Talk to me about a "dry" brined turkey...

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by emshern, Dec 7, 2013.

  1. emshern


    Likes Received:
    At home cook
    Hi all,

    Turkey on the gas grill (30" oven, must have room for everything else...) for Christmas Day.  

    I'm thinking of butterflying it (we usually do it whole on the grill to great effect) and have heard chatter about dry brine - anyone have an opinion?  Is it basically a dry rub? How far in advance should I do this?

    The sides will be all veg (not vegetarian): potatoes gratin with gruyere, warm shaved brussels sprouts with viniagrette, mushrooms, green bean "salad" with harissa and almonds(cold).

  2. phatch

    phatch Moderator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    I Just Like Food
    You basically kosher it. Coat it in a  layer of kosher salt for an hour inside and out. Rinse it off very well. Don't use any more salt to season it. 

    You can add other seasonings of course, but you do need to rinse the bird of the salt. I usually use some thyme and sage with the salt, maybe some sumac because I like the lemoniness it imparts.  Rinse well, then give it a final rub of whatever seasonings you like, just skip the salt. 

    Your drippings will be salty so be prepared to use less of it or thin it out with turkey stock as needed. 
  3. mike9


    Likes Received:
    Former Chef
    I used to do turkey breasts for parties by boning the meat off the cage then into a bag with salt and evoo over nite.  I roasted them off and being boneless they were easy to slice for serving and very succulent. 
  4. meezenplaz


    Likes Received:
    Sous Chef, Event Manager
    I'm not very big on brining turkey, have had too many that were just plain salty,

    and in my opinion it ruins the drippings which I invariably volutefy with cream,

    mushrooms  and other forms of goodness.

    Furthermore, my turkeys always turn out juicy and tender. Though I'll use a standard

    oven when necessary, I prefer to roast turkeys in an electric roaster which, with its domed

    lid will accommodate a rather large bird. I use a drip pan within, and secure heavy duty foil

    around it. I baste every 45 minutes or so, and I stuff it with medium dry stuffing--lightly salted,

    which seems to bring out some moisture from within.

    That's not to say I'm a stranger to brining--but I only do so when I don't trust the

    "brand" of turkey, or sometimes when it's especially large.

    When I do resort to brining, I use the Kosher dry rub method, sage seasoned or

    whatever I have on hand--I'm an anti-wet-brining left winger. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif  
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2013
  5. koukouvagia


    Likes Received:
    Home Cook
    I plan on doing exactly that for Christmas.  Butterflying and dry brine.  I've dry brined beef before with great great great success, although that was always overnight.  I would do it for a few hours with a turkey and then rinse really well, and then pat dry and allow it to dry completely at room temperature before putting in the oven.