Tag Archives: How to cook a turkey

The Secret to a Perfect Holiday Turkey: Dry Brining

Every November, people wrestle bulky birds into bags of brine, slopping all over the kitchen and making a mess in the name of a more tender turkey.

No more.

Wet brining — making a solution of water, salt, herbs and spices in which the turkey would sit for 12 to 24 hours — is undoubtedly a fine way to infuse flavor into a conventional store-bought turkey (most of which have been bred for size, not taste). But dry brining is so much simpler, and the results are so consistently good, that there’s no shame in taking the easy way out.

A dry-brined turkey, called “The Judy Bird” after Zuni Café owner Judy Rodgers, who pioneered the technique. Photo credit Food52.

One of the first chefs to introduce the idea of a poultry dry brine into home cooks’ regular rotation was Judy Rodgers, owner of Zuni Cafe in San Francisco. In “The Zuni Café Cookbook” (W.W. Norton & Co., 2002), Rodgers wrote that the brine on a small roasting chicken “improves flavor, keeps it moist, and makes it tender.”

Applying salt in advance at first draws moisture out of the bird, but over time it draws it back in again, resulting in much juicier meat. When talking to home cooks who attempted her method, Rodgers reported that “the results are startling and delicious when they prepare a chicken this way in their gas or electric ovens.”

To dry brine your turkey, begin the Sunday night before Thanksgiving. Just before roasting, give it a few hours uncovered in the fridge so it dries out (that will help the skin get golden brown).

Credit: Washington City Paper

Measure one tablespoon of kosher salt for every five pounds of turkey (for a 15-pound turkey, that means 3 tablespoons). Sprinkle the salt all over the outside of the turkey and lightly on the inner cavity. It should look well-seasoned but not over-salted. (With chicken, I sometimes add pepper or other seasonings here — thyme and rosemary are lovely, as are blends like za’atar and an ancho chile combination.)

To store the turkey, you can put it in a sealable plastic bag, or simply cover it with a towel. It should be breast-side up; turn it occasionally.

When you’re ready to cook, give the turkey about an hour to come to room temperature. Then roast as usual — Rodgers recommends a higher heat, about 425°F, rotating midway through to make sure the skin gets evenly browned.

Find other converts to the dry-brine method at the LA Times, Food52 and Martha Stewart Living.

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Free eBook: The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide by gThankYou!

Free eBook- The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide by gThankYou

Click Image to Download!

gThankYou! is excited to announce our free eBook, “The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide”, the  perfect addition to help make your Thanksgiving Turkey a great success!

In this handy, straightforward guide, you’ll find everything you need to get started choosing, preparing and serving your Thanksgiving turkey.  Whether it’s a Butterball or a heritage bird that’s pre-brined, roasted or destined for the smoker, use this guide to streamline the centerpiece of your holiday feast.

Novice or seasoned pro, you’ll find useful tips and resources in this handy guide to successfully serving your Holiday Turkey.

Here’s a peek at our “Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide” Table of Contents:

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Part One: Getting Started

  • How Much Turkey Do I Need?
  • Fresh versus Frozen
  • Types of Turkey
  • A Thanksgiving Turkey Timeline
  • Prep Work
  • Two Ways to Brine

Part Two: Cooking the Turkey

  • Ways to Cook a Turkey & Cook Times:
    Roast
    Grill
    Smoke
    Deep Fry
  • A Word about Stuffing
  • Stuffing versus Dressing
  • Where Does the Thermometer Go?
  • What’s the Magic Number?

Part Three:  The Fine Points

  • How to Know When the Turkey is Done
  • How to Carve a Turkey
  • How to Make Gravy
  • A Word About Leftovers
  • Thanksgiving Tools of the Trade

Part Four: Helpful resources

  • Where to go for Help
  • Where to go for Turkey Recipes

Download your free copy now by clicking this link:
The Ultimate Thanksgiving Turkey Guide”

Please share this blog with friends and let us know how you like our new eBook. We hope you enjoy it!
The gThankYou! Team

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick Kiley, Chief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

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