Thursday, November 24, 2011

brining a turkey

  • Question:-Can someone tell me how to brine a turkey?
    I got responses for a previous question telling me that brining turkeys makes them tender. How do I do it? And doesn't it make the turkey extra salty?

    Answer:-This is Alton Brown's roat turkey recipe that incorporates a brine. I've used it before and have gotten rave reviews -though i did my aromatics a bit differently, as i didn't have some of those things. Not salty at all, just good.

    1 (14 to 16 pound) frozen young turkey
    For the brine:
    1 cup kosher salt
    1/2 cup light brown sugar
    1 gallon vegetable stock
    1 tablespoon black peppercorns
    1/2 tablespoon allspice berries
    1/2 tablespoon candied ginger
    1 gallon iced water
    For the aromatics:
    1 red apple, sliced
    1/2 onion, sliced
    1 cinnamon stick
    1 cup water
    4 sprigs rosemary
    6 leaves sage
    Canola oil

    Combine all brine ingredients, except ice water, in a stockpot, and bring to a boil. Stir to dissolve solids, then remove from heat, cool to room temperature, and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
    Early on the day of cooking, (or late the night before) combine the brine and ice water in a clean 5-gallon bucket. Place thawed turkey breast side down in brine, cover, and refrigerate or set in cool area (like a basement) for 6 hours. Turn turkey over once, half way through brining.

    A few minutes before roasting, heat oven to 500 degrees. Combine the apple, onion, cinnamon stick, and cup of water in a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 5 minutes.

    Remove bird from brine and rinse inside and out with cold water. Discard brine.

    Place bird on roasting rack inside wide, low pan and pat dry with paper towels. Add steeped aromatics to cavity along with rosemary and sage. Tuck back wings and coat whole bird liberally with canola (or other neutral) oil.

    Roast on lowest level of the oven at 500 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and cover breast with double layer of aluminum foil, insert probe thermometer into thickest part of the breast and return to oven, reducing temperature to 350 degrees F. Set thermometer alarm (if available) to 161 degrees. A 14 to 16 pound bird should require a total of 2 to 2 1/2 hours of roasting. Let turkey rest, loosely covered for 15 minutes before carving
  • Question:-Are any of you brining your turkey?
    I brine chickens frequently and find it makes for a moister bird. I have not tried brining my thanksgiving turkey yet. It's an 18lb bird. Has anybody had success with brining turkeys?

    Answer:-I am brining my turkey this year. We usually have a kosher turkey (they are brined) but this year we are brining it ourselves. I suggest going to this link

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/et_hd_thanksgiving/0,1972,FOOD_9845,00.html

    and watching Alton Brown's video on brining turkey's. It is very helpful and informative and I am using his technique. Contrary to the one answer, brining does not dry out a turkey but actually moistens it.

    Oh, and don't use one of those turkey's that has been injected with all those flavorings like you find in the grocery store this time of year. You have to use one that is just plain ol' turkey which can be found at a place like Whole Foods or ask the butcher.
  • Question:-Does brining a turkey shorten cooking time?
    I've read numerous places that brined turkey cooks faster. I'm brining for the first time. Can anyone give me a guideline on what to expect for cooking time for a roasted brined turkey? Thanks and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Answer:-
  • Question:-Questions on brining a "Shady Brook" brand turkey breast?
    It says it has 60mg of sodium per serving, but doesn't say it has been injected with a salt solution. Would you recommend brining it anyway, or will that make it too salty?

    I haven't brined turkey breast before. How much water and how much salt do you recommend? It is nearly 7 pounds. Is brining as simple as salt + water + turkey in pot overnight?

    Answer:-If it has that much sodium per serving then it is already brined. Most sellers to the public do it now to make the turkey better.
  • Question:-Another brining turkey question?
    If I bought a mass produced turkey from a grocery store e.g Jennie-O or Butterball, and there's already a 7 or 8% solution injected, would I still able to brine it? If so, would I need to cut back on the salt?

    Answer:-You can brine it, but it's unlikely to have any positive effect. The injected solutions are optimized to put as much liquid filler into the bird as it can hold.

    If you can't find an unprocessed bird locally, and have to go with the Butterball, etc, save your time and energy for marinading or otherwise treating the bird for additional flavor. A brine will not do anything for you.

    Happy cooking!
  • Question:-need help brining turkey wings only?
    can i season the turkey wings and is there a brine recipe for turkey wings?
    i only have about 10 turkey wings

    Answer:-It's the same for turkeys and turkey wings.

    6 quarts hot water
    1 pound kosher salt
    1 pound dark brown sugar
    5 pounds ice
    1 (13 to 14-pound) turkey, with giblets removed

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_35148,00.html?rsrc=search
  • Question:-I started brining my turkey with the giblets inside, is the turkey now contaminated?
    I'm soaking my turkey in a brine in preparation for tomorrow, but I didn't take out the giblets prior to soaking the turkey. Is the turkey brine now contaminated? I have since removed the giblets and put the turkey back into the brine.

    Answer:-no it is not contaminated.......biologist and chef:)
  • Question:-Have you ever used a turkey brining bag?
    I am going to brine 2 turkeys for Thanksgiving and this seems like the easiest and most convenient way but... I am wondering if anyone has had any experience with these as I would prefer not to have a mess in my fridge. Thank you!
    I would love to put it outside but I live in South Florida! :(

    Answer:-I have used different brine's in the past in the restaurant and what we have done that works out very well and does not use any room in refrigerator. Around the holidays business always ramps up and sometimes refrigeration becomes like looking for prime real estate, It is hard to find. So what we have done is washed and sanitize your ice chest or cooler and make up your brine and let it cool back down ,then put the brine in your cooler and put 4 or 5 pounds of ice in there and then put our turkeys in there and let them set.We were able to get 2 turkeys to an ice chest. Just remember that you need to cut back on the amount of water when making your brine,because of the ice that you will add so it does not weaken your brine.Just keep ice in there until time to cook those turkeys and still have room in the refrigerator.
  • Question:-Does brining a turkey really make a difference?
    And does it make it taste salty? I'm cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year and have heard so much about brining. How exactly do you do it? And what does it do to the turkey?

    Answer:-Alll brining does is add moisture to the turkey so when you cook it, it stays moister than without brining.

    The salt washes off and will not change the taste.

    A better trick (and quicker) is to use butter (or oil) and add hebs, like Rosemary... and garlic if you like and mix it into a paste. Rub this paste 'under' the skin, as far as you can reach. It imparts amazing flavor, keeps the moisture in and crisps up the skin even more. You will not be disappointed - believe me! Your guests will ask you how you made a turket look/taste sooooo good!

    Steve
  • Question:-brining turkey?
    I know you can brine a turkey before cooking it, but can I brine turkey pieces? Do I brine them just as long?

    Answer:-You can brine just about anything! If your turkey has been butchered into parts you do not need to brine them as long as you would a whole turkey. I would brine a whole bird for 24 hours. If you're brining all of the turkey parts I'd do them for 8 to 10 hours.

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