Big Green Egg - EGGhead Forum - The Ultimate Cooking Experience...
Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg at:

Want to see how the EGG is made? Click to Watch

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #BigGreenEgg.

Cooks Country's salted Turkey recipe

BajaTomBajaTom Posts: 1,269
edited November -1 in EggHead Forum
Did anyone see the Cook Country's episode on cooking a salted turkey? I need time and temperture for the cooking process. Thanks, Tom


  • I caught the tail end of it. I don't think the dry-brining makes a difference in the actual cooking. You'd cook it the same way as an unbrined or wet-brined bird.

    FYI, here's an article on the same process, but they insist it's not necessary to get the salt under the skin.

    I applied my salt last night, and mixed in some sage and bay.,0,4954438.story
  • By the way, did you notice that they were icing the breast prior to cooking a la MadMax?

    Also, they stressed that the dry-brining should only be used on non-injected or non-koshered turkeys.
  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    do you mean the one using salted pork?
  • No, I don't recall anything about salted pork in the episode, but then I only saw the tail end of it. I suppose it's possible there was something about salt pork earlier in the episode.

    They discarded their standard wet brine in favor of a liquid-free brine. Basically, they put salt under the skin of the turkey for several hours prior to cooking.

    The Russ Parsons article that I linked to above insists that getting it under the skin isn't necessary, but recommends a few days of "brine".
  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    I subscribe to Cooks' Country on the web and the only recipe that came close was one surrounding the bird with salt pork and covering it with cheesecloth. I'll check again. When did it air?
  • I seem to recall that it was an America's Test Kitchen episode, but it may have been Cook's Country. And with every channel (we have Food Network and about 4 PBS channels) airing reruns of every Thanksgiving episode they've got, I have no idea when the original airing was. But the fact that the Russ Parsons article (from this month) references the Cook's Illustrated technique says to me that it may have been recent.
  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    Ok, I'll check the other 2 sites.
  • BajaTomBajaTom Posts: 1,269
    Yes, that's the one. Thanks, Tom
  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    Roast Salted Turkey
    Serves 10 to 12. Published November 1, 2006.

    This recipe was developed and tested using Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt. If you have Morton's Kosher Salt, which is denser than Diamond Crystal, use only 4 1/2 teaspoons of salt in the cavity, 2 1/4 teaspoons of salt per each half of the breast, and 1 teaspoon of salt per leg. Table salt is too fine and not recommended for this recipe. If you are roasting a kosher or self-basting turkey (such as a frozen Butterball), do not salt it; it already contains a good amount of sodium.

    1 turkey (12 to 14 pounds), giblets and neck reserved for gravy, if making
    5 tablespoons kosher salt (see note above)
    1 bag ice cubes (5 pound)
    4 tablespoons unsalted butter , melted

    1. Following illustration 1 below, carefully separate turkey skin from meat on breast, legs, thighs, and back; avoid breaking skin. Following illustrations 2 through 4, rub 2 tablespoons salt evenly inside cavity of turkey, 1 tablespoon salt under skin of each breast half, and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt under skin of each leg. Wrap turkey tightly with plastic wrap; refrigerate 24 to 48 hours.

    2. Remove turkey from refrigerator. Following illustrations 5 and 6, rinse off excess salt between meat and skin and in cavity, then pat dry inside and out with paper towels. Add ice to two 1-gallon zipper-lock bags until each is half full. Place bags in large roasting pan and lay turkey breast side down on top of ice. Add ice to two 1-quart zipper-lock bags until each is one-third full; place one bag ice in cavity of turkey and other bag in neck cavity. (Make sure that ice touches breast only, not thighs or legs; see photo below.) Keep turkey on ice for 1 hour (roasting pan should remain on counter).

    3. Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 425 degrees. Line large V-rack with heavy-duty foil and use paring knife or skewer to poke 20 to 30 holes in foil.

    4. Remove turkey from ice and pat dry with paper towels (discard ice). Tuck tips of drumsticks into skin at tail to secure and tuck wingtips behind back. Brush turkey breast with 2 tablespoons butter. Set prepared V-rack in roasting pan; set turkey breast side down on V-rack; brush back and legs with remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Roast for 45 minutes.

    5. Remove roasting pan with turkey from oven (close oven door to retain oven heat); reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Using clean potholders or kitchen towels, rotate turkey breast side up; continue to roast until thickest part of breast registers 160 degrees and thickest part of thigh registers 170 to 175 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 1 to 1 1/2 hours longer. Transfer turkey to carving board; let rest 30 minutes. Carve and serve.

    Add to Cookbook
    Shopping List
    EMAIL THIS TO A FRIENDYour Name: Your E-mail: Friend(s) E-mail: Personal Message:

    Carving a Turkey
    Making Turkey Gravy
    An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving
    Roast Salted Turkey For a Crowd
    Equipment Reviews
    Carving Boards
    How to Cook
    Cleaner Turkey Prep
    Turkey Lifting Leverage
    Alternative Turkey Tool
    Salting Poultry
    Salt Varieties
    How to Salt a Turkey Rubbing the meat with salt 24 to 48 hours prior to cooking flavors the turkey and breaks down some of the proteins, allowing them to retain more moisture. It's imperative that you massage the salt evenly inside the cavity and directly onto the meat.

    1. LIFT SKIN: Use chopstick or thin wooden spoon handle to separate skin from meat over breast, legs, thighs, and back.

    2. SALT CAVITY: Rub 2 tablespoons (3 tablespoons if making larger turkey ) kosher salt inside main cavity.

    3. SALT BREAST: Lift skin and apply 1 tablespoon (1 1/2 tablespoons for larger turkey) kosher salt over each breast half, placing half of salt on each end of each breast, then massaging salt evenly over meat.

    4. SALT EACH LEG: Apply 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt to each leg, adding half of salt while bird is breast up, flipping bird, and then applying remaining salt to underside of thigh.

    5. RINSE: After 24 to 48 hours, rinse bird well to remove excess salt trapped under skin.

    6. DRY: Use paper towels to blot excess moisture from skin so it can crisp and brown in oven.
  • For the Cooks Illustrated recipe for salted turkey see

    I'm planning on doing it on the egg with the turkey on a raised grill, and a (different) dressing in a roasting pan on the main grill (under the turkey).
  • I just came across this. Do you think this process will work ok if I just do it over night?
  • hornhonkhornhonk Posts: 3,841
    I've always had success with their recipes, but I'm doing a Mad Max turkey.
  • BajaTomBajaTom Posts: 1,269
    Can you just give the oven temp and time for a complete cooking process. I know it was at temp for a time and then the temp either raised or lowered to finish. Thanks, Tom
  • Summary of Cooks Illustrated cooking time and temps for turkey

    For a 12 to 15 pound turkey, stuffed: Roast 2 to 2 1/2 hours at 325F, breast side down in V-rack until breast reads 130F. Raise oven to 450F, remove stuffing, turn turkey breast side up and cook 45 minutes longer (un-stuffed) rotating pan halfway through, until breast reaches 160F and thigh reaches 175F. Let turkey rest for 30 minutes while you heat stuffing (by itself) to 165F.
Sign In or Register to comment.
Click here for Forum Use Guidelines.