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To Brine (a turkey) or not to brine-THAT is the question
11-20-10 | self

Posted on 11/20/2010 6:20:13 AM PST by Former MSM Viewer

I have never brined a turkey. Is it beneficial/ I want a fresh turkey this year and was told I should brine the bird for 2 days. Any experience with brining you could share would be appreciated.


TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Food
KEYWORDS: brine; turkey
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Is it worth the trouble to brine a fresh turkey or is injecting better?
1 posted on 11/20/2010 6:20:16 AM PST by Former MSM Viewer
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To: Former MSM Viewer

Best turkey I have ever had:

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/good-eats-roast-turkey-recipe/index.html


2 posted on 11/20/2010 6:25:16 AM PST by mad_as_he$$ (What flavor Kool-aid are you drinking?)
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To: Former MSM Viewer; All

You need to watch out. A cousin of mine tried to brine a Swift’s Butterball and miserably failed. Turned out that Swifts injects shortening that defeats much of the brining process and makes it unnecesary.


3 posted on 11/20/2010 6:25:16 AM PST by libstripper (uite eff)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

Brining is completely worth the trouble. It’s really not too difficult to do, and the return on time invested is great. I have a large plastic container with a lid I use, and my brine consists of water, salt, garlic powder, orange juice concentrate, and bay leaves. I leave the turkey in there for a day or so.


4 posted on 11/20/2010 6:25:30 AM PST by drbuzzard (different league)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

Been reading that brining is great, plan to buy a Trader Joe’s brined turkey this year.

I’ve read one hour per pound, I think 48 hours might be too long.


5 posted on 11/20/2010 6:25:48 AM PST by Williams (It's the policies, stupid.)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

I have never brined a turkey. I use fresh turkeys. I inject some spices, but mostly I just baste.

No one has ever died from my cooking.


6 posted on 11/20/2010 6:26:29 AM PST by Jemian (I stand with Cam.)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

It is definitely worth it. This recipe was yummmmy...

http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/turkey-brine-from-living


7 posted on 11/20/2010 6:27:03 AM PST by SumProVita (Cogito, ergo...Sum Pro Vita. (Modified Decartes))
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To: drbuzzard

Do you put it in a cool, dark place like a basement, or do you put it in the refrigerator?


8 posted on 11/20/2010 6:27:09 AM PST by SatinDoll
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To: Former MSM Viewer
I have cooked turkeys every way possible. My family likes a brined turkey. It's easy and they turn out well if you follow directions. If you want to try it I'll send you a recipe. What ever recipe you decide to use make sure you rinse and air dry it over night in the fridge.
9 posted on 11/20/2010 6:27:13 AM PST by ladyvet (I would rather have Incitatus then the asses that are in congress today.)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

I usually thaw mine out for 2 days...

Is that the same thing ???

(I know its not...brine is kinda like pickling...)


10 posted on 11/20/2010 6:28:53 AM PST by Tennessee Nana
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To: Former MSM Viewer

I also second the nomination for using the Good Eats recipe linked above.


11 posted on 11/20/2010 6:29:15 AM PST by drbuzzard (different league)
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To: Former MSM Viewer
I have been brining turkeys for years. Yes, it is worth it. Put Kosher salt in warm water till you can float an egg (in the shell) Then add herbs and brown sugar. Cool the broth ( abag of ice will do) Put the bird in and let is set in the frig for 2 days. Take out rinse thoroughly, pat dry. I put mine in a cool area or frig and let the skin dry out over night. Then I rub with olive oil. Or you can use butter. I grill mine on a Big Green Egg over hickory. Apparently they are good. Family always wants one. And so does the office for Christmas.
12 posted on 11/20/2010 6:30:12 AM PST by 70th Division (I love my country but fear my government!)
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To: Jemian
No one has ever died from my cooking.

***************************

I would guess that is Rule #1.

