Perfect Dry Brined Turkey

Catalina Castravet
By Catalina Castravet
5 from 5 reviews

Dry Brined Turkey has tender and moist meat and is covered with crispy skin! It is perfect for all your parties this coming holiday season!

How times flies! So, if you are already gathering your recipes for your holiday menu, include this fabulous recipe! Feel free to include our other recipes such as Slow Cooker Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Pesto Pasta Salad, and Slow Cooker Pineapple Pork Loin!

Dry Brined Turkey has tender and moist meat and is covered with crispy skin! It is perfect for all your parties this coming holiday season! #turkeyrecipes #thanksgivingturkey #thanksgivingrecipes #sweetandsavorymeals #christmasrecipes

How do to dry roast brine a turkey?

Dry Brined Turkey is the ultimate Thanksgiving dish! It can be tricky to prepare but with this easy recipe, you can never go wrong.

All you have to do is follow everything in this post and I can guarantee that you will have the best tasting poultry dish on your dinner table!

I adore this specific dish because it is easy to prepare without skimping on flavor. The whole preparation makes the meat super tender and moist at the same time.

Roasting can dry out the meat, especially when you are cooking a whole bird. It can be quite overwhelming, but this way it is simple. All you need is this recipe and proper planning to execute this dish!

Dry Brined Turkey has tender and moist meat and is covered with crispy skin! It is perfect for all your parties this coming holiday season! #turkeyrecipes #thanksgivingturkey #thanksgivingrecipes #sweetandsavorymeals #christmasrecipes

What is a dry roast brine?

Brining is a technique wherein you allow the salt to infuse the meat. In so doing, the juices are sucked out and are replaced with flavors from the mixture.

But with dry brining, there is no water involved. Instead, the mixture is directly rubbed on the surface of the meat. It is more like a dry rub. But this kind of brining takes time.

Dry brining not only infuses flavor, but it also helps with tenderizing the meat. Also, as a bonus, this technique keeps the skin crispy upon cooking.

What is a wet brine?

This is the opposite of dry brine. It has water in the mixture and the meat is submerged in it. You have seen us do this for making BBQ Pork Chops.

Can you dry brine a pre-basted turkey?

No, because you cannot simply know how much salt it already has. It is best to use an unsalted bird for this recipe so always check the label. If it has salt in it, you cannot use it.

Dry Brined Turkey has tender and moist meat and is covered with crispy skin! It is perfect for all your parties this coming holiday season! #turkeyrecipes #thanksgivingturkey #thanksgivingrecipes #sweetandsavorymeals #christmasrecipes

How do you dry roast brine a turkey?

  • Prep the poultry: Clean the poultry and pat dry. Separate the skin from the meat without breaking it.
  • Rub: Mix the ingredients in a bowl. Sprinkle and rub all over the turkey, inside the cavity and skin. This ensures that the meat itself is tasty, not just the surface.
  • Refrigerate: Place the bird on a roasting pan, with the breast-side up. Wrap with plastic and put in the fridge for 48 to 60 hours. Then, remove the plastic and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours more.
  • Prep for roasting: Allow the bird to rest at ambient temperature. On the pan, arrange the vegetables and the aromatics. Then, put a cup of water. Place the bird on the pan upside down.
  • Roast: Roast for about 45 minutes in an oven preheated to 425 degrees F. Then, turn over the bird to cook the breast part. Then, lower the oven temperature by 100 degrees. Make sure that the safe internal temperature of 165 degrees F is reached. Measure with a thermometer at the thick parts.
  • Rest: Allow the poultry to rest for it to further cook and for the juices to redistribute before slicing.

How long should you dry brine a turkey?

To allow the flavors to infuse and to season the meat well, allow at least 3 days. So, plan considering this.

Dry Brined Turkey has tender and moist meat and is covered with crispy skin! It is perfect for all your parties this coming holiday season! #turkeyrecipes #thanksgivingturkey #thanksgivingrecipes #sweetandsavorymeals #christmasrecipes

Recipe Tips:

  • You can use any herbs and spices that you like as it is a matter of personal preference. Try our recipe for homemade poultry seasoning.
  • You can only use kosher salt for this one or coarse grain sea salt. Never use a finer one or else, it will be too salty.
  • Serve it with Cranberry Relish!
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5 from 5 reviews
Dry Brined Turkey
Author: Catalina Castravet Serves: 16 servings
Prep time: 1 hour Cook time: 3 hours Total time: 3 d 4 hrs


Dry Brine:

  • 16-20 lb  turkey  (fresh or frozen - do NOT use brined turkey or pre-salted)
  • 3 tablespoons  kosher salt 
  • 1 tablespoon  ground black pepper 
  • 1 tablespoon  dried thyme 
  • 1 tablespoon  dried rosemary 
  • 1/2 tablespoon  dried Italian herbs 
  • 1/2 tablespoon  dried sage 
  • 1 teaspoon  smoked paprika 
  • 1 tablespoon  orange zest 
  • 1 tablespoon  lemon zest 


  • 1  red onion  (quartered)
  • 6 cloves  garlic  (peeled and smashed)
  • 2  carrots  (cleaned and roughly chopped)
  • 3  stalks celery  (roughly chopped)
  • 1 cup  parsnip  (cleaned and roughly chopped)
  • 1 cup  chicken broth 
  • 1/2 cup  unsalted butter  (melted)
  • 16-20 lb  turkey  (dry-brined)


Dry Brine:

  1. If the turkey is frozen, plan in advance to thaw it.
  2. Remove the giblets and neck from inside the cavity and discard any plastic or pop-up thermometers that have bee added to the turkey.
  3. Rinse well under cold water and pat dry using paper towels, inside and out.
  4. Gently, try to loosen the skin over the breast and separate it from the meat, trying to leave the skin itself intact.
  5. In a small bowl combine all the BRINE ingredients, stir well.
  6. Rub 1 tablespoon of the BRINE mixture into the cavity, another 2 tablespoons under the skin over the breasts and the remaining BRINE mixture rub it all over the bird.
  7. Place the bird breast-side up in a roasting pan and cover tightly with plastic wrap, removing as much of the air as possible. The bird should be basically sealed under the plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 48 to 72 hours.
  8. After that, uncover the bird and refrigerate for another 12 hours.
  9. Let the turkey come to room temperature for 1 hour before roasting it.


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Add the prepared veggies to the bottom of a roasting pan, distribute evenly.
  3. Add 1 cup of chicken broth.
  4. Add the rack and place the turkey on top, breast side down.
  5. Brush the bird with melted butter and roast for 60 minutes.
  6. Decrease oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  7. Carefully turn the turkey breast side up to continue to cook, which is for about another 2 hours for a 16-pound turkey and about 2 1/2 hours for a larger bird. The turkey should reach the internal temperature of 165 degrees F for the breast and 175 degrees F for the thighs.
  8. Remove from oven and let the turkey cool for about 40-60 minutes before carving.
  9. Slice and enjoy!
Carbohydrates: 4 Protein: 140 Fat: 43 Saturated Fat: 13 Cholesterol: 479 Sodium: 2147 Potassium: 1547 Fiber: 1 Sugar: 2 Vitamin A: 1924 Vitamin C: 5 Calcium: 96 Iron: 6 Calories: 880
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robin rue

I would love to try this for Thanksgiving. I make turkey once a year around my house.



This looks so great. I would love to do it for the holidays. It seems real easy.


Amber Myers

Yum, I must make this. I love turkey. This one looks incredible and seems easy enough to make.



I think I will definitely try this for Thanksgiving! It looks easy and it looks like it taste delicious. I am all for that!


GiGi Eats

LOVE that there is NO sugar in your recipe!!! I hate when I see store-bought brineing recipes and they all have sugar in it, no thanks!


Sarah Bailey

Now this sounds like such a delicious way to cook a turkey. It looks like it has such delicious flavours going on and cooked to perfection.



This is a good recipe to have handy for thanksgiving. I'm not a turkey person but this looks tasty.



Wow, that looks really tasty! I would love to try this version. Thanks for sharing.


Terri Steffes

We have always wet brined our turkey and it is such a mess. However, the flavor is so good. I think we should give dry brining a go this year.



My brother-in-law hosts a big family Thanksgiving dinner every year. They always cook a few turkeys using different recipes. I'll suggest this one to him, it looks delicious!


Ice Cream n Sticky Fingers

It has been over 10 years since I’ve had to make a turkey. Not sure if I will make one or go out to eat this year. If I do make a turkey, I’d really like to have a bbq grill first. I love making my turkey on the grill. It comes out so moist and juicy.


Ruth I

Oh wow. This looks so tasty! I've never tried a recipe like this before. It will take time and effort but I am sure this is worth it!


Denay DeGuzman

Before we know it, turkey time will be here! These are such great tips for brining a turkey. Yours looks beautiful, flavorful and juicy!


Jenn @ EngineerMommy

I can't believe Thanksgiving is right aroudn the corner. It feels like summer flew by and I know fall also flies by. These are great tips to make a moist, tender turkey!



I've never heard of this before, but it seems so much more appealing than soaking it in a liquid that takes up way to much room!


Gervin Khan

Seeing this makes my mouthwatering! I am so excited to this recipe on my sister's birthday and I am sure she is going to like it.


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