Now that you know the steps in completing both methods, how do you decide which is best for you? There are few things to consider! Dry brining takes more time than wet brining, so you need to make sure you plan accordingly. Dry brining, because it pulls moisture out of the skin and gives the salt a longer time to soak in, can produce a crisper skin and more robust flavor. With wet brining, the skin on your bird won’t be as crispy, but the process will take a lot less time and some say it produces a more succulent bird, so consider the trade-offs.
Whether you wet brine or dry brine, there’s plenty of room to get creative with flavor profiles; adding herbs and seasonings brings some extra oomph to your brine and results in a bird with a more specific flavor. Garlic cloves, onion, rosemary, thyme, basil, bay leaves, ginger, peppercorns, cloves, or cinnamon are just some of the host of great options. You’ll notice that brine recipes sometimes call for sugar, which provides a delicate sweetness and lends a bit of color to the turkey as it caramelizes during roasting. If you're not sure where to start with your own mixture, but want to try a brine that blends some of those ingredients, start with our Best Brined Turkey!