13 posted on 11/20/2010 6:31:44 AM PST by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

It is always worth the extra hassle to brine a turkey. Just remember the 2-2-2 rule. 2 cups kosher salt, 2 cups of sugar, and 2 gallons of water. You can then add whatever spices you like to the mixture. Brine for 1 hour per pound. Any more than that and the turkey will become too salty.


14 posted on 11/20/2010 6:32:12 AM PST by WackySam (To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

We fix a beer-brined turkey at Thanksgiving every year now. We used to do two birds: one fried, one baked. Personally I love it, and it’s really not all that much trouble. The only real problem is that it takes up so much room in the fridge right when we’re trying to get all of the other dishes ready to roll for the big day. (Although it’s a shorter time than a standard brine... if you’re using a stout or porter you don’t want to leave the turkey sitting for more than five or six hours depending on the size.)


15 posted on 11/20/2010 6:32:12 AM PST by Renderofveils (My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music. - Nabokov)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

Brinning is the only way to go!


16 posted on 11/20/2010 6:33:51 AM PST by CAluvdubya (Palin 2012...YOU BETCHA!.)
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To: Former MSM Viewer
We have been brining a turkey for five or more years.

I use a five gallon bucket, put 2-3 pounds of kosher salt in it then put it in my shed (covered with a lid) for a few days to chill down (it's Montana - the shed is a refrigerator).

I plunk a 12 to 14 pound bird into the chilled water for 24 hours.

Very moist and delicious.

Good luck!

17 posted on 11/20/2010 6:36:22 AM PST by Leo Farnsworth (I'm not really Leo Farnsworth.)
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To: mad_as_he$$

I talked to a butcher and he said if ypu want a fresh turkey (surprisingly) get a frozen on because they are frozen immediately after slaughter. The bigger the bird the better the meat to bone ratio. 2 gallon brine mixtute salty to the taste like sea water; we use bullion cubes for part of the salt content for 2 days in pot in the fridge.


18 posted on 11/20/2010 6:44:40 AM PST by Don@VB (Power Corrupts)
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To: Former MSM Viewer
Now since you got good advice, I must add a a word of caution;

This is not a proper method to brine a turkey...


19 posted on 11/20/2010 6:45:11 AM PST by darkwing104 (Lets get dangerous)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

Get a fresh turkey, not a Butterball.


20 posted on 11/20/2010 6:46:48 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks (Impeachment !)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

Not what I grew up with, so I’d say no, but to each his own.

Retired from turkey making after wife passed away. First year after, daughter called and said she would have Thanksgiving at her house, could I come help with the turkey? She does make a few other things that Mom used to make which brings back and adds to the memories of the gathering.

As with Christmas, the reason is lost in the production.


21 posted on 11/20/2010 6:51:09 AM PST by SouthTexas (WE are the Wave)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

I have brined my turkey for years. It comes out so moist and flavorful that gravy is never needed to hide the toughness of the bird.

Here’s the recipe I use: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Turkey-Brine/Detail.aspx


22 posted on 11/20/2010 6:52:47 AM PST by melissa_in_ga (I can see November from my house!)
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To: libstripper

Exactly right. use a FRESH turkey, not one that has already been injected like a Butterball.

Here is a recipe I have been using for years and it seems my wifes family wants Thnaksgiving at our house every year as a result........

http://articles.sfgate.com/2004-11-17/food/17454587_1_brined-turkey-big-bird-larger-bird/2


23 posted on 11/20/2010 6:54:35 AM PST by milwguy
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To: SatinDoll

I brine mine is a coleman chest cooler. I think it is a 50 qusrt size. Is just right for submerbing the turkey and the liquid brine to both fit.


24 posted on 11/20/2010 6:56:56 AM PST by milwguy
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To: Former MSM Viewer

It’s definitely worth the trouble.

This year, we’re getting a Trader Joe’s pre-brined one, but for the last 5 years or so, we’ve brined it ourselves. We use one of the XXL Ziplock bags the evening before. We let it sit for 12-15 hours in the garage fridge.


25 posted on 11/20/2010 6:58:37 AM PST by perfect_rovian_storm (The worst is behind us. Unfortunately it is really well endowed.)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

Brine it, use the Alton Brown recipe linked above.


