Make this Thanksgiving one to remember when you serve a Dry Brine Turkey! This is the easiest way to roast a whole turkey. With that being said, dry brining doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to flavor or tender, juicy results.

A whole roast turkey is presented on a platter.

Dry Brine Turkey

I may never go back to using traditional brine again. Now that I’ve made dry brine turkey, I just can’t go through the hassle of preparing it another way again! Essentially, you just toss together all of the dry brine ingredients in a small bowl. Then you coat the whole bird with that mixture and cook accordingly (scroll down to see more info on that easy process).

The point of dry brining the bird is to get the skin beautifully browned and crispy as can be, all while the meat gets juicy and tender while it bakes. While salt is a key ingredient in the dry brine (as it is with any brine), there are other ingredients that really make the dry brine mixture so amazing. Sugar, powdered buttermilk, herbs and seasonings come together to lend the very best flavor to the turkey.

You can learn all about the magic of dry brine HERE! After you’ve tasted how amazing this turkey is, you’ll be tempted to use dry brine year-round on various cuts of meat and I can’t blame you. It’s easy, inexpensive, and much less of a mess than traditional brining with liquid. And after all, we could all use a little less stress around the holidays!

A raw turkey with brine is placed on a baking sheet.

How to Make a Dry Brine Turkey

This really is the easiest way to prepare a Thanksgiving turkey. Scroll to the bottom of this page for more detailed ingredients and step-by-step instructions!

  1. Make the dry brine. Whisk everything together and either use immediately or store for later. It’ll stay good for up to 6 months, so feel free to make it ahead of time.
  2. Dry brine the turkey. Gently pat the turkey dry with paper towels, then place it on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the dry brine evenly all over the turkey and lightly press it to make sure it really sticks to the skin.
  3. Chill. Transfer the turkey to the fridge for 8-24 hours. Don’t cover it!
  4. Prepare for baking. When it’s time to roast the turkey, preheat the oven to 500°F. Move the turkey to a roasting pan. Discard any juices that may have gathered in the original pan. Stuff the cavity of the bird with aromatics and truss the legs together with some kitchen twine.
  5. Roast the turkey. Pop the turkey in the oven and roast at 500°F for 30 minutes. Then, reduce the heat to 425°F. Continue roasting the turkey until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 165°F.
  6. Rest. Let the roast turkey rest for about 45 minutes before carving and serving.
A whole roast turkey is presented on a roasting pan.

How long should I dry brine my turkey?

Dry brine your turkey for a minimum of 8 hours and a max of 24 hours. I like to usually let mine brine for the full time, 24 hours, so it really soaks in the brine. It’s the best way to ensure flavorful and juicy results.

Do you remove the salt after dry brining a turkey?

Nope, there’s no need to rinse or pat the salt off of the turkey! The salt draws the moisture out of the turkey, which is what gives it the crispy skin. Juices will accumulate on your pan as it chills in the fridge and that’s okay – just discard of those juices once the brining time is over.

A whole roasted turkey is garnished and presented on a serving plate.

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A whole roasted turkey is garnished and presented on a serving plate.

Get the Recipe: Buttermilk Dry Brined Turkey Recipe

Easy and mess free, Dry Brine Turkey is tender, juicy and perfect every time. With hints of citrus and herbs, it's a home run for holidays and beyond. Use the leftover brine for pork, chicken and more.
4.50 from 2 votes


  • 1 1/2 cups Buttermilk Dry Brine
  • 12-14 pound turkey, patted dry and giblets removed

For the dry brine:

  • 1 cup powdered buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika


  • 1 roasting pan


  • Whisk together all the dry brine ingredients and transfer to an airtight container.
  • Store in the pantry for up do 6 months.
  • Pat the turkey dry with a paper towel and place on a baking sheet.
  • Sprinkle the dry brine evenly over the surface of the meat and lightly press it to ensure it sticks to the skin.
  • Transfer the turkey, uncovered, to the refrigerator for 8 hours or up to 24 hours.
  • When ready to roast, preheat the oven to 500˚ F.
  • Move the turkey to a clean roasting pan and discard any juices that accumulated on the original pan.
  • Stuff the cavity of the turkey with aromatics and truss by tying the legs together with kitchen twine.
  • Roast the turkey for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 425˚F. Continue roasting until the temperature reaches 165˚F in the thickest part of the thigh.
  • Allow the turkey to rest for 45 minutes before carving.


For best results, coat the turkey with the brine up to 48 hours in advance. Store in the refrigerator uncovered and then bring to room temperature before roasting.
Calories: 478kcal, Carbohydrates: 6g, Protein: 70g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 232mg, Sodium: 2721mg, Potassium: 755mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 282IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 3mg