How to Dry Brine Turkey for the Perfect Holiday Meal
Regardless of how many people you’re serving, learning to dry brine turkey could be the key to ensuring that you have the ideal holiday meal, complete with soft and juicy meat.
Follow along as I walk you through how to dry brine your turkey in four simple steps. It’s a simple process to pick up, but it does require some planning beforehand.
What is a dry brine?
Brining simply refers to soaking meat in a solution of salt and water to make it more soft and juicy.
Dry brining eliminates the need for water in the procedure. With a dry brine, you cover your meat with a lot of salt (and in this case, some sugar).
Even if you don’t soak the turkey in water, you’ll still get a delicious bird with extra-crisp skin. Win, win!
Why not use a traditional wet brine?
Salt is used throughout the brining process to assist break down the turkey’s muscles as well as to provide taste.
The meat becomes naturally more tender as a result, and the muscles begin to lose some of their capacity to contract.
The turkey retains more internal moisture and flavor when the muscles don’t tighten as much during cooking.
Although you infuse a ton of water into the meat during wet brining, you do obtain some of these results. A wet-brined turkey may appear juicy, but the actual juiciness is just the water you’re soaking it in.
The physics of dry brining is the same as that of wet brining, but there is no chance of your bird becoming waterlogged.
How long should you dry brine turkey?
You must dry brine your turkey for at least 48 hours for it to be done properly. As a result, the salt has plenty of time to start tenderizing your bird’s meat.
In order to give the skin time to dry out, you should keep it covered in the refrigerator for the first 24 hours and uncovered for the final 24 hours.
What salt quantity should I use?
For every 4 pounds, we advise using 1 tablespoon of salt. Thus, 2 teaspoons of salt are required for an 8-pound turkey. A tablespoon of sugar is also added to assist the skin to become even crisper. Though it won’t taste sweet, it will have a significant impact.
Does the dry brine need to be rinsed off?
No! Rinsing it would make a dry brine useless. Dry brining removes part of the moisture from the bird, resulting in a skin that is extremely crispy and flesh that is tasty. Before roasting, just use paper towels to dry off the turkey’s extra moisture and salt.
Tips to Dry Brine Turkey
Steer clear of salt-seasoned turkey. Make careful to purchase a natural chicken rather than one that has been salted or soaked beforehand because the brine contains a lot of sodium.
Refrigerated bird brined. Thaw your turkey in the refrigerator if it is frozen before brining. For a complete explanation of turkey thawing times, click here.
A whole bird, a breast, or cut-up pieces can be dry-brined. Any turkey piece can be dry-brined.!
Although we adore the results of brining the bird for a whole day, you may prolong the dry brining process by keeping the bird in the refrigerator for up to three days.
The salt will have plenty of time to completely permeate the meat, resulting in a turkey that is incredibly juicy and tasty.
After dry brining, you can roast, air fry, grill, or otherwise cook the turkey way you prefer for the big meal.