Dry Brine Turkey


Dry brining is the easiest way to get a moist and flavorful turkey on the table for your Thanksgiving dinner. Plan ahead, you'll need a few days to get the most flavor. I found that salt and pepper was enough for me, but feel free to season with other aromatics before roasting.

Prep Time:
15 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 30 mins
Additional Time:
3 days 9 hrs 30 mins
Total Time:
3 days 12 hrs 15 mins
1 15-pound turkey


  • 1 (15 pound) whole turkey, neck and giblets removed

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt

  • black pepper to taste

  • 1 onion, cut into wedges

  • 4 stalks celery, halved


  1. Pat turkey dry with paper towels. Season the inside and outside of turkey with kosher salt, focusing on the breast and thighs. Place turkey, breast-side up, in the roasting pan and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate turkey for about 2 days.

  2. Flip turkey breast-side down, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for about 1 more day.

  3. Remove plastic wrap and place turkey on a rack over a baking sheet the night before you plan to roast. Allow turkey to air-dry in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.

  4. Bring turkey to room temperature, 1 to 2 hours; pat dry with paper towels. Season turkey with black pepper and place onion and celery in the cavity.

  5. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Place turkey, breast-side down, in a roasting pan.

  6. Roast in the preheated oven until skin is golden, about 30 minutes. Remove turkey from oven and flip to breast-side up. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C); continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 2 hours.

  7. Transfer turkey to a large platter and loosely tent with aluminum foil; allow turkey to rest about 30 minutes before carving.

Cook's Note:

I found that a dry brined turkey cooks a bit faster than a traditionally brined turkey. Start checking the doneness about 45 minutes earlier than you think.

Editor's Note:

Nutrition data for this recipe includes the full amount of salt. The actual amount consumed will vary.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

684 Calories
32g Fat
1g Carbs
92g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 15
Calories 684
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 32g 41%
Saturated Fat 9g 47%
Cholesterol 268mg 89%
Sodium 1383mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 92g
Vitamin C 1mg 5%
Calcium 91mg 7%
Iron 6mg 33%
Potassium 953mg 20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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