, and got lots of compliments on the turkey (in the line of, I usually don't even like turkey but this is really good). This technique works even if you don't get around to doing it until the day before.

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about 1 year ago Craig May

help....in an hour my turkey is scheduled to go into the oven. I marionated with paprika and orange zest, bay leaf and thyme, and lemon zest,....do I wash this off and then baste with butter?

Miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Hi Craig -- you don't need to rinse it if you're following this salt ratio, but if you've used a lot of herbs, you can always brush some off. Adding water now will get in the way of a nice crispy skin.

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about 1 year ago Jolie Hunt

You should be fine to also add butter. The brine is just seasoning.

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about 1 year ago Craig May

help....in an hour my turkey is scheduled to go into the oven. I marionated with paprika and orange zest, bay leaf and thyme, and lemon zest,....do I wash this off and then baste with butter?

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about 1 year ago Janice

Scott, thanks for your response! I've been wet brining fresh turkeys for a long time, but they are really fresh turkeys and not a processed fresh one.
I am very interested in how this is going to work, and I will probably look at doing another some time this winter.
Thanks again for your response!

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about 1 year ago scott

Janice and Michele - Oh my goodness. First, Michele, just trust the recipe. Please brace yourself and lose the bag, providing you followed the recipe so far (such as having salted Sunday or Monday, and unwrap the turkey this evening. And Janice, Butterball or otherwise, it's okay. In a few months or maybe this summer, roast another turkey, not a butterball, following this recipe and I think you will be well on your way to being the best turkey roaster around your neck of the woods.

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about 1 year ago Janice

So, I was just reading through these comments and one caught my eye...I normally don't buy a butterball, but I did, a fresh butterball. I normally do a wet brine but found this article and decided to give it a try.
Now I see where someone is questioning this method because butterball DOES inject their fresh turkeys too.
Please tell me I haven't ruined the turkey.....or if I have, is there any remediation I can do at this late time?

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about 1 year ago Nancy

I'm using a fresh butterball also. I rinsed it off really well before dry-brining. I won't use any salt in the stuffing or the gravy and hope it will be ok - it's a bit late to do anything about it now. Good luck to us! Happy Thanksgiving!

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about 1 year ago EmilyC

I've dry brined a fresh Butterball before and it turned out fine and wasn't too salty, at least to my taste. You should be fine!

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about 1 year ago Nancy

Thanks, Emily! I appreciate it!

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about 1 year ago Michele

Is it okay to use a turkey bag while cooking? I've never cooked a turkey without a turkey bag, but then again, I've never dry-brined for three days in advance before, so I'm not sure about the combination of the two.

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about 1 year ago Nancy

I've read comments from people who use the turkey bag after dry-brining. I plan to as well. Skin may not be as crispy, but I can't imagine why the turkey wouldn't be ok!

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about 1 year ago Crazed in Cali

K like the rest of you am doing it for the first time, but I rubbed the salt on as I was by myself with a large bird making it hard to hold the bird up, put on both sides & what not. Does anyone know if rubbing it on vs sprinkling it on will effect the outcome of the process or not??

Miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Rubbing might help the salt stick to the bird and distribute evenly -- it's not really necessary, but it doesn't hurt either!

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about 1 year ago LizC

Hi is it too late to start this for a huge turkey?! Any hope?

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about 1 year ago Nancy

I'm thinking that it might be a bit late for dry brining - but you can still use a wet brine! But I'm no expert - maybe some of the more experienced readers can chime in...Happy Thanksgiving!

Miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

LizC, sorry for not seeing this sooner -- for future reference, lots of people on these comment threads have reported that dry brining works well, even if you can only do it for a day. (And that's what I'm doing this year, because the turkey I ordered wasn't available for pickup until yesterday!)

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about 1 year ago Arlene

Was so excited to try this recipe. On day 2 and was reading through the comments and I am now panicked cause I used a fresh Butterball turkey?I'm am afraid it's going to be too salty. Should I cut back on the brining time or rinse the bird really well. Help!!

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about 1 year ago leelee84

No Arlene this was made for fresh turkeys you can do it on frozen turkeys.

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about 1 year ago Arlene

Yes but I saw posts saying it shouldn't be used on Butterball because they inject 4% salt solution into the bird.

Miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Arlene, in case you didn't see EmilyC's post above, you should be fine!

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about 1 year ago Pepsea

I just cut the back bone out of our turkey for this recipe. I put it in the kitchen sink, which gave me good leverage to do this. I do not have a cleaver, it a hammer did help in breaking the breast bone to flatten the bird. It was not really that hard.

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about 1 year ago Nancy

Do you rinse the brine off the turkey before roasting?

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about 1 year ago leelee84

no Nancy I do not think you do there should be very little or no salt at all the bird should have absorbed it all.

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about 1 year ago Nancy

Thanks, Leelee! Happy Thanksgiving!

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about 1 year ago dipity

I have started brining using this method yesterday and am very excited. Now I have a dumb question. My oven has a "ROAST" setting as well as a "CONVECTION BAKE" and "BAKE". The instruction says "roast". Am I supposed to use the "ROAST" setting? Thanks in advance.

Miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

dipity, I'm sorry for the delayed response -- I'm not familiar with the roast setting, but I do know that convection will circulate the air and potentially help the bird roast more quickly and evenly, especially if the oven is looking crowded.

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about 1 year ago dipity

Thank you very much Kristen for the reply. I did not have time to get online preparing for Thanksgiving dinner I did not see you reply until just now. As such I made an "executive decision" and use CONVECTION ROAST setting.

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about 1 year ago vivanat

I did this again this year, this time with a frozen bird. After the bird had been in my fridge for 24 hours, I took it out, patted it dry as best I could, dug out the neck (the giblets were too frozen still), and salted it all over, then packed into a brining bag that I picked up at the grocery store. It continued defrosting, I flipped it once when I remembered. The night before, I took it out of the fridge and out of the bag, dried it again, put it on a tray and put it back in the fridge uncovered until the following day. Took it out about an hour before hand and then followed the instructions as above, though I put a cup of water in the roasting pan to help make sure the drippings didn't burn up. Had plenty of drippings for gravy, and got lots of compliments on the turkey (in the line of, I usually don't even like turkey but this is really good). This technique works even if you don't get around to doing it until the day before.

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about 1 year ago Wasel Choi

Thanks for sharing, vivanat! I enjoyed reading it.. I am cooking Turkey for the first time, a comment like yours can be supportive - happy thanksgiving!

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about 1 year ago Ana

Does it really work even if I do this a day before cooking? I just found this method and I'm worried it won't be enough time! Also, the turkey will be cooked in a commercial facility, as a favor, on Thanksgiving day. Should I instruct them not to do anything at all to the turkey? I heard they intend to smoke the turkeys that they will be selling.

Thanks for the help!

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about 1 year ago neenee

also the bird weighs 20.38 lbs

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about 1 year ago neenee

I cannot find the directions to brine the frozen bird, so sorry but I'm new to this and really unsure of the how-to method?

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about 1 year ago leelee84

neenee just brine it like it was not frozen it while brine while it unthaws in the fridge.

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about 1 year ago Noor

For basting, would it work if I stuff soft butter with some herbs in it under the skin instead of basting with melted butter?

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about 1 year ago Wasel Choi

Hi Noor, I sent your question to SF Chronicle, they answered with the following: More butter never hurts but we still recommend basting so the skin crisps up and gets golden.

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about 1 year ago Noor

Hi Wasel,
Thank you so much for doing that. I really appreciate it!

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about 1 year ago Wasel Choi

You are welcome and happy thanksgiving :)

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about 1 year ago Wasel Choi

How was your turkey, Noor? Mine was good, you can read my blog medium.com/p/623ee848d62a
Happy Thanksgiving

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about 1 year ago leelee84

I want to start this this afternoon will I still have enough time?

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about 1 year ago Noor

You should be fine.

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about 1 year ago Julia Lewis

I won't get my turkey until Weds am - ordered from the farmers' mkt. I'd love to try this, but is it worth giving it a go since I don't have as much time as the recipe calls for?? Has anyone abbreviated the brining time? Will it matter that much??

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about 1 year ago Mary in Gulf Breeze

watery fluid is collecting in the bag. Do I discard that or let it stay?

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about 1 year ago Pat in SoCal

Flip the bird over and much of it will re-absorb. Enjoy

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about 1 year ago Das_Muller

Made this with a 17.5 pounder today for a "Friendsgiving." Could not have turned out better. Also my first time brining a bird!

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about 1 year ago Noor

For basting, would it work if I stuff room temp butter with some herbs in it under the skin instead of basting with melted butter?

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about 1 year ago Annette

Can you use this method on a fresh turkey?

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about 1 year ago Noor

It says, "frozen is fine also", which makes me think that the recipe is for fresh turkey but works for frozen as well.
So, to answer your question-Yes, it works for fresh turkey.

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about 1 year ago olygirl

I'm so excited to make this again this year...I've made it one other time and it was a hit. I have a 20 pounder for my gathering Thursday night. One question...I feel like I recall (and also read in a comment long ago) that there's not a lot of dripping to make a lot of gravy with...any suggestions if that's the case? Gravy is the second best thing about Thanksgiving turkey!

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about 1 year ago vivanat

I just made mine for the second time with a 17 pounder. I added a cup of water to the roasting pan at the start and had more than enough liquid at the end.

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about 1 year ago Pat in SoCal

Start with some water in the pan to prevent the first drips from burning..., baste with butter....which will drip into the pan,too...baste and deglaze with some dry white wine (or apple cider) along the way...and use your good turkey broth to make gravy. Don't salt without tasting. Excellent.

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about 1 year ago Craig May

Of these, smoked paprika and orange zest, bay leaf and thyme, or rosemary and lemon zest, how does one know, of how much to use of each spice?

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about 1 year ago Charles

Holy cow! Thankfully I found this recipe again. Last year I did it and by far it was superior to any other bird I have cooked. I will do it again I'm doing two this year, one cooked James beard style and one like the recipe. Thanks for not taking this post down!!!

