drying the turkey (but not "dry" turkey)

The turkey, she’s a beaut — 18 pounds of heritage-bred fowl, she’s safely tucked away in the refrigerator, air drying in order to ensure crisp skin along with the juicy, flavorful meat that will occur as a result of a day-long soak in brine.

The plan is to slather her in butter and use the roasting method called for by Cook’s Illustrated magazine.

We traditionally roast our bird early and let it come to room temperature before we eat dinner. This frees up the oven and gives my mom and I a chance to finish all of the sides. We’ll probably have to go that route again, as we don’t have two ovens to play around with…

4 thoughts on “drying the turkey (but not "dry" turkey)”

  1. What will happen if a bit of the turkey misses the brine? Do you think that it will be a big deal? Also, I am planning to brine mine and I am picking the turkey up tomorrow morning. Can I brine it for say, 8 hours and then let it dry out in fridge overnight? I don’t want to have soggy skin!

  2. You can definitely do that — just double the amount of salt for a 6-8 hour brine. An overnight air-dry will be better than none at all!

    Happy Thanksgiving,


  3. Oh — and it’s no big deal if a bit of the turkey sticks out of the brine. Capillary action should draw some of the brine into the affected areas — not as much as if it were submerged, but probably not a noticeable difference.

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