fine dining experience

Dry Brine Turkey

A holiday meal is not complete until the turkey is on the table. Turkeys are large, so we get it, but they don't have to be intimidating. The one thing you can do to ensure a bird that stays juicy and doesn't dry out in the oven: Brine it!


1 (8-lb.) whole turkey
2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. granulated sugar
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes 
Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Step 12 days before cooking: Remove giblets from cavity of turkey. Pat turkey dry with paper towels.
  2. Step 2In a small bowl, combine salt and sugar. Rub salt mixture all over turkey, concentrating on thicker parts of meat, like the breast. Place turkey in a large roasting pan. Refrigerate, uncovered, 2 days.
  3. Step 31 hour before cooking: Drain any liquid from bottom of pan. Pat turkey dry with paper towels and let sit at room temperature 1 hour.
  4. Step 4Time to roast: Preheat oven to 425°. In a medium bowl, combine garlic, butter, thyme, red pepper, and a few grinds of black pepper. Brush about half of garlic mixture all over turkey. Tie legs of turkey together with kitchen twine. Place turkey on a roasting rack inside roasting pan.
  5. Step 5Roast turkey, brushing with remaining garlic mixture halfway through and covering with foil if skin is browning too quickly, 45 minutes. Reduce oven temperature 375° and continue to roast until skin is golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of breast registers 160°, about 45 minutes more.
  6. Step 6Let turkey rest 15 minutes before slicing.