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Easy Salt Crusted Turkey Recipe

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Roasting a turkey is a Thanksgiving tradition that everyone follows. But have you ever tried a salt crusted turkey recipe? If not, then you must try it out this season for an extraordinary Thanksgiving turkey experience.

Salt Crusted Turkey Recipe

Before I get down to sharing the salt-crusted turkey recipe with you, let me explain what it means. A salt crust is a method of cooking an ingredient such as turkey, fish, or chicken in salt, water, and egg mixture. This helps to lock the moisture and flavors while cooking. 

This technique delivers an extremely juicy turkey breast. If you plan on using this technique, you do not have to brine the turkey as it does the same thing.

Apart from keeping the turkey tender and moist, salt crusting also keeps it warm for about 30 minutes after roasting. You can crack open the salt layer just before carving your turkey. This recipe for cooking turkey takes 30 minutes of preparation. 

Other Thanksgiving Recipes That You Can Try

What Equipment Will You Need To Make Salt Crusted Turkey? 

  • Knife – You will need a poultry knife to remove the turkey’s backbone.
  • Cutting Board – A cutting board will help debone the turkey and chop vegetables.
  • Skillet – A skillet will be used to roast the turkey.
  • Oven – An oven or a barbecue will be needed to roast the turkey.
  • Probe Thermometer – A thermometer will be used to check the turkey’s temperature for its doneness.
  • Large Spoon – A large spoon will be used to crack open the salt crust.
  • Pastry Brush – A pasty brush will be used to remove the excess salt. 

How Much Time Will You Need To Make Salt Crusted Turkey?

Preparation TimeTotal Time
30 Minutes 2 Hours

What Ingredients Will You Need To Make Salt Crusted Turkey? 

  • Turkey Breast – To make salt-crusted turkey, you will need one fresh turkey with skin on 5 to 6 lb.
  • Olive Oil – No dish is complete without some fat. Therefore, you will need two teaspoons of olive oil to rub over the turkey breast.
  • Kosher Salt – Salt crusting requires a large amount of salt. You will need three pounds (about 10 cups) of coarse kosher salt, such as Diamond Crystal.
  • Egg Whites – Salt crusting mixture includes egg whites. You will need six large egg whites.
  • Water – This mixture also uses water. So, you will need one-fourth cup plus five tablespoons of water.
  • Shallot – To add an umami flavor, you will need one large shallot, halved lengthwise, to place alongside the salt mixture.
  • Parsley – We will also use fresh herbs like six (6-inch) parsley sprigs to add fresh and earthy flavors.
  • Thyme – To add a minty flavor, you will need six (6-inch) thyme sprigs.
  • Rosemary – To add notes of evergreen and citrus, you will need six (6-inch) rosemary sprigs.
  • Sage – You will need six (6-inch) sprigs of sage for earthy flavors. 
  • Black Pepper – For garnishing the turkey, you will need freshly cracked black pepper.
  • Gravy – To serve the turkey, you will need turkey gravy. 
Salt Crusted Turkey Recipe

Steps To Make Salt Crusted Turkey

1. Prepare The Turkey

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the turkey on a cutting board, breast side down. Using a poultry knife, remove the backbone from the turkey. You can reserve it for making stock or discard it. 

Turn the turkey breast side up. Press firmly using the palms of your hands against the turkey breastbone until it cracks and the turkey breast flattens slightly. Trim the excess turkey fat and skin around the neck.

Starting from the neck end of the turkey, lift and loosen the turkey skin from the breast by inserting the fingers gently and pushing between the skin and meat. Make sure not to detach the skin. Rub one teaspoon of olive oil under the turkey skin breast and rub the remaining one teaspoon of oil over the skin.

2. Prepare The Salt Crust

Combine salt and egg whites in a large bowl. Add one-fourth cup of water to the egg and salt mixture, and continue to stir.

Add the remaining water, one tablespoon at a time, until the texture of the mixture resembles powdery snow or lightly wet sand. Roll the salt mixture into a small ball using your hands for a proper consistency check. If it holds its shape in hand but breaks if tossed into a bowl, you have achieved the right consistency.

3. Salt Crust The Turkey

In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, place two cups of the salt mixture in a mound leaving a 2-inch border around the edges of the skillet. Place one halved shallot, cut sides up, in the salt mixture in the skillet. Top it with two sprigs each of parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage. 

Place the turkey, skin side on the salt crust, and herbs mixture. Cover the turkey with the remaining salt mixture. Press the salt mixture, ensuring that the cavity around the turkey neck is filled and the sides are covered.

Insert a probe thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey breast. Press to seal the cracks or any holes in the salt crust, forming a tight seal around the thermometer. Gently yet firmly press the salt mixture into the turkey breast. Smooth out the surface to repair any cracks or holes. 

You can also insert a trimmed wooden skewer into the turkey instead of a thermometer before packing on the salt crust. To check the turkey’s temperature, remove the skewer, and insert a meat thermometer. Replace the skewer, and resume roasting if needed.

Roast the turkey for 1 hour and 25 minutes in the preheated oven until the thermometer reads 150°F. Remove the cooked turkey from the oven. Let the roasted bird rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The turkey will continue to cook from the heat trapped inside the salt crust and reach an internal temperature of 165°F.