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about 1 year ago Stampfran

LisaAnn,I believe saramarsh answered yes to cooking in the bag. That was my question also. Just cook according to the cooking bag directions. I believe the turkey cooks a little faster in the bag. I am glad I found this article. I was dreading the whole brine in my ice chest for days routine.

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about 1 year ago deanna1001

Just wondering...I've never been able to find ziplock bags bigger than 2 gallon. Where should I be looking (for next year).

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about 1 year ago Mary in Gulf Breeze

Hefty makes a Jumbo ziploc. I found only 1 box at my store.

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about 1 year ago MELISSA

I found the Jumbo 2 1/2 gallon bag at Target yesterday…on the end cap of the checkout line!

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about 1 year ago Pat in SoCal

20 lb free range beauty just got a salt, thyme, sage, and fennel massage and is resting comfortably in the fridge. BTW Brining bags work great! ...no leaks

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about 1 year ago LisaAnn

saramarsh--thanks for your reply. I'm not really worried about the 8 hr air dry thing, I am mostly wondering of bag-roasting will yield the same results as pan-roasting? I assume that the skin will not be crispy, correct? And if I do the dry brine method would I keep to the same timetable if bag roasting? Thank you again!!

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about 1 year ago Doug

Hi all what about a 23 lb turkey, what are the measurements then

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about 1 year ago Pat in SoCal

4.5-5 Tablespoons of salt should be fine

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about 1 year ago saramarsh

LisaAnn, absolutely. This is only the brining method, so don't worry about the 8 hour air dry for crispy skin!

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about 1 year ago LisaAnn

Going to try asking this question again--can this method be used if the turkey will be roasted in a 'roasting bag'? Roasting bags have been a great way to cook our turkeys for the last few years. I'm assuming this defeats the crispy skin that comes with roasting on a rack but would like some other feedback about this before I proceed. Thanks!!

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about 1 year ago saramarsh

LisaAnn, absolutely. This is only the brining method, I wouldn't worry about or do the 8 hour air dry for crispy skin!

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about 1 year ago Eric Oxenberg

Pretty safe to say that once you sook in the bag, any crispiness will be gone from your bird. And if you don't need crispy skin, you don't need to air-dry the bird either. That step is to ensure that the turkey gets really crisp without affecting the moistness inside.

Stringio

about 1 year ago Mary Kay Wiseman Boysen

Who knew?? even we folks of the jewish ethnic origin did now know

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about 1 year ago saramarsh

Donna, you can do a partial thaw to get the giblets and neck out if you want, but left in until you can comfortably get them out isn't going to harm anything.
Cathy, I've only ever done this on a frozen turkey, you're using the defrosting process in place of a soaking brine, if that makes sense. I've done this for 4 years now and *every* year it's fantastic!

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about 1 year ago Donna D

How do you clean a frozen turkey?

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about 1 year ago saramarsh

Donna, you can do a partial thaw to get the giblets and neck out if you want, but left in until you can comfortably get them out isn't going to harm anything.

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about 1 year ago Carol K.

Carol
Can the drippings still be used for the gravy or will it be too salty?

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about 1 year ago Pat in SoCal

Drippings are fine for gravy. Make sure your broth isn't too salty and taste before any extra seasoning is added.

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about 1 year ago Cathy

Can this be done on a frozen turkey? Do you do it the same way, washing and all from the first day you put it into the fridge?

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about 1 year ago saramarsh

Cathy, I've only ever done this on a frozen turkey, you're using the defrosting process in place of a soaking brine, if that makes sense. I've done this for 4 years now and *every* year it's fantastic!

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about 1 year ago Linda

Is is possible to cook this on a smoker or in a turkey fryer after doing the brine. It sounds like the best way to go but I didn't see anybody use any of these cooking methods. Thank you Linda

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about 1 year ago Gigi Petery

Would this technique work that has been cut up into sections before roasting? I don't see why it would affect it, but I thought I would double check first.

Stringio

about 1 year ago Jen Welzel

I tried to scan for an answer to this question and didn't see it off hand... can you tell me what the cook time would be for an 8-10lb bone in breast? This sounds delicious, Thank you!

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about 1 year ago Leith Devine

You can use this to brine ANY size turkey, just make sure to adjust the amounts (4 TB salt for a 20 lb turkey). I live in LA and still have my '06 Times...over the years I've added various herbs....I always use thyme....and seasonings. This method has never failed. Stuff the cavity with lemons, celery and onions for great drippings.

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about 1 year ago hekawi

Ahh, "The Great Turkey Smackdown..." -- I still have mine, too. I haven't made the turkey any other way since -- my family won't let me! (And, let's face it, this recipe makes such a great turkey, I haven't even tried.) :)

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about 1 year ago Felicia

Can you use this recipe to brine a larger turkey (18-20 lbs)?

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about 1 year ago hekawi

Yes. It's 4 Tablespoons for a 20-pound bird. Maybe decrease it slightly to 3.5 Tablespoons plus a generous pinch for an 18-pounder.