26 posted on 11/20/2010 7:00:09 AM PST by Jodi (FUBO)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

I have never brined a bird, however I never have a dried out bird either..

The white meat always comes out dripping with juice...


27 posted on 11/20/2010 7:00:42 AM PST by phockthis
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To: darkwing104

I actually woke up the whole house one night laughing at that episode!


28 posted on 11/20/2010 7:02:03 AM PST by nodumbblonde ("The ladder of success is best climbed by stepping on the rungs of opportunity." - Ayn Rand)
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To: WackySam

Agree, simple but very effective. I generally brine overnight (about 14 hours at this time of year) and have even used multiple plastic trash bags (much cheaper than a brining bag-expensive and hard to find)to hold the turkey and brine. Once we started brining I never did a turkey any other way. It’s moister and more flavorful. If you can, always start with a fresh hen turkey.


29 posted on 11/20/2010 7:03:30 AM PST by Boomer One
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To: Jodi

What Alton Brown recipe?


30 posted on 11/20/2010 7:04:17 AM PST by Mountain Mary ("Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, young people" ...BO at Conn. rally)
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To: SatinDoll

It should be kept cold, so if you can fit in in your fridge do that. I generally don’t have room, so I use my garage which is always plenty cold come late November.


31 posted on 11/20/2010 7:04:50 AM PST by drbuzzard (different league)
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To: drbuzzard

Definitely Brine. I have used the Alton Brown recipe above for the past two years. A moist tender bird each time. I grab a large cooler to brine and keep it in the pantry. Works like a charm.


32 posted on 11/20/2010 7:09:04 AM PST by sandyz
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To: phockthis
I have never brined a bird, however I never have a dried out bird either..

The white meat always comes out dripping with juice...

Same here. I've cooked dozens of birds over the years, never cooked a bad or dry one yet.

Keep it simple.

33 posted on 11/20/2010 7:12:36 AM PST by digger48
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To: phockthis
I have never brined a bird, however I never have a dried out bird either..

The white meat always comes out dripping with juice...

Same here. I've cooked dozens of birds over the years, never cooked a bad or dry one yet.

Keep it simple.

34 posted on 11/20/2010 7:12:42 AM PST by digger48
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To: Renderofveils

...beer-brined turkey..

Now we’re talkin’!


35 posted on 11/20/2010 7:13:17 AM PST by smokingfrog (Because you don't live near a bakery doesn't mean you have to go without cheesecake.)
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To: Mountain Mary

The food network one in the second post in this thread.


36 posted on 11/20/2010 7:26:14 AM PST by Jodi (FUBO)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

This is a third vote for the Alton Brown recipe. I usually don’t care for turkey because it is flavorless but this recipe not only keeps the turkey moist, it makes it taste good.


37 posted on 11/20/2010 7:28:53 AM PST by mouse_35 (Better a caribou than a jackass!)
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To: phockthis

I use those Reynolds turkey cooking bags...never have a dry bird. Stuff butter up under the skin, and carrots, onions, celery (which you can buy in the frozen food case pre-chopped) in cavity. Give the skin a light melted butter rub down, lightly salt it. Less hassle, moist bird. I buy Kroger’s brand young turkey. They have it for $.37 per lb this year with a $10 purchase. Little pan clean up to boot.

Now if the Sweet Potato pie comes out right (never made one, always made pumpkin) my hubby will be in hog heaven.


38 posted on 11/20/2010 7:31:46 AM PST by GailA (obamacare paid for by cuts & taxes on most vulnerable Veterans, retired Military, disabled & Seniors)
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To: phockthis
I have never brined a bird, however I never have a dried out bird either..

While it's possible to cook a decent un-brined turkey, a brined one will always be more tender and moist. Not an opinion, but scientific fact.
39 posted on 11/20/2010 7:31:50 AM PST by WackySam (To argue with a man who has renounced his reason is like giving medicine to the dead.)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

First you only brine a fresh turkey.

