Garlic and brown sugar dry-brined turkey

Try brining your turkey before roasting for delicious results

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The holidays and roasted turkey dinner go hand-in-hand. Although the decision to serve the time-honoured traditional main course is relatively easy, sometimes deciding how to prepare your turkey can be tough. 

This garlic and brown sugar dry-brined turkey recipe from Turkey Farmers of Canada will take your turkey to the next level without diverting too far from traditional techniques. 

During the brining process, the turkey absorbs extra moisture and seasoning, which ensures your bird will be both moist and flavourful. Additionally, since the saltiness of the brine naturally breaks down some of the poultry’s proteins, the end result is a tender and delicately textured turkey.

Garlic brown sugar dry-brined turkey

11-12 lb whole turkey, (thawed if frozen)
1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup + 1 tsp brown sugar divided
1 tbsp and 1 tsp finely minced garlic, devided
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup melted butter
1 1/2 cups water

Place turkey in a large baking dish or roasting pan.

In a medium bowl, combine salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon garlic and pepper. Rub all over the turkey and under the skin where possible, using a large spoon to loosen the skin if necessary.

Place uncovered in the refrigerator for a minimum of 12 hours. It will dry out, but don't worry, that is normal. Remove turkey from the fridge at least 1 hour before roasting.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.

Place turkey in a roasting pan or on a large rimmed sheet pan on a roasting rack. Use cooking twine to tie the legs together.

Combine melted butter, remaining brown sugar and minced garlic and brush over turkey, fill turkey with stuffing if desired.

Pour some  into the bottom of the roasting pan and roast turkey at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, until just starting to brown. Reduce heat to 350 degrees, cover and continue roasting until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 170 degrees in the breast, approximately 2 hours to 2 hours and 30 minutes.

Uncover, baste and let roast for 5-10 minutes to help deepen browning.

Remove turkey from the oven, cover and let rest for 30 minutes before carving.

Serves 12
Prep Time:
12 hours or more
Cook Time:
2.5 hours