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about 1 year ago student epicure

two questions:
1. would this work if i only have 36 hours to brine the turkey?
2. has anyone tried this with stuffing?

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about 1 year ago lisabu

Hi there, two answers:
1.Yes and
2. Yes.
We did an early thanksgiving this year, and i couldn't find a fresh turkey until 2 days before. "Fresh" was a little frozen so i had to defrost it then put the salt mixture on for about 1.5 days. Also decided to stuff at the last minute. took a little longer to cook (3 hours total for a 15.5 lb. bird) but it was fantastic. Not too salty...either the stuffing or resulting gravy. This is the best turkey recipe i've ever had.
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about 1 year ago student epicure

awesome, thanks!

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about 1 year ago Dan Piatkowski

"Fresh" is NOT frozen. Yet a frozen bird can be Fresher..
A fresh bird is cooler to 26 F and held no colder to prevent Salmonella and bruses durring shipment. Frozen are cooler to -32 F and held at at least 0 F. Thaw a frozen bird (suspended animation) and compare that to a fresh that has been around a few days.. frozen may be fresher..

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about 1 year ago LisaAnn

Would this method work if cooking the turkey in a cooking bag?

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about 1 year ago Vicki

if you use the brining method, can you use the turkey drippings and juices for your stuffing or will it be too salty

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about 1 year ago TheSlyRaven

Is the amount of salt per pound the same if I am doing a boneless turkey breast instead of a whole bird?

I will only have about a day to brine my turkey. Will this amount of time still be sufficient?

Since I am doing only a breast, and for less time than suggested, should I remove the skin and put the brine under the skin?

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about 1 year ago Jay Kinersly

when rubbing the salt on the breast do you put any under the skin directly on to the white breast meat?

Miglore

about 1 year ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

No, even easier -- it's just sprinkled on the skin. There's plenty of time in this recipe for the salt to absorb through.

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about 2 years ago terryfontaine

It sounds delicious, and I know the recipe calls for unstuffed turkey, but what is it ok to follow the steps if the family has to have a stuffed turkey?

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about 2 years ago HeidiRowe

This was our best Thanksgiving turkey ever! I tried the recipe with rosemary and lemon zest (and stuffed the turkey with apple slices). It was a beautiful crispy brown, and when we pulled it from the oven we could see the juices boiling under the skin. Also, the turkey stayed moist thru several days of leftover recipes. I'll never bake a turkey any other way.

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about 2 years ago Mcw

This recipe was great and i didn't even get to do the full 3-day brine. Got many compliments on it. The only downside was it wouldn't brown in the electric roasting pan I used so I had to throw it in the broiler for 15 minutes. All in all a great recipe. Thanks!

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about 2 years ago Greengourmet

Fantastic recipe! Used an 18 pound turkey, and added some root vergetables/onions to the cavity, as well as some white wine in the bottom of the pan for flavor. The result was moist and delicious. The turkey cooked very quickly, freeing up the oven for tasty sides. This is my new go to turkey recipe!

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about 2 years ago fitsxarts

This was awesome. Had a 12 lb turkey and it was completely done in 2 hours. A total game-changer (and stress-free at that). Thanks, Kristen!

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about 2 years ago Dales kitchen

Thanks Kristen ,
I am really going to enjoy Food52 and Thank you for the responce....
Have A great Thanksgiving

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about 2 years ago hsooh

I started the process on Sunday. Bought a fresh turkey but in reality it was semi frozen. This last day has produced a lot of liquid that has not been reabsorbed. Should I go ahead and remove it from the bag to let sit in the fridge uncovered or wait a little longer? Hoping I didn't make a huge mistake.

Miglore

about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

So sorry we didn't see this question until now -- you should be fine, whichever way you chose to go. Frozen birds do tend to release more liquid.

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about 2 years ago Steph C

Hi there - I am currently dry brining my turkey using this method (it's at about 24 hours... it'll be a little less than three days when done brining). My question is this. The instructions say to leave the turkey out on the counter for an hour at room temperature. Should we cover or leave uncovered? I cook meat about once a year, so I'm clueless here. Thanks!

Miglore

about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

It probably won't make a huge difference but I think Parsons' intent is for it to be uncovered, so that the skin will continue to dry a bit before going in the oven (that's what I've always done, at least!).

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about 2 years ago Steph C

Thank you! I was concerned about bacteria growth, but assume at an hour it should be okay(?).

Miglore

about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Yep!

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about 2 years ago Marc Osten - Marc's Culinary Compass

Steph - I leave mine in the fridge for 12-24 hours to dry. The skin comes out a lot crispier that way.

Stringio

about 2 years ago vanessa.b

How long should a 20lb turkey be cooked, if using this method?

Miglore

about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

It will probably take about 3 1/2 hours, but be sure to check its internal temperature early on, as instructed in step 8, since the timing will vary with your bird and your oven. No harm in starting it on the early side -- it should rest while you finish up the other dishes anyway. Hope you like it!

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about 2 years ago Mcw

Just brined the bird so I will probably only get about 48 hours in before the big day. Sounds like that should be okay based on previous questions and comments, I'll just need to watch it closely so as not to overcook. Quick question - i'm using an electric roaster, will that change anything about the cooking temps or times? Thamks!

