Holiday recipe: Maple and brown sugar brined turkey

Try dry brining your turkey for delicious results this holiday season

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Photo and recipe provided.

Haven't tried dry brining before? Let's get your ears perked about it!

Dry brining is the laid-back cousin of wet brining that typically requires nothing more than a blend of salt, spices, and your soon-to-be-roasted turkey. While a wet brine demands a full-on soak, the dry brine keeps things way more simple. \

TL;DR - it's like giving your Canadian turkey a cozy, aromatic blanket instead of a full-on bath.

This recipe calls for a mix of brown sugar and maple syrup in addition to other spices and aromatics and the result is a turkey that's juicy and bursting with flavour.

Maple and brown sugar brined turkey

1 8-10 lb whole turkey, spatchcocked 

¼ cup kosher salt 

2 Tbsp brown sugar 

4 garlic cloves, finely minced 

1 tsp dried thyme 

1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper 

¼ cup melted salted butter 

2 Tbsp maple syrup 

1 cup water 


To brine the turkey:

Place turkey in a large baking dish or roasting pan. 

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

Place uncovered in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours and up to 3 days. It will dry out but that is normal. 


To roast the turkey:

Remove turkey from the fridge 1 hour before roasting. 

Place turkey on a large, rimmed baking sheet on a roasting rack.  

Combine butter and maple syrup. Brush over turkey and pour water into the bottom of the baking dish. 

Heat oven to 425°F. 

Roast turkey at 425°F for 20 minutes, until just starting to brown. 

Reduce oven heat to 350°F and continue roasting until the turkey reaches an internal temperature of 165°F in the breast, about 1 hour more. If turkey browns too quickly, tent with foil and continue baking. 

Remove turkey from the oven and let rest for 20 minutes before slicing.

Serves 6-8
Prep Time:
15 minutes plus a minimum of 12 hours to brine
Cook Time:
1 hour and 20 minutes