Turkey season is upon us! ​​Providing fresh, pasture-raised Thanksgiving turkeys requires a lot of long hours over many weeks in the cold November weather, but it’s worth it knowing that we can deliver our members tastier, healthier food straight to their door.

With meats that easily dry out in the oven (like turkey or chicken), brining is an excellent preparation method to ensure your recipes come out nice and juicy. Brining is very simple, and can be done with either a wet or dry brining method at least 12 hours before cooking. We prefer a dry brine, as it doesn’t require a large pot of salt water and still achieves a tender and juicy bird!

How does brining make meat more juicy? When a turkey is covered in a brining mixture, salt ions enter the cells of the turkey through a process known as diffusion. This is because the brine has a higher concentration of salt than the fluid within the cells of the meat. The muscle protein strands in the meat are then broken down by the salt. When the turkey goes into the oven, the muscle strands cannot contract and so less liquid is expelled from the turkey while cooking. This means a juicier bird! The main difference between a wet and dry brine is that in a wet brine, the turkey will absorb the water and salt from your mixture, whereas with a dry brine the natural juices of the turkey are drawn out, mixed with the salt, and then finally re-absorbed.

How to apply a dry brine

1. Pat your turkey dry of excess moisture
2. Rub the dry brine liberally into the turkey. Make sure to cover every surface!
3. We recommend letting your turkey brine in the fridge for at least 12 hours.
4. Make sure to brush off the excess salt before cooking!

preparing turkey

Make sure to cover all surfaces!

Whether you are brining a delicious pasture-raised turkey or preparing a local maple ham, we hope you have a wonderful holiday with friends and family. This Thanksgiving, we are incredibly thankful to all of our members who have helped us so far this year to support small, local farms and we can’t wait to continue our mission to make local work!

All of us at Walden

There is nothing like a pasture-raised turkey (read why here)! If you received your turkey from Walden, Thank you! We appreciate your commitment to supporting our mission of supplying you with locally, nutritiously and sustainably raised poultry from New England and New York.

RESERVE A TURKEY!