Miglore

about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Mcw, have you used an electric roaster to roast a turkey before? I'm sorry to say I've never done it, so I'm not sure what the differences might be. I'd just watch it closely, as you say. Let us know how it turns out!

Stringio

over 1 year ago Kim Martell

Electric roasters tend to be a moister environment and therefore do not brown or dry the turkey's skin the way a conventional oven does. I'm sure the meat itself will be fine.

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about 2 years ago dfarron1

Will this work with a frozen Butterball turkey that already has a sodium solution injected in it, or will this cause it to be too salty? I know that Russ Parsons says a frozen bird works great but he doesn't address this issue of a frozen bird with an already injected sodium solution.

Miglore

about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Thanks for asking this -- I'll answer here as well as the Hotline so that others can see. To avoid over-salting, we don't recommend using this technique with sodium-injected turkeys. (Butterball is basically attempting to do the brining for you.)

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about 2 years ago GrandmaGG

I sat down over an hour ago to look for this recipe which was posted in the L.A. Times on November 18th, 2008, and fortunately got sidetracked here at FOOD52. Now I have my old perfect turkey recipe and lots of yummy desserts saved as a bonus!

Miglore

about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

How great -- welcome to Food52!

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about 2 years ago NeilJ

Are the oven temperatures used for a convection or conventional oven? Thanks

Miglore

about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Conventional -- for convection, you may want to drop the temperature 25 degrees.

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about 2 years ago AllisonT

I too have a question regarding the convection. The roasting time seems very short for a conventional oven, so how long should I assume it might take in a convection? Thank you!

Miglore

about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Dry-brined birds do tend to cook a little faster, but it will depend on your oven, your bird, and its starting temperature. With convection, chances are it will cook even more quickly. Luckily, having a bird come out of the oven to rest early isn't a bad thing -- you can tent with foil, or Tom Hirschfeld puts his in the cooler to keep warm, while he uses the oven to heat up the casseroles!

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about 2 years ago vivanat

Did not plan far enough ahead - salted about 26 hours in advance, let it dry out in the fridge for 3 hours, then brought it up to room temp for an hour before following the roasting instructions. ~21 lb, unstuffed turkey reached the correct temperature in about two hours - I use a thermometer with an alarm linked to the probe. I actually couldn't believe it was done, so I took the temp in several places. It looked beautiful and got good reviews. Will likely never bother with a wet brine again given how much less fuss this is.

Stringio

about 2 years ago ConnieHuberSchmidt

I am cooking only a large turkey breast (about 9 lbs, must have been a giant turkey). Anyway, does the process need any adjustment for that?

Miglore

about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Connie, you can follow the instructions and proportions exactly for salting. You might not want to bother with flipping the bird, since that step is meant for the juices to drip down from the rest of the bird into the breast. And it will cook for much less time, so start checking the internal temp at least an hour earlier. Cover it with foil if the skin is getting dark too quickly, turn up the temp at the end briefly if you want it to brown a bit more. It will be great!

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about 2 years ago JulieBoulangerie

It's great to know that's the purpose of the flip!

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about 2 years ago LJP

Do you need to use a natural turkey or does a frozen butterball work as well?

Fitbit

about 2 years ago saramarsh

Frozen works best for this, I've found. I've done the turkey this way for 3 years, and I've always used frozen. I just ran it under cold water to start the defrosting *only* to remove the neck and giblets...

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over 2 years ago BArnold

Hi editors! A little help would be greatly appreciated...I need to make several turkeys in advance--can I make these and freeze it? If I freeze it and reheat it in whatever gravy I chose to make, will it still be good? Also, do I need to use a whole turkey or would a cut-up turkey work as well?

Miglore

about 2 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

BArnold, I'm sorry we missed this question. Please let us know if you still need help. And if you already made your turkeys, let us know how it went!

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almost 3 years ago shoestringmama

Ooh sooo yummy!! This time, used lemon zest and rosemary combo with the course sea salt and put the cut up the lemon in the cavity during cooking - truely fab! Thank you for sharing.

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almost 3 years ago rider5

This turkey is amazing!! ( I seasoned the kosher salt with the poultry seasoning that Williams-Sonoma sells.) I didn't salt the stuffing and it was perfect. The gravy and the soup that followed were all equally wonderful. Thanks for sharing!!!

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about 3 years ago shoestringmama

Positvely the best turkey I've ever prepared, served and eaten - got rave reviews! Thank you - don't think I can ever cook a turkey any other way. Bought another turkey (while they were on sale) to have during the Christmas week and can't wait to do this again. Used 1 1/2 bay leaves and 1 tsp + of dried thyme, both crushed, with 2 Tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp course salt for about 12 lb turkey and stuffed chopped apples and onions in the carcass during the cooking - which added some subtle flavor to the gravy. The turkey soup I made later on was really super and the turkey broth I made also tasted yummy - that's in the freezer with some of the dark meat to be used in quick turkey soup on some cold day sure the coming soon. Next time I'll try the rosemary and lemon zest combo. Thank you for turning an average homecook into a stupendous one for my family!