Having said that, one of our sons was a chef and my wife is a superb cook. About 5 years ago they decided to brine our Thanksgiving turkey.

They did and the rest of our family, who are Thanksgiving Traditionalists were apprehensive at first.

After devouring the roasted/brined bird, our family traditionalists said that only brined fresh turkeys would become our standard feast.

We brine the bird for 24 hours, rinse it, air it on a rack for about an hour with olive oil on the skin and then roast it on a rack in the oven on Thanksgiving. One of these days my former Chef/son, and I will cook the bird on my Char/Broiler with indirect coals/logs/ for the heat.

Since, we live on the edge of Mother Nature, I bought a large round Igloo water container with a screw top lid to repel early and univited 4 legged hungry visitors as the brining takes place on our back deck. This is much simpler than putting the bird into a big garbage bag, pouring the brine over it, and putting the bag/bird into a cooler. We just put the bird/brine into the big water cool put the lid on. I roll the cooler around for a few minutes every 4-6 hours to keep the brine well circulated.

Our birds are called the best ever by the lucky Thanksgiving guests we have.


40 posted on 11/20/2010 7:32:30 AM PST by Grampa Dave (ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS DESTROYING AMERICA-LOOK AT WHAT IT DID TO THE WHITE HOUSE!)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

It is definitely worth it to brine a turkey! I use a simple Emeril Recipe that calls for brown sugar, lemons, oranges, Kosher salt, Rosemary and thyme. The citrus “brightens” the flavor of the turkey and doesn’t overpower it. The Martha Stewart roasting method — cheesecloth soaked in a wine butter mixture and basted — made this the best roasted turkey I’ve ever made.

I’m putting together a holiday “master plan” binder for both my kids to take with them when they leave home. It includes recipes for cookies, main dishes, appetizers, hints...and the turkey roasting method. :)


41 posted on 11/20/2010 7:34:16 AM PST by Kieri (The Conservatrarian)
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To: 70th Division
I grill mine on a Big Green Egg over hickory.

That sounds like a very unique method, but it's kind of hard to picture.

42 posted on 11/20/2010 7:41:25 AM PST by adversarial
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To: Former MSM Viewer
I brine before smoking a turkey. I don't know about other methods of cooking. My brother has taught me a new method of salt rubs on top of brining to enhance the flavor.

Every time I've tried it I think it's been extremely successful.

43 posted on 11/20/2010 7:43:36 AM PST by Caipirabob ( Communists... Socialists... Democrats...Traitors... Who can tell the difference?)
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To: phockthis
“I have never brined a bird, however I never have a dried out bird either..”

Yeah, most people don't know the proper way to cook a turkey or they want to crank up the temperature to get it done faster. So brining saves the bird from all of the mistakes the amateur cook makes. If a person knows the correct way, then brining is unnecessary. However, brining is good for the cook who wants to socialize while preparing the meal, because it is a forgiving method.

A corollary to this is that the bigger the turkey, the more likely that people will cook it improperly. This is especially true if they try to cook a big old tough tom turkey. So brining can make it easier to cook big birds.

44 posted on 11/20/2010 7:45:06 AM PST by Kirkwood (Zombie Hunter)
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To: Don@VB

Yum!


45 posted on 11/20/2010 7:46:05 AM PST by mad_as_he$$ (What flavor Kool-aid are you drinking?)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

We tried this brined turkey for the first time last year, courtesy of the Food Network. Whole family raved about it.

Ingredients
1 (10 to 12-pound) turkey
Brine, recipe follows
4 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 large yellow onion, cut into 8ths
1 large orange, cut into 8ths
1 stalk celery, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 large carrot, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1 1/2 to 2 cups chicken or turkey stock, for basting
Turkey Broth:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Reserved turkey neck and giblets
1 large carrot, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 large celery stalk, coarsely chopped
1 small bay leaf
3 cups turkey stock, chicken stock, or canned low-salt chicken broth
3 cups water
Gravy:
4 cups turkey broth
1 cup dry white wine
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Directions
Remove the neck, giblets, and liver from the cavity of the turkey and reserve for the gravy. Rinse the turkey inside and out under cold running water.

