Tag Archives: oranges

Allspice Dry Brine for Turkey

Looking for the perfect turkey recipe? Here is one you will love, after years of using wet brines for my turkey preparation, I have shifted to dry brine with outstanding results. Why a dry brine? Well the taste is great which is the most important reason but  besides that the brining time is faster, storing the turkey is easier and it requires a lot less effort. Let’s be honest, if you are preparing a Thanksgiving meal, you need to find ways to make it all easier.  Give yourself a break or just try a different approach this holiday and enjoy !

From by the bay, wishing you tasty dry brine turkey food memories!


All Spice Dry Brine Turkey


  • 1 12- to 16-pound turkey, preferably a heritage or pasture raised bird  
  • 1 recipe of all spice dry brine ( recipe follows below)
  • 8 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 small oranges, halved
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups chicken or turkey stock


One day before serving, rinse turkey and pat dry. Rub dry brine all over with turkey including under skin where possible and rubbing some into cavities. Use about 1 tablespoon per 4 pounds of bird. Wrap bird in a large plastic bag and place in refrigerator. A couple of hours before cooking, remove turkey from bag and pat dry. (There is no need to rinse it first.) Place in roasting pan and allow to come to room temperature. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Truss legs with kitchen twine. Put oranges and bay leaves in neck opening and tuck neck skin under bird. Rub butter under breast skin and onto thigh meat. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove turkey from oven, reduce heat to 350 degrees and cover breast of bird and wing tips with foil. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken or turkey stock to bottom of roasting pan and roast bird for another two hours, depending on size; figure 12 minutes a pound for an unstuffed bird. Remove foil in last half-hour so breast browns. When turkey has roasted for 2 hours, begin to test for doneness by inserting a meat thermometer (digital is best) into two places in thigh, making sure not to touch bone. It should be at about 160 degrees. When roasting is done, tip turkey so interior juices run back into pan. Remove turkey to a separate baking sheet or serving platter, cover with foil and then a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes. Pour fat and drippings from pan into a measuring cup. Deglaze pan with 1/2 cup chicken of turkey stock and pour that into same measuring cup. Fat and drippings can then be used to make gravy.


Allspice Dry Brine for Turkey

Ingredients for Dry Brine

  • 1/2 cup fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Directions for Dry Brine

In a medium bowl combine well all ingredients.  Store in an air tight container until ready to use.