Stringio

about 3 years ago hothead

Hi

Could you give me an estimate of how many teaspoons or tablespoons of the suggested spices to add to add along with the salt.

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Hi hothead -- check out Russ Parsons' complete recipes for those 3 herb & spice salts here: http://www.latimes.com...

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about 2 years ago Marc Osten - Marc's Culinary Compass

Everyone...the link that Kristen shared from the LA Times is gold.

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about 3 years ago Warren

Tried this and it turned out fantastic. Truly the juciest turkey I've ever eaten. Glad I tok a chance on this one!

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about 3 years ago MAP

Far and away the best Turkey I have ever made! Moist, tender and delicious. Mine roasted much faster than I anticipated as well, but not a problem.

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about 3 years ago CentralCoastContessa

Far and away the best turkey I've ever made (or eaten). I followed the instructions exactly using a 15 lb Diestel Turkey, Italian course herb sea salt, and lemon zest. Flavorful, juicy, and oh so pretty!

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about 3 years ago jlsm

Fantastic! I cooked mine at 325 on a Big Green Egg using a drip pan below the grate filled with stock, two onions, a celery stalk and a carrot. I slathered an oil slurry of sage and thyme under and over the skin. The drip pan produced an unbelievably tasty base for gravy, and the meat was incredibly moist. Hands down the best turkey I have ever eaten let alone made. Thanks so much for the recipe.

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about 3 years ago Klweaver

Best turkey I've ever made. I didn't have 3 days - just 1 1/2, and it was still amazing.

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about 3 years ago Pammorgan

My dry brined turkey was a huge success.
It cooked quicker than expected though.
I had a 16 pound bird and it cooked in
3 hours. I had calculated 4 hours.
Does dry brining decrease the cook time?

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about 3 years ago anne7hall

Amazing!! The turkey was perfect - delicious, golden brown and easy to do. Thanks for a great recipe.

Lorigoldsby

about 3 years ago lorigoldsby

We will never wet brine again! Been brining for years and took awhile to figure out how to crisp up the skin...but this alleviated that concern! I did add sage to my salt and loved how easy it was to see where the salt was absorbed--the sage residue was there and I could concentrate on rinsing well in those spots! Basted with butter, every 30 minutes, added a little low sodium boxed chic broth to the pan because there weren't a lot of drippings at first, and really wanted a nice gravy. did not add any salt to the gravy... We always stuff our turkey...because that's the way we do it. It did not take as long as they said but it was completely cooked after resting...very, very moist.

Lorigoldsby

about 3 years ago lorigoldsby

Did start with a fresh turkey as always.

Me

about 3 years ago wssmom

Am I the only one who did not achieve a roaring success with this recipe?

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about 3 years ago jonahgail

made this yesterday for Thanksgiving ... I'll never wet brine a bird again ! It came out perfectly ... juicy all around. Thanks !

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about 3 years ago bookjunky

Well, I liked the simplicity of this so I tried it. It turned out great and the breast meat was delicious and moist. This is definitely going to be my go-to recipe for every Thanksgiving. A+++

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about 3 years ago Lucytron

This was the most wonderful turkey I have ever eaten! Our guests were shocked and then impressed. It looked beautiful, was juicy, and cooked in about 2 1/2 hours for a 20 pound unstuffed bird. Magnificent!

We used a fresh (never frozen) bird, dried it off, rubbed it in butter and pepper and put some herbs under the skin. Took it out it the morning to get it down to room temp all the way through - I think this helped the cook time a lot. We took the recipe's advice and started it breast-down for 20 minutes at 450, then flipped it and kept it at 450 for another 20 minutes, then tented it with foil and turned it down to 350, basting lightly with the pan juices.

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about 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Amazing, just amazing. We totally overcooked our turkey because my husband insisted on stuffing it, and the meat was still moist and delicious. I also used the carcass to make stock and it isn't salty at all--even after concentrating it. Really wonderful concept.

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about 3 years ago cincoymaya

I followed directions except didn't baste the turkey with butter. It was delicious, moist but it didn't look as if it were cooked. I trusted my thermometer more than my eye sight (though I tried two different thermometers) as it looked raw. Other than not using the butter, I've no idea why it didn't look good.

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about 3 years ago RitaVDZ

Just ate the bird, everyone loved it. Followed the directions to the tee, except I put herbs under the skin and leek, carrot, celery and onion under the bird. Delish and definitely will do it again.... and just maybe for every bird ever in my future. A terrific easy recipe. Just salt, time and patience. Very forgiving.

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about 3 years ago kcc

i have a 27 lb turkey brined and chilling in a cooler with ice on the porch. now how do i air dry it? it won't go in the fridge. and what about rinsing? not? and do i stay with the roasting 20 min a pound rule? it's not going to be stuffed.

