Dry Brine is here to make your Thanksgiving so much more simple! Rub your turkey with this mixture of inexpensive ingredients and enjoy how juicy and tender the meat becomes all while the skin browns and crisps up beautifully. It’s so simple and so effective every single time!

A small glass jar is filled with dry brine.

Dry Brine

You’ve been making your turkey wrong this whole time. Okay, well, maybe not entirely wrong – but now that I have you attention, let me introduce you to the wonders of dry brine! It’s essentially just powdered buttermilk that’s dressed up with two key ingredients, salt and brown sugar. There’s also a medley of aromatic herbs and spices in there like dry rosemary, garlic powder and more to create the very best flavor.

I’ve included instructions for how to make dry brine (just tossing it all together) and how to use dry brine on a turkey (which also couldn’t be easier). Seriously, this stuff has saved Thanksgiving for me! No more stressing over the bird, and no more pouring gravy all over dry turkey meat in an attempt to add moisture. Dry brine solves all the most common turkey problems!

When I use buttermilk dry brine on my Thanksgiving turkey, it makes the skin turn a delicious golden brown color and makes it SO crispy. The meat itself is juicy and wonderfully tender. You’ll barely even need gravy, so save it for your mashed potatoes! Once you master the dry brining technique, you may never return to traditional brining again.

The ingredients for dry brine are placed on a woven place mat.

How to Make Dry Brine

Whisk, serve, or store for later:

  1. Whisk. Measure each ingredient with care. Whisk it all together until combined.
  2. Enjoy! Use your dry brine immediately or store it in an airtight container out of direct sunlight for up to 6 months. It’s great for making ahead of time!

How to Use Dry Brine

Turkey day just got so much easier. Here’s how to use your dry brine:

  1. Pat it dry. When you’re ready to use your turkey (or other meat), gently pat it dry with a paper towel. Place the turkey on a baking sheet.
  2. Brine it. Sprinkle your homemade dry brine all over the turkey. Lightly press the brine into the skin to make sure it’s really on there.
  3. Chill. Transfer the turkey, uncovered, to your fridge. Let it chill anywhere between 8-24 hours.
  4. Prepare for roasting. Preheat the oven to 500°F. While that’s heating up, move the turkey to a clean roasting pan and get rid of any juices that gathered on the original pan. Stuff the turkey with aromatics and use kitchen twine to truss the legs together.
  5. Roast. Roast the turkey for 30 minutes at 500°F. Then, reduce the heat to 425°F. Roast the turkey at this temperature until the internal temperature reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the thigh.
  6. Rest. Always let your turkey rest for 45 minutes before you carve it. This keeps it nice and juicy!

I keep this Dry Buttermilk Powder in my pantry at all times to infuse the tangy flavor into baked goods, biscuits, pancakes and shelf stable dry brine. A must have and it keeps forever!

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A whisk is stirring ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

What’s in dry brine?

Here’s what you’ll use to make the best dry brine:

  • Powdered Buttermilk – You should be able to find this in the baking aisle of your local grocery store.
  • Salt – Try to use kosher salt, not iodized!
  • Brown Sugar – This adds depth and a touch of sweetness to the dry brine.
  • Spices – A medley of freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and smoked paprika create the best flavor. It’s a bold mix of ingredients, yet they’re still fairly neutral and don’t overpower the other ingredients.
  • Herbs – Dried thyme and rosemary are used to compliment the aromatics in the cavity of the bird. Even if you’re using this dry brine recipe on steak or chicken, I recommend leaving those herbs in the mix.
A small spoon of dry brine is placed next to a jar.

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A small glass jar is filled with dry brine.

Get the Recipe: Buttermilk Dry Brine Recipe

A flavor packed Dry Brine with less mess than a wet brine! Buttermilk Dry Brine is the pantry staple you'll keep on hand all year. Great for your thanksgiving turkey, pork chops, chicken and more.
5 from 1 vote


  • 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 bowl
  • 1 whisk


  • Whisk together all the ingredients and transfer to an airtight container.
  • Store in the pantry for up do 6 months.


When ready to use, pat the turkey (or other meat) 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.
Calories: 63kcal, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 0.4g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.05g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Cholesterol: 7mg, Sodium: 2412mg, Potassium: 192mg, Fiber: 0.4g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 119IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 131mg, Iron: 0.3mg