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Nov 11, 2009 07:39 AM

Crispy Turkey Skin

Does it make sense to wash and throughly dry the turkey and season the day before and keep it uncovered in the fridge? Will this help dry the skin and make it crispy when roasting?

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  1. I am planning to do the same. I'll brine it for one night, take it out, pat dry, and leave it open in the fridge for another night before cooking it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: cutipie721

      Have you done this before? Someone suggested I do that with steak....and wow, was it fantastic.

    2. This is exactly what a dry brine does for your bird. Wet brines are unnecessary & more hassle. You can rub with kosher salt & set it over a rack, uncovered, on a sheet pan in your fridge to air dry it and your skin will come out crispy & brown, since it will be sufficiently dried but the time you roast it.

      I've done this several years in a row with my holiday turkey, as well as any bird I roast, and cuts of beef as well. It works wonderfully to season the meat, and they always come out juicy and moist, due to the retention of the meat's own water. Try it, you'll be a convert.

      Fine Cooking came out with this technique a few years back, if you want to research it yourself. It was the best bird I ever made, and I've never gone back. You can also use convection for roasting, and that will also help brown your skin significantly. I use it at the end of roasting, and it hastens the browning & cooking of the roast. Good Luck!!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Phurstluv

        I'm going to do it! One more I putting just salt on it or am also adding pepper and dried herbs? Thank you!

        1. re: DaisyM

          Just salt is fine. You certainly can add some dried herbs on it while brining, but I haven't tried that myself. But I have done it while dry brining a whole chicken, and it does add flavor so it'll probably work just fine.

          I use fresh herbs, pepper and some lemon in the cavity. A lot of people like to put fresh sage leaves under the skin, etc. I just don't think it adds a whole lot of flavor in the end. But do whatever you're comfortable with.

            1. re: DaisyM

              You're welcome, and I hope you and your family enjoy your turkey as much as we have! I'm anxious to hear how it comes out!

      2. For the past 8 years I've used a brine (Mark Peel's recipe) and brined to cover for 24 hours, then rinsed and dried the bird in the fridge for 24 hours. The skin turns out exceptionally crispy. If using a wet brine it is essential, in my experience, to allow the bird to dry for at least 24 hours.