Rating: 5 stars
18 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 16
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0

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.

Recipe Summary

2 hrs 30 mins
3 days 9 hrs 30 mins
3 days 12 hrs 15 mins
15 mins
1 15-pound turkey


Original recipe yields 15 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

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

  • 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.

  • 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

684 calories; protein 91.9g; carbohydrates 1g; fat 31.8g; cholesterol 267.6mg; sodium 1382.8mg. Full Nutrition