Dry-Brined Roasted Turkey

Culinary Setting
Meal Type
Main Course, Entrée
Cooking Style
Whole Turkey



3 tbsp Diamond Crystal kosher salt (do not substitute table salt)

1 tbsp black pepper, freshly ground

1 lemon, zested

1/4 c unsalted butter, melted



Remove giblets and neck from turkey cavities and reserve for gravy. Blot dry with paper towels.

Mix salt, pepper and lemon zest together in a small cup.

Sprinkle the inside of the turkey with 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon salt mixture. Rub each breast half with 1-1/2 teaspoons mixture. Rub each thigh and leg with 1 teaspoon mixture. Rub each wing with 1/4 teaspoon mixture. Sprinkle remaining mixture on the back of the turkey.

Place the turkey in a sealable food-safe plastic bag, press out the air and seal. Place the turkey, on a rimmed baking sheet, and refrigerate for 24 to 36 hours, turning the bird every 12 hours.

Remove the turkey from the bag, brush brine from turkey. There should be no salt remaining on the turkey. Pat dry, inside and out, with clean paper towels.

Place the turkey, breast-side up, on a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, on the lowest shelf, uncovered, for at least 8 hours, but not more than 10 hours. Take care the turkey does not touch other foods.


Place the oven shelf in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Fold under the neck skin and fasten to the back with 1 or 2 skewers. Fold the wings under the back of the turkey. Brush the breast, legs and thighs with melted butter.

Place turkey, breast-side down, on a V-shaped roasting rack in a shallow (about 2-1/2 inches deep) roasting pan. Add 1 cup cold water to bottom of roasting pan.

Roast turkey, on the lowest oven shelf, for 30 minutes. Remove the turkey from the oven. Using clean paper towels and oven mitts or potholders, rotate the turkey with the turkey breast-side up.

Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Return turkey, with legs in first, to the lowest shelf in the oven. Continue to roast until a food thermometer, inserted in the deepest part of the thigh, reaches 175 degrees F, about 2+ hours.

Remove turkey from the oven and allow to rest, for at least, 20 to 30 minutes before carving.

Place on a warm large platter and garnish platter with fresh herbs and fruits.