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Sat Nov 17, 2018, 01:03 PM

Turkey. To brine or not to brine?

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Reply Turkey. To brine or not to brine? (Original post)
Cousin Dupree Nov 2018 OP
violetpastille Nov 2018 #1
The Polack MSgt Nov 2018 #4
drray23 Nov 2018 #2
The Polack MSgt Nov 2018 #3
packman Nov 2018 #5
The Polack MSgt Nov 2018 #6
arithia Nov 2018 #7
spinbaby Nov 2018 #8
dweller Nov 2018 #9

Response to Cousin Dupree (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2018, 01:17 PM

1. Dry Brining works for me.

Or just letting the turkey be naked in the refrigerator for a few hours with salted skin.

I like a juicy bird with crisp skin. Wet brining was a big mess for me and messed up the skin's texture. ymmv.

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Response to violetpastille (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2018, 01:30 PM

4. Make sure the brine is cold so the skin doesn't begin cooking then stop

when the brine cools.

Also keep acidic ingredients away from the brine - acid tries to make poultry skin ceviche and that sucks.

I have a stainless steel roaster and cook 3/4 of the time covered and finish uncovered.

While it's finishing I brush the bird with melted butter mixed with a tablespoon of soy sauce to crisp it up and make it browner

(Cheating? or just cooking?)

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Response to Cousin Dupree (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2018, 01:18 PM

2. If it's a fresh turkey (never frozen)

Then I usually don't brine. The turkey is already moist. For the others I do. You have an opportunity to enhance the flavor and it also pretty much guarantees you wont end up with a dry bird
.

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Response to Cousin Dupree (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2018, 01:27 PM

3. BRINE.

It does several things to help your meal.

It keeps the bird moist making it easier to manage cooking the dark meat all the way through without drying the breast. Yes there are ways to do this without brining but brining makes it MUCH easier.

The brine seasons the whole bird all the way through. No injections or rubs under the skin or aromatic in the cavity etc. 12 hours in a salt sugar and herb bath gets flavor all the way in.


Over looked by most people - but a huge deal for me is GRAVY. A brined turkey releases much more juice into the roasting pan that you can make into gravy.
By the way, I LOOOOOVE GRAVY and I submit as supporting evidence of my love of gravy this op:
https://www.democraticunderground.com/115775399

It's super easy as well. I use a clean medium cooler so you don't need special containers.

There are a million recipes on line but my version is pretty standard.

in a large stock pot full of boiling water add 3/4 cups each salt (IODINE FREE!) and white sugar
3 peeled whole clove garlic
3 bay leaves
2 table spoons whole peppercorns
in a linen steepin pouch or bundled handkerchief full of rosemary and sage.
Boil for 5 or 6 minutes until all is incorporated.

pour into a cooler 1/3 full of cold water and keep addin cold water until it is room temp. Cooller will be approximately half full.

Add the bird - Make sure the cavity fills with brine. close it and leave it be obver night.

You can't over brine - the chemical reaction between sugar and salt that forces liquid into tyhe muscle fiber stabilizes - in other words, when the bird is full, its full. So you don't need to worry about the bird tasting too strong, as long as you don't make the brine to salty of spicy

I am a big fan and I brine my smoked baked and fried chicken as well.

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Response to The Polack MSgt (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 17, 2018, 02:06 PM

5. Oh, do brine - makes a world of difference

not only when you cut into the freshly baked turkey, but days afterward the white meat will still be moist and not dried out. The above recipe is excellent, but you can customize it to your own particular tastes. I throw in a bottle of inexpensive white wine, add some orange juice and the turkey picks up those notes of citrus and wine undertones. A day in the brine will do it. BUT before cooking, dry it off, resalt the skin with butter and throw on the skin some sort of Cajun dry rub (mix of paprika, salt, pepper, garlic/onion powder, touch of Cayenne pepper, etc.)

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Response to packman (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 17, 2018, 02:14 PM

6. Thanks for the reminders about skin prep - Absolutely spot on...

especially if you use citrus - The acids begin to cure the skin so you need to treat it right to get the crispness we all want.




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Response to Cousin Dupree (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2018, 02:54 PM

7. I'm fond of brining

reduces the gameyness of the dark meat quite a bit. I'm fond of peppercorns, corriander seeds and star anise with a blood orange thrown in for the hell of it.

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Response to Cousin Dupree (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2018, 03:04 PM

8. Nope

Butterball.

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Response to Cousin Dupree (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2018, 03:35 PM

9. brine or no

I e rec'd to friends and have used this technique with much success...

for the 1st half of cooking time roast breast down, then flip over breast up...
sounds tricky to flip, but with gloves not too tough to accomplish

the juices will run down into the breast meet and remain there for the second half roasting time, and the skin will brown nicely

good luck

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