Dry-Brined Turkey

Recipe excerpted from Uncomplicated by Claire Tansey.
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine American
Keyword Gluten-free
Essential Ingredient Turkey
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Servings 8 people
Calories 220kcal
Author Claire Tansey


  • 3 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt
  • 1 fresh turkey 13 - 15 pounds/6 to 7 kg
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, parsley or sage or a combination
  • 3 Tablespoons canola oil


  • Combine brown sugar with kosher salt in a medium bowl. Place the turkey in a large plastic bag (I use a grocery bag, checking first that it has no holes) and place the bag in a roasting pan.
  • Pack the sugar mixture all over the breast, legs and wings of the turkey, pressing firmly so as much of the mix sticks as possible. Carefully close up the bag, just for neatness, then pop it into the fridge (or a room that is colder than 39°F/4°C but above freezing) for 24 to 36 hours.
  • About 4 hours before you want to sit down for supper, preheat the oven to 325°F. Take the turkey out of the bag and rinse it under cold running water, gently rubbing it until every last speck of the brining mixture comes off. Don’t forget to rinse out the inside, too.
  • Place the turkey on a rack in a roasting pan and dry it with paper towels. Place the thyme in the cavity and tie the legs together with twine. Bend and tuck the wing tips under the back. Brush the turkey all over with the canola oil.
  • Roast 3 to 3½ hours or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh reads 175°F. Transfer the turkey to a carving board and tent loosely with foil. Let rest at least 30 minutes and as much as an hour before carving.


Resting meat of any size, but especially large roasts, is arguably the most important step. During its rest, the meat’s juices will redistribute themselves and make the meat juicy and flavourful. It will also be easier to carve.
Save carved carcass and use it to make Roasted Brown Chicken Stock with turkey bones.


Calories: 220kcal