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perfect dry brined roasted turkey

Perfect Dry Brined Roasted Turkey

This Dry Brine Recipe for Roasted Turkey will result in a beautifully browned, moist, and delicious turkey every time.
5 from 15 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Brine Time: 3 days
Total Time: 3 days 3 hours
Servings: 10 servings
Calories: 559kcal
Author: EmilyFabulous


  • roasting pan with rack
  • meat thermometer
  • large brining plastic bag
  • cooking twine


Dry Brine

  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 large orange, zested
  • 1 large lemon, zested

Roasted Turkey

  • 10-12 pound turkey, thawed completely
  • 1 large lemon, quartered
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into eighths
  • 1 handful fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, sage
  • kosher salt to taste
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


Dry Brine- 3 days ahead of serving

    Day 1 (Monday before Thanksgiving)

    • Place all dry brine ingredients in a large bowl and combine together.
      dry brine herbs and salt
    • Rinse and dry the turkey. Make sure you remove any giblets inside and get any leftover feathers that were missed. I use paper towels to dry the bird. Place your turkey in a roasting pan (you don't need the rack yet), and rub all over with brine mix. Make sure you get all the nooks and crannies and the inside too! Wrap the entire pan with a large roasting bag or cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator. I found a roasting bag at the dollar store and it worked perfectly!
      dry brine mixture for roasted turkey

    Day 2 (Tuesday before Thanksgiving)

    • Open the bag or uncover and flip the bird over. Rub any mix that fell off over bird, re-wrap and place back in the refrigerator.

    Day 3 (Wednesday before Thanksgiving)

    • Take the bag or wrap off the turkey, flip one more time and allow the turkey to dry out in the fridge uncovered.

    Day 4 (Thanksgiving day!)

    • Remove the turkey from the fridge and pat dry removing any excess brine. Place on counter and allow it to warm up for at least an hour before cooking.

    Roasting the Turkey

    • Preheat your oven to 425°F and move rack all the way to the bottom of the oven. Pat turkey dry one more time and place lemon pieces, onion pieces and fresh herbs inside the cavity. Tie legs together with twine and place on roasting rack breast side up. Make sure legs are all tightly snug next to the turkey. Brush the turkey with melted butter and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
      perfect dry brined turkey before roasting
    • Place roasting pan in the oven and cook for 30 minutes at 425°F. This is how you get crispy skin!
    • Lower oven temp to 325°F and continue to cook for 2-21/2 more hours. Check internal temp at the thickest part of the thigh, it's ready at 165°. My 10 lb. turkey took just 2 more hours to cook.
    • Remove the turkey from the oven and place the rack on a baking sheet (you are going to use drippings from roasting pan for gravy). Cover with foil and allow it to rest for at least 20-30 minutes before carving. This is the perfect amount of time to make the delicious gravy!
      perfect dry brined roasted turkey


    • I strongly suggest using FRESH herbs and kosher salt.
    • This mix was enough for a 10 lb. turkey but could probably cover up to about 14 lbs.
    • Remember this is a recipe for a few days of brining and drying so plan ahead! For Thanksgiving, I started with a thawed-out turkey on Monday morning and everything was ready to go by Thursday morning.


    Serving: 1lb | Calories: 559kcal | Carbohydrates: 4.8g | Protein: 68g | Fat: 28.1g | Saturated Fat: 9.8g | Cholesterol: 209mg | Sodium: 11514mg | Potassium: 750mg | Fiber: 1.3g | Sugar: 2.6g | Calcium: 96mg | Iron: 5mg

    Any nutrition calculations are only estimates using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.