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Brining again!

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Well it's that time of the year again. Let's talk about Brining Turkey!

This year I'm going to cure some pork loin and smoke it, a pork loin ham so to speak. What are your plans for the holidays?
post #2 of 15
That roast sounds delicious, Kuan! What'll be in your cure?

I had a good experience as a first-time briner; my turkey was great! This year we're going to my husband's sister's house; her husband will cook the bird. They have a new kitchen, including a new stove. I'm hoping for the best. He enjoyed the brined bird last year, and maybe I can get him to do it this year.
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post #3 of 15
This will be my first time brining the birds. I keep having this vision of this turkey exploding out of the fryer and landing in the pool. Should this be a concern. I haven't found anyone I know who brines and fries. There is just no other way to cook turkey, is there?:smoking:
1 more question! We're brining and smoking a dozen birds this year. I would like to do it a week or so before, any problems with that?
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post #4 of 15
I'm a home cook and don't know what the pros would do, but if I were in your shoes I'd cook and break down the birds, put them in oven-worthy pans and freeze them. I'd be too concerned about "leftover taste" and maybe worse if they were just chilled.

As for the rocketing turkey, I can't believe everyone uses un-brined birds! Butterball is injected and many other brands are. There's moisture aplenty in a natural turkey, too. I think I've seen brined birds being deep fried on TV as well.

Here's one page among many that mentions using injectors: http://http://www.gumbopages.com/foo...ried-turk.html
These guys used a brined bird: http://http://homecooking.about.com/...%5FTurkey.html
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post #5 of 15
I have been playing around with a "margarita" brine- tequila, triple sec, lime juice, water and salt. Haven't tried it on birds yet but its great for salmon.
What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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What a relief! To find out after all these years that I'm not crazy. I'm just culinarily divergent...
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post #6 of 15
Mezz,
I think your probably right. They're for the RMcHouse for the holidays. I'm so much trying to get away from a lot of the prepackaged things used. Although MUCH appreciated, it's not as homey. My better half is telling me to get away from the birds and concentrate on homey side dishes that will keep and then reheated. She may be right although I'll never say it:talk:

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post #7 of 15
If I need a lot of turkey, I like to split them open at the spine; crush the breast bone down so the bird will lay flat. Put them on a rack, the breast will be at the center, the legs aligned with the spine on the outside, but are folded towards the inside. I cover with ome oil soaked cheese cloth for the first hour or so. I brine or inject the breast, add butter and herbs, baste, any of the usual techniques.

The bird has a great roasted taste, the breast meat stays moist, it's at the inside of the pan, the legs brown off as they are on the outside. The turkey cooks in almost half the time of a whole bird.

I've started doing the bird early in the day, if it's done early I definitely have the time to let the bird set long enough that the juices stay in the meat. I can carve it when it's cool enough to do a decent job and deal with the mess, before guests and the last minute dinner crunch. You'll be surprised, there will be very little of the birds juices on your cutting board, they really stay in the meat by letting it cool way down, and not worrying about getting it to the table right away and hot.

I just make my gravy before dinner and deal with my sides. The turkey is sliced, and nicely laid on the platter and I warm in the microwave before it goes to the table.

The turkey is always moist when I do it ahead this way. I've done it with my whole stuffed birds also, but have come to like the roasted bird flavor better than the steamed, stuffed bird.

And don't worry, the smell of the turkey lingers in the house long enough to satisfy your guests.
post #8 of 15
Yes when you brine a bird it also cooks faster, makes it way juicier, and is also perfectly seasoned. there really is no need to add more seasoning because of the salts and peppercorns. I love brining.
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post #9 of 15
Peach-
We've used a margarita mix with added seasonings (white pepper, thyme, celery salt...) for marinating quail, pheasant, and chukkar (partridge), before smoking them- it works well. I would assume turkey would be just as good. :roll:
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post #10 of 15
So, assuming you are doing a conventional roast and not deep frying, do you let the bird rest in the fridge after you brine it to dry out the skin? I've found that taking the bird out of the brine and just patting it dry before roasting doesn't let the skin crisp very well. Letting it air dry in the fridge overnight makes for a crispier skin.

