Making the Perfect Bird – Part 2: A Salt Rub

Okay, so you’ve purchased your Thanksgiving turkey and it’s thawed by now (hopefully). This walks you through the next step – the salt rub. Why salt? Saveur magazine offered some compelling thoughts on the matter, and we’re persuaded too.

Remove the Giblets
Remove the Giblets

Why salt? Your goal is of course a turkey with juicy meat, tender legs, and lots of gravy. Salting the bird liberally ahead of time allows the salt to permeate the meat. According to Saveur, this improves the water-holding abilities of the muscle cells, so the meat stays juicy. When you take the turkey out of the fridge later to roast it, the skin will appear taut and dry, and you won’t see any salt. 

Salt the Turkey
Salt the Turkey

The salt rub Pull the turkey out of the fridge and remove the giblets. Put them back in the fridge for later use. Put a wire rack (we used our cookie cooling one) on top of a rimmed cookie sheet. Put the bird on top of that. Pat it dry with some paper towels, and then sprinkle 1/4 cup total of kosher salt all over the bird, being nice and thorough. Pepper the bird too, altho just a sprinkling.

Put back in the fridge (on the wire rack on the cookie sheet). Leave uncovered. You’ll next visit the bird in the morning of Thanksgiving day.

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Seattle Foodshed

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