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Allow turkey to dry out overnight after brining or not?...

Some people suggest that, after 24-36 hours of brining, you should allow 12 hours or so for the turkey to dry out a bit in the fridge, which will enable the skin to crisp while roasting.  And if you remove the turkey from the brine the day of the cook, the skin won't crisp and will basically be a soggy mess.  Others disagree and have strongly stated that you absolutely can remove the turkey from the brine before cooking, as the skin will still get crispy (especially if its liberally rubbed with butter.  In fact, if anything you risk drying out the bird by letting it dry out in the fridge overnight before cooking.

Is there a definitive answer here or is it simply a matter of choice?  I believe in years past I would remove the turkey from brine a few hours or so before cooking, but not 8-12 or whatever that others suggest.


  • I am interesting in learning here. The lesson I have learned from brining is to the rinse the bird post the brine and pat dry. The rinsing allows the skin to flavor and also keeps from being overly salty. Good luck on the big day!
  • billyraybillyray Posts: 1,116

    From Charcuterie by Ruhlman. “Allow the meat to rest in the refrigerator after it’s been brined, for a couple hours for small items and up to a day for larger cuts. Resting allows the salt within the meat to disperse more evenly. Immediately after it’s taken out of the brine, the meat closer to the surface will have a higher salt concentration than the interior will. When a turkey, say, is allowed to rest, the salt seeks equilibrium and continues to migrate until the salt concentration in the cells is uniform throughout, which will result in a uniformly seasoned bird. Resting also allows the exterior to dry, which results in a crisper skin.”

    Felton, Ca. 2-LBGE, 1-Small and waiting on a mini
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