And what about fridge space? Mine is so full up with other perishables for Turkey Day there is no room for a bird in its brine. I use a picnic cooler with ice but I'm always concerned that over time the water temp will drift into the danger zone and I have to adjust the water to account for melting ice and it gets to be a bit of a pain. I like the end result but I'm not sure it's worth the trouble for me. For flavor I prefer to use a flavored butter under the skin.

Jock
post #11 of 15
From the other side of the ocean - never celebrated thanksgiving here, it's a working day and (horrors of horrors) never liked it anyway. I concentrate all my attention on christmas. But when i do a big christmas party every year, despite the incredible amount of work i do on all the countless dishes that are elaborate and original (I feed about 50 people) what everyone oohs and aaahs about is the roast turkey - most italians never ate one, cant imagine cooking one. (Most ovens here are too small anyway)
I've read about this brining trend, and have thought, those people sure have big houses and big fridges. I'd have to requisition my bathtub and then fill the entire freezer with ice cubes to have enough to keep it cold. Since what i don't like about turkey is the dryness, i thought of a way to have the advantage of moistness derived by brining instantly - i inject the turkey with salt water. I buy a normal hypodermic syringe, fill with salted water, and inject all over, breast and legs. with many injections. I rub with butter, crushed garlic, lots of ground black and pink peppercorns and coriander seeds, and thyme.
Then i roast at the absolutely top temperature of my oven until it tests done. I use the old tent method (make a tent by folding a piece of foil into a V, and just gently resting on top. At high temp it browns nicely but doesn;t burn that way). It gets a really crispy nice brown crust and stays ncie and juicy inside.
I always buy a fresh bird, never frozen (they don;t have them here anyway) and never over 8 kilos, always a female bird. If i need more, i buy a couple of thighs and roast them on the side. Oh, and probably they taste better because the laws against hormones and antibiotics and other stuff are more rigid here.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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post #12 of 15
Siduri,
Guess we take turkeys for granted here.... other than not having the holiday, I guess I never thought about availability of foods that are so common to us in the US, overseas. By comparison, yes, our refridgerators and ovens are probably larger (except on holidays- and then the fridge seems way too small). Perhaps that's why our people are larger..... obesity is so common..... hhmmm
Your turkey sounds great! I think we should all head to Siduri's for Christmas this year!!!!:) :)
Bon Vive' !
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Bon Vive' !
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post #13 of 15
well, the turkey is the most banal of the dishes i make for the party. but if you can somehow get me some 100 square meters more space in my apartment, i can fit some 50 more people...
as for the availability of stuff, you'd be surprised what we can't find. I only recently found a source of buttermilk, imported by a health food store from germany. When i first came here turkey was sold ONLY in parts, 200 grams of sliced breast, ossobuco of turkey leg, etc. I once ordered a whole turkey and was shocked to find they had just split it down the middle to get the insides out. When people do cook a whole turkey they usually have the butcher hack into it all over (so the juices will run out and it will be even drier???? who knows) same for lamb leg. drives me mad.
"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
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"Siduri said, 'Gilgamesh, where are you roaming? You will never find the eternal life that you seek...Savour your food, make each of your days a delight, ... let music and dancing fill your house, love the child who holds you by the hand and give your wife pleasure in your embrace.'"
Reply
post #14 of 15

Alternative to Brining

While I have been brining turkeys, chickens, and pork for years, like others I've had problems finding a place to keep a turkey cool whilst the brine does its work. Our Coleman picnic cooler has usually been pressed into service, though it's still a hassle.

Which is why I was interested in an article in the current (Nov/Dec 2006) issue of Cook's Illustrated, a long-time proponent of the brining technique. They report that they got almost as good results by salting the turkey under the skin (5 tbsp Diamond Crystal Kosher salt for a 14 lb bird), wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerating it for 24 to 48 hours. They also chilled the breast with ice to cause it to cook more slowly than the rest of the bird.

I've not tried this yet, but I've rarely gotten bad advice from those folks.
post #15 of 15
Iv been trying to make a coriander brine for some lamb 5% toasted coriander seeds fresh coriander
Anything else you can suggest to put in it?
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