This simple oven-roasted turkey gets a dry brine, which saves space in the fridge

Southern Kitchen
Oven Roasted Turkey

About the recipe

This classic oven-roasted turkey is easy to make and guaranteed moist after spending a night rubbed with dry brine.

Dry-brining a turkey ensures the seasonings have plenty of time to penetrate the meat. It also allows the skin to become ultra-browned and crisp during the roasting process. Just make sure you thoroughly rinse and dry the bird before roasting.

Serves: 12 to 16

Hands On Time: 4 hours and 0 minutes

Total Time: 12 hours and 0 minutes


1 cup kosher salt

3 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (15- to 16-pound) whole turkey, with giblets removed, thawed

1 yellow onion, peeled and quartered with root end attached

1 head garlic, halved

1 (0.75-ounce) package fresh thyme

1 (0.75-ounce) package fresh rosemary

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted


In a small bowl, mix together salt, sugar and black pepper. Thoroughly rub the mixture all over the outside of the bird and inside the cavity. Place the turkey on a baking sheet and refrigerate for 8 hours, or up to overnight. The next morning, thoroughly rinse the turkey, pat dry with paper towels and return to the baking sheet.

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Place an oven rack at the lowest position and remove all other racks from the oven.

Stuff the cavity of the turkey with the onion, garlic, thyme and rosemary. Using a piece of kitchen twine, tie the legs together and tuck the wings underneath the sides of the turkey. Place the turkey, breast side up, in a V-shaped rack set in a deep roasting pan. Brush the skin with half of the melted butter.

Roast until a thermometer inserted into the deepest part of the thigh reads 155 degrees, about 15 minutes per pound, brushing the skin with the remaining melted butter after 3 hours of roasting.

Let the turkey rest for 30 minutes before carving. Serve with all the fixings.