Using the back of a large spoon, crack the salt crust on the turkey. Remove the salt crust in pieces and gently brush away any excess salt. Remove and discard skin. Carve the turkey and place it on a serving platter. Garnish the turkey with remaining herb sprigs and black pepper. Serve topped with gravy. 

How To Store Leftover Salt Crusted Turkey? 

Now that your salt crusted turkey is prepared, you must wonder what to do with the leftovers. Like your normal roasted turkey leftovers, you can place the turkey after removing the salt crust in an airtight container. Place this container in the refrigerator for two to four days.

Nutritional Information

Calories 21 kcal
Fat1 gram
Saturated Fat0.2 grams
Polyunsaturated Fat0.2 grams
Monounsaturated Fat 1 gram
Protein 1 gram
Cholesterol0.1 milligrams
Fiber 0.3 grams
Sodium87916 milligrams
Carbohydrates1 gram
Potassium 57 milligrams
Sugar 0.4 gram
Calcium68 milligrams
Iron1 milligrams
Vitamin A132 IU
Vitamin C3 milligrams

What Will Salt Crusted Turkey Look And Taste Like? 

Salt crusted turkey is a great recipe to try out this Thanksgiving season. The salt crust and seasonings give the turkey a great flavor and crispy finish. It also makes the turkey moist and tender. When you crack open the salt crust, you experience an herby aroma. 

Recipe Card

Salt Crusted Turkey Recipe

Salt Crusted Turkey Recipe

Try out this easy and unique salt crusted turkey recipe this Thanksgiving for an ultimate moist and tender turkey.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 mins
Roasting Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 21 kcal

Equipment

1 Knife
1 Cutting Board
1 Skillet
1 Oven
1 Probe Thermometer
1 Large Spoon
1 Pastry Brush

Ingredients
  

  • 1 (5 to 6 lbs.) Turkey Breast with skin on
  • 2 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • 3 pounds Coarse Kosher Salt
  • 6 large Egg Whites
  • ¼ cup + 5 tablespoon Water
  • 1 large Shallot, halved lengthwise
  • 6 (6-inch) Parsley Sprigs, divided
  • 6 (6-inch) Thyme Sprigs, divided
  • 6 (6-inch)  Rosemary Sprigs, divided
  • 6 (6-inch) Sage Sprigs, divided
  • Freshly cracked black pepper (for garnish)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place the turkey on a cutting board, breast side down.
  • Using a poultry knife, remove the backbone from the turkey. You can reserve it for making stock or discard it.
  • Turn the turkey breast side up. Press firmly against the turkey breastbone until it cracks, using the heels of your hands, and the turkey breast flattens slightly. Trim the excess turkey fat and skin around the neck.
  • Starting from the neck end of the turkey, lift and loosen the turkey skin from the breast by inserting the fingers gently and pushing between the skin and meat. Make sure not to detach the skin.
  • Add the remaining water, one tablespoon at a time, until the texture of the mixture resembles powdery snow or lightly wet sand. Roll the salt mixture into a small ball using your hands for a proper consistency check. If it holds its shape in hand but breaks if tossed into a bowl, you have achieved the right consistency.
  • In a 12-inch cast-iron skillet, place two cups of the salt mixture in a mound leaving a 2-inch border around the edges of the skillet.
  • Place one halved shallot, cut sides up, in the salt mixture in the skillet. Top it with two sprigs each of parsley, thyme, rosemary, and sage.
  • Place the turkey, skin side on the salt crust, and herbs mixture. Cover the turkey with the remaining salt mixture. Press the salt mixture, ensuring that the cavity around the turkey neck is filled and the sides are covered.
  • Insert a probe thermometer in the thickest part of the turkey breast. Press to seal the cracks or any holes in the salt crust, forming a tight seal around the thermometer.
  • Gently yet firmly press the salt mixture into the turkey breast. Smooth out the surface to repair any cracks or holes.
  • Roast the turkey for 1 hour and 25 minutes in the preheated oven until the thermometer reads 150°F.
  • Remove the cooked turkey from the oven. Let your roasted turkey rest for 10 to 15 minutes. The turkey will continue to cook from the heat trapped inside the salt crust and reach an internal temperature of 165°F.
  • Using the back of a large spoon, crack the salt crust on the turkey. Remove the salt crust in pieces and gently brush away any excess salt. Remove and discard skin.
  • Carve the turkey and place it on a serving platter. Garnish the turkey with remaining herb sprigs and black pepper.
  • Serve topped with gravy.

Nutrition

Calories: 21kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 0.1mg | Sodium: 87916mg | Potassium: 57mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 0.4g | Vitamin A: 132IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 1mg
Keyword Main Course, Salt Crusted Turkey Recipe
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are the benefits of salt crusting turkey?

Salt crusting a turkey keeps the meat moist and tender.

Why are egg whites used in salt crust?

Egg whites help bind the salt and prevent it from seeping into the food. It also helps to cook the food evenly.

What kind of salt do you use for salt crust? 

Kosher salt (Morton or Diamond) is best for salt crusting.

Should you leave the turkey to rest after applying the layer of salt crust?

No, you don’t have to rest the turkey after applying the layer of salt crust. You can roast it immediately.

Conclusion

I hope you enjoyed going through this new technique of roasting a turkey. Try it out this Thanksgiving season, and tell me how it turned out to be in the comments section below.

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