Dry brining is a great alternative to the traditional wet brining. This process doesn't require gallons of water or fruit juice, or whatever liquid is preferred in the more cumbersome wet brining technique. Dry brining a turkey works by coating the turkey in salt. The salt draws out the moisture from the meat. That water combines with the salt and the seasonings, making the brine. Once the salinity of the brine reaches the right concentration, the brine reabsorbs into the meat taking the flavors with it and making the turkey juicy and more flavorful.
To properly dry brine a turkey, make sure that the salt mixture is well combined. We recommend using a mortar and pestle to grind the ingredients together. Evenly distributed over the entire surface, inside and out, of the bird. It is a good idea to get some under the skin as well. Once coated, wrap the turkey in a plastic bag, removing as much air as possible. Then refrigerate for about 36 hours, turning over every 12 hours.
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Savory Dry Turkey Brine
- 3 tablespoons/45 mL table salt (1/4 cup/60 mL kosher salt)
- 1 tablespoon/15 mL sugar
- 2 teaspoons/10 mL dried thyme
- 2 teaspoons/10 mL dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons/10 mL dried sage
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Chile-Lime Turkey Dry Brine
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- 1/4 cup/60 mL table salt (5 tablespoons/75 mL kosher salt)
- Zest of one lime
- 1 tablespoon/15 mL dried pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons/10 mL dried paprika
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Smoked Salt Turkey Dry Brine
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- 1/4 tablespoon/60 mL smoked salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon/15 mL ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon/15 mL white sugar
- 1 tablespoon/15 mL ground black pepper
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