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Due to last minute notification, I wasn’t able to let this set in the brine ad long as the recipe said and it was still delicious!! I can’t wait to try it again. Thank you!!
The juiciest turkey I have cooked in years. I would definitely do it this way again.
Made it!! I had a few modifications here and there, but love love love the way it turned out. First time ever I made turkey that both looked AND tasted great!
Way to go, Louis!
Followed this recipe to the T after finding on Pinterest… and it turned out awesome! Loved, loved, loved it! The bird was about 12 lbs, and the meat was super flavorful, not salty, and no dryness… completely tender. I thought it might be too garlicky but was not. I dry brined for 48 hours.
The only thing about this is the amount of space it takes up in the fridge. Even so, I would still make it again in a heartbeat.
Thanks for sharing this!
Thank you very much Ms. Miller. That was a very delicious recipe. I made a couple of small adjustments. I didn’t have a a grater for the lemon so I seeded the lemon, dried out the pulp, and chopped it real fine.
I’ve prepped my Turkey exactly like recipe says.. she’s about 12 lbs. it looks amazing!! How long should it stay in oven??
Hi Joselle, like the directions say, until it reaches 160 degrees F. Every oven is different, and even birds of the same weight will take different times in different ovens. They key is to check for doneness early, just in case…and to be prepared to have to cook it longer than expected, just in case. It can feel like a lot of pressure, but just keep on tossing out the snacks until it’s good and ready. Happy Thanksgiving :)
There were only whopping 20+ lb turkeys left at the store. Does anything change with these instructions if I am roasting a 20lb turkey or keep at it until the temp hits 160?
Hi Rachel, just keep on roasting that big daddy turkey until it hits 160 degrees, yes. It might take a while! You will have lots of leftovers, which is always dreamy for meals later on.
what do i do if my turkey is injected will it be super salty?
Hi Dale! Per Summer: “Just reduce the salt in this recipe by half.”
what if I have already rubbed the bird with the recipe they way it is? Will my bird be to salty? Please let me know.
It’ll be very salty, yes. You could try soaking it in water cold unsalted water, like a reverse brine, for as many hours as possible, changing the water maybe every hour. The should draw some salt out! And if you need to cook the turkey now, who knows–maybe you’ll all like it that salty! Happy Thanksgiving!
I am follows this recipe to the tee! But won’t my gravy be really salty with all the salt at my drop out of the turkey? What are your suggestions?
Hi, Luanne! Everyone’s preference for salt is different, but the gravy will turn out lovely and it won’t be too salty. I would go ahead and make the recipe as written.
I am so glad I found your article. I want to spatchcock and dry brine my turkey. Unfortunately I had already bought my turkey before I saw on one search that you need a non-injected turkey. You addressed that issue and said to use half the salt. From the other article I thought I would not even be able to do the dry brine, so thank you for giving the whole story! Looking forward to tasting this turkey.
I used this recipe last year and everyone loved it! Thank you! This year we are heading out of town for a few days prior to Thanksgiving. We return the day before the holiday. If I dry-brine it and leave it in the fridge for 4 days while we are gone, will it be too salty? Should I leave the lemon out of the recipe? Can I over-brine the bird?
Hi Jill, I asked Summer and here’s what she said. “That is a really good question. It wouldn’t make the bird too salty. You still have the same amount of salt resorbed into the bird if it sits for 3 days or 4. The USDA recommendation is 2 days for raw poultry. We already push the limit with 3 days, which I’m fine with, however we might just want to tell her 4 days is pushing it.” Hope that helps, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!
Hello! Well it’s 2020 and I think I want to make things easier than ever. LOL the year has been too much! I want to try this dry brine! Ok As a wet brine person & upside down cooking method, Is there anything you’d suggest for using the dry brine method (12-14 lb Turkey) with the upside down method? I also usually coat the skin with a bit of sazon can I just add that to the dry brine mix? Also put butter under the skin. Yay or nay?
Thank you in advance!
Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and a much better 2021!
Hi Dara, making things easier than ever? We are *so* right with you! You should not need to make any adjustments to the upside-down cooking method it you use this brine. And you can rub butter under the skin as you usually do–do it in Step 4, before you truss the bird. As far as adding sazon to the brine…that’s a great idea, but does the sazon have salt added? If so, guestimate how you’ll need to adjust the salt level in the brine. Or keep the salt the same, but mix up your own saltless sazon. Whatever you do, have a splendid Thanksgiving!
When birds come out of their wrapping, they are bloody and gross. You’re saying we cannot rinse that muck off the bird??? That’s disgusting! I’d rather clean my entire kitchen than NOT clean my bird!
Hi Barbara, I know it runs contrary to everything we’ve been taught, but for a number of years food safety experts have recommended NOT rinsing off the bird. According to the USDA, “It’s virtually impossible to wash bacteria off the bird. Instead, juices that splash during washing can transfer bacteria onto the surfaces of your kitchen, other foods and utensils. This is called cross-contamination, which can make you and your guests very sick.” Still not convinced? Here’s an article from Food Safety News, and here’s one from Good Housekeeping. However you prepare your Thanksgiving dinner this difficult year, we hope you have a safe holiday.
Great suggestions. I, however, prefer to use Lowry Seasoned Salt. Any recommendations about measurements? The grains are smaller than Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt that I usually use. Thank you.
Hi Caroline! Hmm, it’s hard to give you out-and-out conversions, since Lowry’s also has seasonings added, so it’s not 100% pure salt. If you have a scale you could do some really nitty conversions. Morton kosher salt is about 18 grams per tablespoon, so you’d want to use a little more than 54 grams of Lowry’s Seasoned Salt, to account for the added seasonings. As for volume, I have no idea. You’ll just have to guess!
I just read Nathan’s comments. I, too, did a wet brine once. The turkey turned out well, but the process was just too tedious! Your dry brine sounds perfect, and I will do it. A questions: I’d like to roast my turkey on the gas grill (in a foil roasting pan). That will give me room for other things in my oven. Any thoughts on roasting the turkey this way? Thank you!
Hi Karlette, glad this was helpful. The dry brine is a game changer for sure! Our best advice on grilling a turkey is to DO IT! But there are a bunch of approaches…the main this is to use indirect heat. This article might be helpful. Have a happy Thanksgiving!
I must say this is probably the best turkey recipe. I did a wet brine with a turkey breast but it was messy and tedious. This turkey was flavorful and the skin was crispy. It looked gnarly in the refrigerator after 24 hours. It was delicious. I made the olive oil paste and with most of the ingredients. I didn’t fill the cavity. I watched Alton Brown trussing a turkey that helped. The temperature and times were perfect. I used a digital thermometer. Outstanding article. Thanks!!!
What a nice writeup. i really love to read your blog
How much salt should I use for a dry brine for a 10 lb turkey?
Hi, Chi! About 2 1/2 tablespoons of kosher salt should do it!
Do the quartered onions go in this brine? They are in the recipe but not in the instructions They are large as they are quartered so maybe this was an error? Thanks
Hi, Dianne! The quartered onions go into the turkey while it roasts. They are not part of the brine. Enjoy!
Any tips for trying this with a bone in turkey breast? I used the roast turkey breast recipe from this site last year and it was good, but I really like how brining seasons the meat all the way through. Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving.
Hi, Sarah —
Great question! I would follow the same steps, but reduce the amount of seasoning (dry brine) you’re using by half. This recipe is works for an 18 pound bird. I hope that helps.