Turkeys ... to brine or not to brine (recipe)

by RubaDub 14 Replies latest jw friends

  • RubaDub

    Being that time of the year when you can buy turkeys so cheap (most JW's I know but at least a couple) or in some cases food stores give one away with a purchase exceeding some dollar amount, I was just interested in any interesting recipes.

    We usually do the brine thing (3/4 cup salt to 1 gallon of water, a few packets of chicken bouillon, some random additional spices, dry or fresh as desired). Cover the turkey completely and then let it soak overnight ( we usually do about an hour a pound). Not a real precise recipe but it does, in our opinion, make for a much more juicy bird without the typical dryness that often happens.

    Depending on the size of your refrigerator, it may take some gymnastics to get a big pot with a turkey in it. We sometimes take out a shelf to accommodate the size of the pot. On the other hand, we generally but smaller turkeys (10-12 pounds) that don't require a really big pot.

    Anyway, any other recipe ideas? I may try using a smoker this time. I have had smoked turkey and thought it was very good.

    Any thoughts?

    Rub a Dub

  • LoveUniHateExams

    I love turkey but I've always thought the meat to be a bit dry.

    The brine soaking with chicken bouillon and additional spices sounds great.

    Smoked turkey also sounds delicious.

    Sorry, I don't really have any recipe ideas. I usually just put loads and loads of gravy with my turkey.

  • RubaDub

    I love turkey but I've always thought the meat to be a bit dry

    LUHE ...

    Yes, I have found plain turkeys to be bland also. That's why some companies, such as Butterball, inject the turkey with "stuff" to make them juicier. And you pay significantly more for them in general. Other brands claim to be "pre-basted."

    I'll stick with my brining until I find something better. And at least with your own brining, you know what you are using and can try different spices and flavors. Those pre-basted turkeys contain who knows what type of chemicals.

    Rub a Dub

  • azor

    I usually brine my turkey overnight outside in a 5 gallon bucket.

  • ShirleyW

    I just read this week about dry brine, which includes baking soda which makes the skin more crispy and holds moisture within, I said I'll pass on that. Some people in the comments section of the article say it works, but I just have a feeling if I did it I wouldn't get the right results.

  • NewYork44M

    Hmmm. I never heard of the brine technique. Something I will consider next year.

    I thought that the only turkey controversy was to stuff the turkey or not. I am in the "stuff the turkey" camp. I distrust people who don't stuff their turkey.

  • millie210

    I love the brine method. In my opinion it produces the oven turkey.

    I have had to be so busy with work I didnt do the brine this year though,

    I bought a young fresh 12 pounder and am using a method suggested to me by a work companion. Basically you slather the bird with a good mayonnaise and roast. I did stuff the insides with celery, apple and onion, So we shall see!

  • berrygerry

    I did the slow roast method, and was simply stunned with the result.

    170° F (Yes Fahrenheit) - 1 hour per pound.


    I basted as often as I could (butter and seasoning).

    I also turned the oven up for the last hour to crisp the exterior.

    Google it - it's awesome.

  • Room 215
    Room 215

    Picture-prefect and delicious turkey, my way: dry-brine it (1 tbsp of kosher salt for every 5 pounds of bird; easier and far superior to wet brining); rub salt over the entire bird, and if you're willing to take the trouble, get some of it under the breast skin

    THEN: Put it uncovered in a pan in the fridge for up to three days (the longer the better). When ready for the oven, melt about 6 ounces of butter in some chicken stock, immerse 2-3 layers of cheesecloth and drape it over the bird. covering it entirely. Add about one pint of stock, or white wine, or a combination of both to the roasting pan.

    Pre-heat oven to 400 deg. F for 15-20 minutes, then reset the temperature to 325 F..for about 4 hours for a 20 pounder; check for doneness with a meat thermometer (your'e looking for 165 F for the dark meat, about 170 F for the white meat.)

    Et voila'!

  • JWdaughter

    I used a roasting bag for the first time this year. Lots of poultry seasoning, salt and pepper. That's it. Roasted til done. Skin will not crisp in bag, but meat was tender and flavorful. They were midamar halal turkey$. I made two. I have a lot of leftovers as there was waaaaaay too much food.

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