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Kcc, if you have room to keep some ice in the cooler and also set the turkey in, patted dry and uncovered, go for it. If not, it's okay to skip this drying stage -- it will still be good (Russ Parsons says so). Just pat it dry well with paper towels and leave it out uncovered as it comes back down to room temperature for the hour before roasting. As for timing, you kick start it at higher heat for the first 30 minutes, so it will probably roast in just under the time that the USDA recommends for a bird your size (about 5 1/2 hours). Just be sure to start checking the internal temperature in the fleshy part of the thigh at around 4 hours to gauge its progress and pull it out when it hits 165, covering any parts of the skin that seem like they're browning too fast with foil.

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about 3 years ago MrsMaltby

If I start this now do you still think it will be good - 24 hours vs. 3 days? A lot of brines say 24 hours so I think it will be ok?

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Sure, go for it! Russ Parsons answered this (among other questions from readers) here in 2009: http://articles.latimes... Sounds like the shortened time won't have quite the same effect so you'll just have to watch the bird more closely to make sure it doesn't overcook.

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about 3 years ago Sonkie

Thank you everyone. There is about a cup in the bag so it sounds like I'm on schedule!

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about 3 years ago thirschfeld

You are good to go. There should be about a cup of blood in the bag. Continue as scheduled

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about 3 years ago Sonkie

Help - new to the dry-brine method! I started dry brining Monday night. As of Wednesday morning, there is some watery/bloody liquid in the bag. Is this okay at this stage or should this have been reabsorbed by now? I was planning on taking it out of the bag late tonight and letting it air dry in the fridge overnight but am concerned about the liquid. Do I need a new turkey?

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Hi Sonkie -- don't worry, this is normal! The salt first pulls some moisture out of the turkey, then draws it back in. If you used a frozen bird or didn't pat it dry before starting, it'll be even a little wetter. Tonight, just pull it out of the bag, rinse it if you want, and pat it dry well (inside and out) with paper towels for its final drying stage in the fridge.

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about 3 years ago Tammy Ward

Would this work for a deep fried turkey?

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

I've never tried it but I don't see why not! I would think you'd want to give the skin plenty of time to dry uncovered in the fridge, so it gets nice and crackly.

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about 3 years ago QbanLuli

Hi, I just found your site and think this recipe sounds awesome! My question is this: I normally slow cook my turkey overnight so my oven is available on Thanksgiving for all the other stuff I make. Its now Tuesday so I'll have to follow the quick-brine method but can I still put it in the oven to slow cook @ about 11p.m. Weds. night?

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

If you normally slow-cook your turkey, there's nothing about this technique that will hurt that. Let us know how you like it!

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about 3 years ago thirschfeld

Just delivered the first two birds to the PreK for first round of school parties. OMG, so good, this is exactly what you want a turkey to be, its turkey. I have brined over the years and it works and is really good but this is better, no doubt in my mind about it. Two more turkeys to go this afternoon to Kgarten, and my two birds for Thanksgiving are dry brining now. This recipe alone is worth $9.99 and I would still splurge for the pinot, it the holidays after all.

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

This is great news! I'm so glad you liked the results. Follow-up question -- where the heck did you store 6 brining turkeys?

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about 3 years ago thirschfeld

I have an extra fridge in the garage. I put each in a bag then stacked them, two to a container in one of these http://tinyurl.com/7x55go7... I still had room for all the apples and cabbage that were root cellaring in there. Yeah I know why the hell do you have those but remember I used to cater back in the day.

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about 3 years ago everblessed

Just put it together tonight (I know it's not 3 1/2 days, but I JUST got the turkey, running behind this year) and very excited for the results...mouth is watering in anticipation!

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about 3 years ago nan8LT

What effect does the honey have on the skin being crisp?

Gator_cake

about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I don't have a great answer to that. I did the honey-salt paste under the skin, then followed it with a duck fat and shallot mixture. I also rubbed the outside of the skin with oil. It came out a gorgeous mahogany color and was quite crispy.

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about 3 years ago phyllis

I only have 36 hours from the time I receive my turkey until I cook it. I'd love to dry-brine it, but am not sure if I can shorten the steps. Please help. Thank you.

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Russ Parsons answered this (among other questions from readers) here in 2009: http://articles.latimes... Sounds like the shortened time is doable, but won't have quite the same effect so you'll have to watch the bird more closely to make sure it doesn't overcook.

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about 3 years ago phyllis

Thanks very much, Kristen. I'll definitely use this method. Happy Thanksgiving!!

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about 3 years ago denverdawn

Oh, and I'm picking up the turkey the day before we smoke it - yikes! I guess not enough time to reap the full benefits?

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about 3 years ago Mcriden

Hardlikearmour, how did you get the paste to stick to the skin? I wasn't confident the paste was sticking and abandoned it in favor of pure kosher salt.

Gator_cake

about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I put the paste under the skin - which is how Cook's Illustrated does the dry-brine with just salt - so it worked well, but is obviously more work on the front end. I also put a duck fat mixture under the skin before cooking, so having the skin loosened ahead of time makes the day-of prep a little easier.

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about 3 years ago katethecook

Is 3 days necessary? I'm picking up my turkey the day before Thanksgiving, so I've only really got 24 hours. Any quick tips? I've got a garlic scape compound butter in my freezer - could incorporate that.

