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A close up of a citrus dry brined turkey on a platter.

Citrus Dry Brined Turkey

Teri & Jenny
This Citrus Dry Brined Turkey will be the juiciest, most flavorful turkey you'll ever taste! It's easy to make and will have everyone asking for seconds!
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 3 hrs
Brine Time 2 d
Total Time 2 d 3 hrs 15 mins
Course dinner, Main Course, main dish
Cuisine Amercian
Servings 12
Calories 347 kcal


citrus dry brine

  • cup kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tablespoons light Brown Sugar
  • ¼ cup orange zest from about 2 oranges
  • 3 tablespoons lemon zest from about 3 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons lime zest from about 2 limes
  • 1 tablespoon ground sage
  • 2 teaspoons cracked black pepper


  • ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter softened
  • 1 (12-14 lb.) turkey thawed and pat dry


  • Place all brine ingredients into a mixing bowl and stir together until evenly mixed.
  • Rub brine all over turkey, including cavity and place onto a baking sheet, topped with a cooling rack. Refrigerate turkey for 2 days.
  • Preheat oven to 450˚F.
  • Completely brush brine off turkey and pat dry. Tie turkey legs together with twine, fold wing tips behind turkey and transfer to a roasting pan.
  • Rub butter evenly all over turkey.
  • Cover breast with foil and place turkey in oven and roast for 30 minutes.
  • Lower heat to 350˚F and continue to roast for an additional 2 to 2 ½ hours (about 12 minutes a pound, for an internal temperature of 160˚F).
  • In the last 40 to 50 minutes of roasting, uncover breast to brown and crisp skin.
  • Remove turkey from oven and rest for 20 to 30 minutes, loosely covered.
  • Carve and serve.


-The turkey can be dry brined for as little as 24 hours and up to 72 hours.
-The foil over the breast will prevent it from over-browning and drying out. 
-Dry brining frozen turkey: Gently rinse frozen turkey with water and pat dry. Rub dry brine all over turkey and place in a large dish with taller sides (to account for the liquid that will accumulate from defrosting the turkey). You'll still need about 2-3 days for a 12-14 pound turkey to thaw completely.


Calories: 347kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 47gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 165mgSodium: 3385mgPotassium: 490mgFiber: 1gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 257IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 2mg
Keyword dry brine, thanksgiving, turkey
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