Dry Brined Turkey Results

Because it flies in the face of much traditional turkey prepping wisdom, a few peeps were understandably curious about what the result would be when I posted that I was dry brining my turkey this year.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not a big believer in the idea of a "best" way to do things. I've cooked enough to know that all kinds of techniques and processes can yield a desired and desirable result. And I've fed enough people to know that what is a desired or desirable result, and still within the realm of tasty, can vary quite a bit between reasonably discriminating palates.

That said, as an efficiency loving type gal with limited space within which to work, I love dry brining because it not only works to produce a moist, flavorful, yet natural tasting bird, but because it is also quite efficient. It saves space, water, seasonings and time (you can dry brine the bird from a frozen state), and, in my opinion, you lose absolutely nothing in the result.

If you follow the right ratio of salt to bird, the right amount of brining time, and you don't overcook (165F internal dark meat temp is done), you will simply have a more intensely flavored bird with none of the cured texture of an oversalted or oversoaked brine, none of the artificial juiciness of a wet brine - and I get that some of us really love said juiciness - but a natural tasting and feeling moistness to the meat, and consistent seasoning throughout the meat to the bone.

I like to give my bird a light but thorough external coat of olive oil to help crisp and brown the skin even bettah. This year, I added sage, thyme, black peppercorns and a little bit of onion powder to the rub.

And yes. You will still have enough flavorful pan drippings and juices to make delicious gravy.

And since I don't like to reinvent perfectly good wheels, here's Russ Parson's piece explaining how it works and how to do it.

So there you have it, peeps.

Dry brined bird.

It works. :)

Oh, and I can't overstress the benefit of the initial high temp sear before lowering to finish.




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