Dry Brined Turkey Breast
Serve a tender and juicy turkey breast with crisp, golden skin when you dry-brine it first with simple ingredients like salt, pepper, and dried herbs. Dry brining also enhances the flavor of the turkey by making sure each bite is properly seasoned. The dry brine is applied directly to the turkey’s skin for a few hours, delivering a big flavor and less hassle than traditional brining.
You can choose any combination of dried herbs to dry brine your turkey – the recipe below calls for salt, pepper, garlic, and thyme. I like a little citrus flavor on my turkey, so I would add the zest of one lemon to the dry brine.
You need to dry brine a thawed turkey and let it brine for at least 1 – 2 days for the best results, so keep this in mind when thawing the frozen turkey. You can use the same dry brine technique for a full turkey as you can the breast.
Take advantage of the hot deals on turkey and turkey breasts at Safeway to use this dry-brine method. See the weekly ad with the turkey deals here.
What does brining a turkey mean?
Brining is a way of marinating and adding moisture to lean meat. The turkey or other meat is soaked or rubbed in a mixture of salt and water for a few hours or days before cooking. Some recipes call for adding other flavoring ingredients to the brine, such as sugar, herbs, and spices, but they aren’t necessary. In the days before refrigeration, brining was used as a way to preserve meat (think ham and pastrami), but now it’s a popular way to add flavor and moisture to lean meats.
Why should I brine my meat?
Brining makes the meat juicier and more flavorful and improves its texture. Salt adds tremendous flavor, and brining if done properly, will get the salt deep into the meat, so every bite has a nice, salty taste.
Pro Tips for Dry Brining Turkey:
- Use your fingers to gently separate the membrane between the skin and the breast, while leaving the skin intact.
- Rubbing spices between the breast and skin will create juicy turkey and crisp skin.
- To store leftover turkey, remove all meat from the bone. Place in an airtight container. Turkey will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days and in the freezer up to 2 to 3 months.
Dry-Brined Turkey Breast
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse-ground black pepper
- 1 6- lb whole bone-in turkey breast
- In a small bowl, combine spices. Set aside.
- Wash and pat dry turkey breast. Rub part of the spices between the turkey breast and skin. Remaining spices should be generously rubbed all over exterior of the breast. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, uncovered, in the refrigerator for 12 hours (up to 36 hours).
- Remove from refrigerator and let rest 30 minutes before roasting. Preheat oven to 400°. Place breast on a clean rimmed baking sheet.
- Roast turkey about 1 hour, or until internal temperature reaches 155°. Remove and let rest 15 minutes before serving.
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2 thoughts on “Dry Brined Turkey Breast”
Tried this today and couldn’t be more disapointed. The breast was a “honeysuckle young tender” breast. 1) it turned out tough as it could be
2) it was so salty we couldn’t eat it.
I would never ever use this again.
Thank you for your comment Bill. This is a Safeway recipe. I see it originally showed 4 teaspoons of salt. I agree that is too much. I’ve reduced the amount of salt in the recipe to 2 teaspoons.