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Christina Fogal

Dry Brining and  Roasting a Turkey


Dry Brine is a simply delicious way to prepare a turkey for roasting, grilling or even deep frying!

12-14 pound turkey, thawed*
3 tablespoons kosher salt*
1 ½ teaspoons dried herbs*
¾ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper*

¼ cup melted butter (for basting)


Recipe Notes:

*Turkey sizes vary:  for every 5 pounds of turkey, use 1 tablespoon kosher salt, ½ teaspoon dried herbs and ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper.


*A partly frozen turkey can be dried brined - it will completely thaw while in the refrigerator for 3 days!


*Kosher salt is coarser than regular salt, if you use fine salt, halve the amount.

*Fresh herbs can be substituted for the dried herbs.  Use 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh herbs for every 5 pounds of turkey.

*Any spice or herb (or combination of herbs and spices) can be used.  I used herbs de providence, thyme and rosemary.  Sage and poultry seasoning are also wonderful for Thanksgiving while brown sugar and even dried orange peel will add a hint of sweetness.

*For a larger turkey, use up to ½ cup melted butter for basting.


Dry Brine Directions:

Mix the kosher salt, herbs and ground black pepper together.

Remove the turkey from the packaging and with pat the outside of the turkey dry with paper towels. Place the turkey in a roasting pan.

Using your hands, gently loosen the skin over the breast and separate it from the meat.  Loosen the skin over the meaty part of the legs as well.


Sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the salt/herb mixture into the cavity of the turkey.

Rub 4 teaspoons of the salt/herb mixture into the meat of the breast (under the skin).

Rub 2 teaspoons of the salt/herb mixture into the legs (under the skin). 

Sprinkle the remaining salt/herb mixture over the turkey breast and the legs (on top of the skin).

Tuck the wings back and tie the legs together.


Refrigerate the uncovered turkey (in the roasting pan) for 3 days.

After 3 days, the turkey is now ready to be roasted, grilled or deep fried.


Roast Turkey Directions:

Remove the turkey (in the roasting pan) from the refrigerator.

Heat the oven to 275°F.

Once the oven reaches temperature, cover the turkey with aluminum foil and roast the turkey for 10 minutes per pound.  (For a 14 pound turkey, I roasted it for 2 ½ hours).

Remove the turkey from the oven, remove the foil and increase the oven temperature to 375°F.  Brush 1/3 of the melted butter over the turkey. 


Place the turkey (uncovered) back into the oven.  Roast, basting with the remaining melted butter, every 30 minutes - until the turkey’s temperature reaches 170°F.  (Get the turkey’s temperature read in the meatiest part of the thigh.  Be careful not to test it against the bone.)

Once the turkey reaches 170°F, remove from the oven and cover it with aluminum foil.  Let the turkey sit for 30 minutes before carving.

Dry Brining and Roasting a Turkey
Christina Fogal
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