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"Dry-Brine" Turkeys -- Experiences/Reports?

Bada Bing | Nov 25, 201107:26 AM

This was my first year doing a "dry-brine" style of turkey (a term that irks some, I know, who think brining is only about salty soaking). I used a 14lb fresh natural bird, no injection.

VERDICT: tasty but too salty. Saltier than when I've wet-brined.

Here are three approaches that I consulted:

1. The one I followed was Alton Brown's in a recent Food Network special called "Countdown to Thanksgiving," which spatchcocks the bird:


2. Saveur:

3. L.A.Times:

Now I note that Alton Brown's approach does indeed call for over 50% more salt than does the Saveur recipe, and more also than the LA TImes one. And those recipes specify salt by weight, so I wonder whether removing the backbone was relevant as a weight issue? Should one reduce salt in keeping with the lower weight of a spatchcocked bird?

I notice, also, that some recipes call for wrapping the bird in plastic for the first few days of the curing, while others just say to air-dry the bird the way I did. Mine sat uncovered in the fridge for almost three days (68 hours). Looked great coming out of the oven. I rubbed the bird's dry skin with peanut oil before roasting.

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