Dry Brining simply put is the process of salting food and letting it rest for a period of time before cooking.
Why Dry Brine? Because wet brines can be messy, take up more space and water down the flavor that you are trying to achieve.
I started to experiment with dry brines a few years ago around thanksgiving time. Always trying to come up with the juiciest most flavorful bird, I have never quite achieved that with a wet brine.
I found the perfect solution when I combined salt and a few herbs and liberally seasoned the turkey. I then let it sit in the fridge on a wire rack for about 24-36 hours. After the brining period I noticed the skin was tight and with some moisture removed, but I didn’t panic. I slathered the bird with butter and roasted away. Long and short of it, it was the best tasting and juiciest turkey myself or any one of my guests had ever had! I couldn’t believe the results. And it was so easy!!!
I stored the leftover brine and continued to use the mixture when I needed to salt water for cooking, swapping out my typical kosher salt for the dry brine mixture. It always resulted in another layer of flavor, a depth with notes and undertones that just salt lacked. I dialed in the measurements over time and now use it as a staple for all of my everyday needs from salting water for rice, pasta, potatoes and of course, dry brining proteins.
Since making that first brined bird I’m finding brine is a staple in my kitchen. It’s uses are endless and effortless for adding flavor. You will see me dropping brine in so much of my cooking and I use this exact brine for my Wah Gwan™ Fried Chicken recipe but made into a wet brine by just adding water. Chicken, all chicken, brine the night before, trust me. When dry brining use brine just as you would use salt added to your food to be cooked, not too much not too little. This will also replace the need to add salt as you cook.
After experimenting with flavor combinations my Dry Brine is the perfect blend of flavor, just to enhance any dish not over power. You can’t even tell what was in it after cooking you just know your food is juicer and has way more flavor.