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Russ Parsons answered this (among other questions from readers) here in 2009: http://articles.latimes... Sounds like it's doable, but won't have quite the same effect.

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

p.s. I'd salt it first for the 24 hours, then rub the butter under the skin in the hour it comes to room temp before roasting. The butter sounds great!

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about 3 years ago lisabu

What about gravy? Can you make pan gravy out of the drippings, or will they be too salty? Would it make sense to put an onion, carrot, and celery on the bottom to flavor the drippings for gravy? Also, do you stuff the bird inside with anything? Thanks! This looks great. Also, i assume you can't stuff this turkey with regular stuffing...does anyone stuff anymore?

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

The drippings won't be too salty -- just be sure you don't use overly salted stock, so you have more control over the seasoning in the end. The onions, etc. sound great, and you can stuff with whatever aromatics you like too! Technically you can stuff the bird with regular stuffing, but you just have to make sure it cooks through to 160 degrees, as with any other stuffing. Personally, I'm a dressing-on-the-side girl. Here's more from Russ Parsons on all sorts of questions like this: http://www.latimes.com...

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about 3 years ago True Blue

Can the turkey go on a sheet pan covered with plastice wrap instead of in a bag? Also, if salting while defrosting you will have to skip salting the inside because you won't be able to remove the neck and gizzards. Will that effect the results?

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Hi True Blue -- I think the plastic wrap idea sounds great as a workaround, and if you wrap it well enough, it will probably hold in moisture better than those turkey oven bags do (they leak a little). I didn't have any trouble getting the giblets out of my frozen bird, but yours are stuck, you could try running some lukewarm water in the cavity until they're thawed enough to pull out, then pat the inside dry with paper towels before sprinkling with salt.

Stringio

about 3 years ago Nanny Linn

I am planning on cooking my bird in the Weber. Any thoughts?

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Nanny Linn, check out Russ Parsons' story on grilling the dry-brined bird, which he perfected last year: http://www.latimes.com...

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about 3 years ago CA Bell

This method sounds very, very intriguing! Will it would on a Butterball?

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Butterball's website says that the breast meat of their turkeys has been "deep-basted" -- which involves a salty solution, so brining could make the bird too salty. But on this Chowhound thread, someone mentions that Butterball also sells fresh, unbasted turkeys -- if you have one of those, you might be fine (check the ingredients and sodium count to be sure): http://chowhound.chow.com...

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about 3 years ago galsmu

So why does the Butterball website have all of these brining recipes??? Based on the 2007 chowhound link above, it sounds like their hotline is out of sync with their website unless they've changed their 'recipe' since then.

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Who knows? Maybe the brining recipes are intended for their fresh birds, or maybe the effect of the sodium in the "deep baste" is actually pretty negligible. Not sure, since I haven't tried this recipe with a Butterball (kosher birds, which get salted briefly in processing, were fine though). Some people on the Chowhound thread did report brining a Butterball with good results.

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about 3 years ago starving_artist

Can I do this with a roasting chicken? And if so does it need the full three days?

Miglore

about 3 years ago Kristen Miglore

Kristen is the Executive Editor of Food52

Absolutely! In fact, this recipe was inspired by Zuni Cafe's dry-brined roast chicken. Here's the recipe on Serious Eats (it calls for 3/4 tsp sea salt per pound, and 1-3 days brining time): http://www.seriouseats...

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about 3 years ago hbgrrl

I abandoned the wet brine method after reading this in the LATimes way back when. It IS genius! I've had a perfect bird, thanks to this method. That said, the only additions I make are a compound butter with herbs and garlic that I smoosh under the breast. I also give the turkey a good EVOO rubdown. Other than that, I don't do a thing.

One thing that is not mentioned....be warned: this brined bird will cook faster than what you're used to. Plan accordingly! lol

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about 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

OK riddle me this - I am now thinking I should dry brine the 20 legs we will be smoking for TDay - that should work fine right? AND - I love HLAs honey addition - honey smoked turkey legs??

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about 3 years ago aargersi

Abbie is a trusted source on General Cooking.

Reporting in - SUCCESS! We did 3 legs in salt and garham masala, and 3 in salt and honey per Hardlikearmor's suggestion. Both were delicious - but the honey one ruled the day so that is how we are going on TDay. We smoked them for about 4 hours, they were GORGEOUS deep bronzed, and absolutley perfect salt / sweet / smoke flavor.

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about 3 years ago EmilyC

Thank you so much for this recipe! I was *just* contemplating the way I'll prep my Thanksgiving turkey. I've done a wet brine for the past 5+ years, but this method seems so much simpler and more effective, with the added bonus of taking up less fridge space!

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about 3 years ago sunnyluz

I made this recipe last year - my first hosting T-giving - and it was both easy and delicious! It's on my plan for this year as well!

Gator_cake

about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I love the dry brine method! I found that if you make a paste with honey & kosher salt (2 parts salt to 1 part honey) the salt dissolves and disappears quickly. I've done it with a couple of chickens and a turkey and the salt pockets are gone within 24 hours.

Gator_cake

about 3 years ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

I need to add that I put the salt-honey paste under the skin.