Herb and Salt-Rubbed Dry Brine Turkey
This Herb and Salt-Rubbed Dry Brined Turkey comes out so damp and tasty, with crispy golden skin and juicy tender meat.
Herb and Salt-Rubbed Dry Salt Water Turkey
Desired a simple turkey dish that’s damp and tasty? Attempt dry brining! Instead of damp brining a turkey, dry brining is a lot simpler and less unpleasant! This is how I am making my turkey once again this year, my 3rd year in a row! It takes 4 days to salt water, however I am beginning one day late (today) which is completely great! And if you don’t need to make a whole turkey, you might love this stuffed turkey breast or this slow cooker turkey breast recipe.
Choosing the right size Thanksgiving turkey
A good rule of thumb is to estimate at least 1 lb to 1 1/2 lbs per person so you’ll have extra and enough for leftovers.
Fresh or Frozen?
Fresh – One of the pros of using a fresh bird is there’s no need to thaw. A fresh bird will keep for 4 days in the fridge. Some people think it’s more flavorful than a frozen bird.
Frozen – Typically more affordable and can be purchased weeks in advance. It does however require thawing time.
Defrosting a turkey
Fridge – if you have more time, allow the turkey to thaw in the fridge in it’s original packaging. Allow 24 hours of thawing for every 5 lbs of bird.
Cold Water Bath – If you’re short on time, submerge the bird in a cold water bath changing the water every 30 minutes. Allow 30 minutes of thawing time per pound of bird.
What is a dry brine?
A dry brine is an herb and salt rub applied directly to the turkey. This creates satiny leg meat and juicy, perfectly seasoned breast meat. Air-drying the turkey on the last day of the 4-day process will make the skin crisp when roasted.
How much salt should I use?
This recipe can be adapted to turkeys of all sizes. Use 1 tablespoon of salt for every 4 pounds. Diamond Crystal salt is best, Morton’s has more sodium and will be saltier. If using Morton’s, you will have to adjust and use less.
Leftovers should be put away when you’re done serving. Store leftover meat and the turkey carcass for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 3 months.
It feels like we’ve been remodeling our new home forever, but this week I finally got to cook in my new kitchen and put my new Wolf M series double oven to the test. Needless to say, I am IN LOVE!! I went big for the first time and cooked a whole 16-pound turkey as a test run for Thanksgiving along with a few side dishes. Using this oven was everything I imagined and more!
The oven has a variety of programmed cooking modes, but for this particular recipe, I tried the Convection Roast mode which cooked the turkey in a fraction of the time! (I tested this recipe both in my old oven on conventional roast and my new Wolf oven on convection roast to see how they compared). What’s more, it’s the most spacious oven I’ve ever had (it’s actually Wolf’s largest capacity oven), so between the two of them I’m able to fit more dishes at the same time than ever before.
But the feature I think I loved best for making a turkey was the temperature probe. It takes the guesswork out of knowing if the turkey is ready and you can even download an app on your phone to monitor the meat’s cooking progress without having to open the oven door! To use the probe, I simply inserted it into the turkey thigh right between the leg and the thigh away from the bone and set the temperature to 170F. Once the turkey hit the correct temperature, it notified me it was ready. No guessing! I let it rest 30 minutes which brought the temp up a little more. The turkey was so moist and juicy, the skin so crisp and flavorful, this is how I will be making my turkey for years to come!
Herb and Salt-Rubbed Dry Brine Turkey
This Herb and Salt-Rubbed Dry Brined Turkey comes out so moist and flavorful, with crispy golden skin and juicy tender meat.
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon dried marjoram
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- One thawed or fresh 16-lb turkey, preferably fresh (not kosher or self-basting) if frozen, thaw before
- 1/4 cup Diamond Crystal, use less with Mortons
4-Day Dry Brine:
(4) Four days before you plan to roast the turkey, mix the herbs and oil in a small bowl. Loosen the skin around the shoulders of the bird and around the cavity. Carefully slide your hands underneath the skin to loosen it from the breast, thighs, and drumsticks.
Rub the herb mixture on the meat, under the skin. Pat the skin back into place.
Rub the salt inside the cavity and on the skin. Tuck the wing tips behind the neck and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Put the turkey in a large food-safe plastic bag (such as a turkey-size roasting bag) and tie. Put the bag inside a second bag and tie.
Day 1 to 3: Refrigerate the turkey, turning it over every day, for 3 days.
Day 4: Remove the turkey from the bags and pat dry. Transfer to a large roasting pan and refrigerate, unwrapped, to let the turkey air-dry overnight (for the fourth day).
Roast the turkey (Day 5):
Convection Roast Mode:
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F in convection roast setting. If using a probe, insert the thermometer in the thickest part of the thigh not touching the bone and set the temp to 170F. Roast until the temp registers 170°F in the thickest part of a thigh, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or longer depending on the size of the turkey. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving to allow the juices to settle.
Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat the oven to 425°F. Roast the turkey for 1 hour, then reduce the heat to 325°F.
Continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer registers 170°F in the thickest part of a thigh, about 1 3/4 to 2 hours. Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving to allow the juices to settle.
If you do not have 4 days to salt water your turkey, and choose to do it less time it will still taste fine!!
Serving: 6oz turkey breast no skin, Calories: 225kcal, Protein: 45.5g, Fat: 3.5g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 121mg, Sodium: 896.5mg
Blue Smart Points: 0
Green Smart Points: 2
Purple Smart Points: 0
Keywords: dry salt water turkey, dry brined turkey, herb and salt rubbed turkey, how to dry salt water a turkey
Disclosure: This post is developed in collaboration with Sub-Zero Wolf. All ideas are my own.
Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.