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turkey with rubbed with dry brine

Dry Brine for Turkey

Get seriously tasty and juicy results by dry brining your beautiful Thanksgiving Turkey this year. A simple process that makes brining easy!
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword dry brine turkey
Prep Time 1 day
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 1 day
Servings 1 turkey
Calories 142kcal


  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt must be kosher!
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 orange zested
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 12 pound turkey completely defrosted


  • Remove neck and any giblets from your fully defrosted (or fresh) turkey. Blot with paper towels (inside and out) to dry completely. Place onto roasting rack inside roasting pan. Set aside.
  • In a small bowl, combine kosher salt, brown sugar, orange zest, pepper and thyme. Rub entire mixture on the exterior of the turkey. Your turkey will start releasing moisture and look damp after a few minutes. This is completely normal!
  • Place turkey uncovered into the refrigerator for 24-36 hours. After this time, your turkey should be completely dry! (All that moisture you saw on the bird the day before has been reabsorbed.)
  • After turkey is done brining, use paper towels to remove any dried orange zest bits or thyme leaves off the turkey so they don't burn. Wipe out any excess moisture that has accumulated in the bottom of the roasting pan. (There shouldn't be much at all.)
  • Fill turkey cavity with any desired aromatics, such as onion, garlic, apples, orange/lemon wedges or fresh herbs. Fold wings down and back, tie legs together and roast turkey as desired.


You want to use 1 tablespoon of Morton Kosher Salt for every 4 pounds of turkey. You will have to adjust this recipe based on the size of your bird.
Nutritional information is for the dry brine only.


Calories: 142kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 20935mg | Potassium: 335mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 638IU | Vitamin C: 81mg | Calcium: 118mg | Iron: 2mg