Step 3: Rinse the turkey, rub with salt, and re-rinse

Picture of Rinse the turkey, rub with salt, and re-rinse
With the turkey sitting inside the clean sink, rinse the surface of the turkey's skin and inside the body cavity with cool water.

Then, take a copious amount of kosher salt and rub the whole turkey down. This step helps to flavor the turkey initially and helps clean out any turkey juices that may have accumulated during the defrosting process.

  • Some may feel that the salt dehydrates and toughens the meat ever so slightly, however I have never found this to be the case. My grandmother always gave a quick salt rub to fowl while rinsing them and she cooks a mean bird.

When the whole turkey is rubbed down, turn on the water again and re-rinse the bird thoroughly washing away all the salt.
The process of rubbing down a turkey with salt and then rinsing it off again is obligatory, it serves no real purpose since the salt being rubbed on, and then rinsed off actually gives no flavor to the finished product.
My suggestion:
When the turkey is ready for the oven, spread a layer of good olive oil on the bird, rub it down, then a handful of Kosher Salt, pepper, and various seasonings, (thyme, sage, rosemary, parsley) whatever you choose.
This way at least when you baste the turkey with the chicken broth, you retain flavor and spread all these herbs throughout the turkey cavity and on the skin as well.