Soak the turkey in the brine, covered and refrigerated, for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the turkey from the brine and rinse well under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels, inside and out. Place breast side down in a large, heavy roasting pan, and rub on all sides with the butter. Season lightly inside and out with salt and pepper. Stuff the turkey with the onion, orange, celery, carrot, bay leaves, and thyme. Loosely tie the drumsticks together with kitchen string.

For the turkey broth: Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium high heat. Add the turkey neck, heart, and gizzard to the pan and saute until just beginning to brown, about 1 minute. Add the chopped vegetables and bay leaf to the pan and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Pour the stock and 3 cups of water into the pan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the stock is reduced to 4 cups, about 1 hour, adding the chopped liver to the pan during the last 15 minutes of cooking.

Strain the stock into a clean pot or large measuring cup. Pull the meat off the neck, chop the neck meat and giblets, and set aside.

Roast the turkey, uncovered, breast side down for 1 hour. Remove from the oven, turn, and baste with 1/2 cup stock. Continue roasting with the breast side up until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 165 degrees F when inserted into the largest section of thigh (avoiding the bone), about 2 3/4 to 3 hours total cooking time. Baste the turkey once every hour with 1/2 to 3/4 cup chicken or turkey stock.

Remove from the oven and place on a platter. Tent with aluminum foil and let rest for 20 minutes before carving.

For the pan gravy: Pour the reserved turkey pan juices into a glass-measuring cup and skim off the fat. Place the roasting pan on 2 stovetop burners over medium heat add the pan juice and 1 cup turkey broth and the white wine to the pan, and deglaze the pan, stirring to scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the remaining 3 cup of broth and bring to a simmer, then transfer to a measuring cup.

In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, to make a light roux. Add the hot stock, whisking constantly, then simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Add the reserved neck meat and giblets to the pan and adjust seasoning, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Pour into a gravy boat and serve.

Brine:
1 cup salt
1 cup brown sugar
2 oranges, quartered
2 lemons, quartered
6 sprigs thyme
4 sprigs rosemary
To make the brining solution, dissolve the salt and sugar in 2 gallons of cold water in a non-reactive container (such as a clean bucket or large stockpot, or a clean, heavy-duty, plastic garbage bag.) Add the oranges, lemons, thyme, and rosemary.

Note: if you have a big turkey and need more brine than this, use 1/2 cup salt and 1/2 cup brown sugar for every gallon of water.


46 posted on 11/20/2010 8:06:50 AM PST by illiac (If we don't change directions soon, we'll get where we're going)
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To: All
You can usually get a food grade five gallon bucket from the bakery dept. of the grocery store. Frosting comes in them and they will save one for you if you ask.
47 posted on 11/20/2010 8:09:24 AM PST by ladyvet (I would rather have Incitatus then the asses that are in congress today.)
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To: Jodi

Yeah, I found it. I thought you were referring to another one.


48 posted on 11/20/2010 8:15:29 AM PST by Mountain Mary ("Excuse me, excuse me, excuse me, young people" ...BO at Conn. rally)
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To: Former MSM Viewer

Brining is only for people who would rather taste salt then turkey meat.


49 posted on 11/20/2010 8:24:58 AM PST by CynicalBear
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To: Former MSM Viewer
I have brined fresh turkeys, using the bags and brine mixture sold by William-Sonoma. For me it was a lot of work because I'm in my sixties, and have trouble lifting things, so filling a bag with brine mixture and having to lift the turkey and the bag filled with brine can be heavy-duty work for some. I also live in an apartment where counter space is limited, along with space in my refrigerator.

You don't get many pan drippings when you brine a turkey, nor does the skin get very browned. They say the meat holds the moisture better when you brine, but frankly, I didn't notice much of a difference either way. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

50 posted on 11/20/2010 8:25:45 AM PST by mass55th (Courage is being scared to death - but saddling up anyway...John Wayne)
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