Whether you are making a turkey for the holidays, for Sunday dinner or just because you want turkey, when you make a dry rub for turkey, your turkey goes from ordinary to extraordinary. And it is much easier than you think. Find out how to dry brine a turkey and How to Bake a Dry Brine Turkey and I promise you it is SUPER Easy!
How to Cook a Turkey with a Dry Salt Brine
Wet Brine or Dry Brine
I like to make a whole turkey randomly through out the year and not just at holiday time. However it doesn’t matter when I am making my turkey, because I am a firm believer of brining your turkey before you cook it.
There is a hot debate in the cooking world, which way of brining is better? A wet brine or a dry brine. For me I have always used a dry brine. I am not a fan of the texture change that happens when you use a wet turkey brine. I think because I’ve always had dry turkeys my whole life a wet brine just results in too moist of a turkey for my personal taste. I like moist turkey, just not overly moist and this dry salt brine gives the turkey the perfect combination of flavor and moistness.
Why Brine a Turkey?
The purpose of the dry brine is adding the salt molecules to the turkey meat which will retain the water that is naturally produced by the turkey.
Some people might wonder why go through the extra steps of brining a turkey. Turkey is lean meat that doesn’t always give a lot of flavor. It is also easy to overcook the turkey and make it dry. When you brine a turkey, it is giving the turkey a way to hold its moisture and stay nice and juicy. The salt in the brine also breaks down the turkey’s muscle and makes the turkey tender. The turkey also absorbs the flavors from the brine. Brining the turkey will give it a better flavor, help it stay moist and create a better tasting meal.
Can I use Turkey Rub on other Meats?
When it comes to brining, there are many meats that can benefit from it. You can use the dry rub for turkey on:
- Cornish Hens
Ingredient for Turkey Rub
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt per pound of turkey
- brown sugar
- butter at room temperature
How to Dry Brine a Turkey
When you make your turkey brine, or dry turkey rub, it is all going to be depending on how large of a turkey you have. You’re just gonna have to do a little math to figure out how much you will need or you’ll end up with too salty of a turkey. With this, you have the chance to season the meat slightly and you can change up your flavors how you would like it but this is my favorite.
You are going to start the process of dry brining a turkey 2 days before you plan on cooking it. Two days before you plan on cooking your turkey remove the turkey from the refrigerator and dry it off using paper towels.
You will need a medium mixing bowl, in this bowl you will combine your salt, brown sugar and pepper together.
When you rub your salt mixture over the turkey, be sure to cover it well on the outside and the inside of your turkey. Make sure to rub the salt brine onto the legs and in the wings.
Once you have covered your turkey with the salt brine, put it in your storage container and then cover the turkey with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a day.
After the first day in the refrigerator, you will remove the plastic wrap from the turkey and leave it uncovered in your refrigerator until the next day. The next day is the day this amazing turkey is going to be cooked to perfection!
How to Cook Turkey with Dry Salt Brine
The day that you’re going to be cooking it you will need to take the turkey out three hours before you plan on cooking it to bring the turkey up to room temperature. Once your turkey is room temperature, turn your oven on and preheat your oven to 500°.
Next clean your veggies, and trim them if needed. Get out your roasting pan and then place your vegetables on the bottom and place your turkey on top. Rub the butter over the whole turkey. Yes you want to slather as much butter as you can onto the turkey. The butter is what is going to help that turkey skin become perfectly crispy~
Once your turkey is prepared, place your turkey in the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°.
You will bake the turkey for approximately 15 minutes per pound of turkey or until it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F. This is where you will have to do a little bit of math to figure out the cooking time. Before removing the turkey from the oven, use a meat thermometer and check the temperature.
It is important that you allow the turkey to rest for a half an hour before carving it. After the 30 minutes of rest time, carve and serve your turkey with whatever delicious sides you have made.
Recipes to Make with Left over turkey
- Creamy Turkey Casserole
- Gobbler Sandwich
- Turkey Tetrazzini
- Turkey Noodle Soup
- Thanksgiving Leftover Charcuterie Board
- Sweet Potato Turkey Shepherd’s Pie
- Turkey Dinner Rollup
Dry Salt Brine Turkey
Dry Turkey Brine
- 6 stacks celery
- 2 onions halved
- 4 carrots halved
- 1 stick butter
Dry Brine Directions
- Two days before you plan on cooking your turkey remove the turkey from the refrigerator and dry it off using paper towels.
- Place it in a large container that you’ll be able to fit into your refrigerator.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine your salt, brown sugar and pepper together. Rub your salt mixture over the outside and the inside of your turkey making sure to rub this onto the legs in the wings as well.
- Cover your turkey with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for a day.
- After the first day in the refrigerator, you will remove the plastic wrap from the turkey and leave it on covered in your refrigerator until the next day.
Dry Brine Turkey Baking Directions
- Remove turkey from the fridge three hours before you plan on cooking it to bring the turkey up to room temperature.
- When turkey is at room temperature, Preheat your oven to 500°.
- Wash your veggies and then Place your vegetables on the bottom of your roasting pan and place your turkey on top. Rub the butter over the whole turkey. You can use melted butter if it is easier.
- Place your turkey in the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°.
- Bake the turkey for approximately 15 minutes per pound of turkey or until it has reached an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Allowed turkey to rest for a half an hour before carving it.
If you are looking for amazing side dishes to go with your turkey, check these out!