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Does a turkey with "8% basting solution" need brining??

post #1 of 8
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I'm a little confused. The turkey I received as a gift from an aunt says on the label that it already has 8% basting solution. Does that mean it does not require any further brining? Or does that only mean the turkey has been processed with fat or butter, but HAVEN'T been brined??

Should I brine, in a case like this? I was intending to brine for 16 hours for an 18-lb turkey. But with this new discovery, maybe I should just brine for 6-10 hours? Is that a good decision, considering my family are not very fond of salty foods. Thanks :smiles:
post #2 of 8
I wouldn't brine it, the "basting solution" is pretty much flavored salt water, so consider the bird already brined.

mjb.
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post #3 of 8
Most turkeys nowadays, from large grocery stores, have a solution added to them. I tend not to brine these birds has that solution already contains salt and you run the risk of having an overly salted bird.
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http://www.onceachef.com/ is my personal blog where I share many recipes, my passion for cooking, and all things food.
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post #4 of 8
What this bird is saying is that excludeing glazed weight 8 % of the weight of this bird is saltwater . so a 20 pound bird cost $1.60 just for water or more profit to processor. Do not Brine. :D
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post #5 of 8
You could do a salt free brine with an acid and sweet component. Any other herb flavors you like also. It may not penetrate as well as a salt brine but it will add some extra flavor.
post #6 of 8
We got a pre-brined bird from Trader Joe's and had it on Saturday. Just to make sure it stayed extra moist, we shoved compound butter under the breast skin--butter, shallot, fresh savory, fresh marjoram, lemon zest, salt and pepper. It was awesome! The butter melted into the pan and was a welcome addition to the gravy, and the rest of the ingredients--which were all really fine after a serious trip in the food processor--stayed put, adding a wonderful bright green layer of flavor right under the skin.
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Jenni
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post #7 of 8

Brine it !!!

One of the other posters was right in saying that the "basting solution" is probably for weight/profit purposes. That said, turkeys such as butterballs do tend to be a touch more moist that the everyday turkey. IMHO, the moisture added by any included basting solution merely makes the bird more tolerable of overcooking or other mishandling. It doesn't add noticeable flavor, and maybe only a touch of juiciness...which can still be lost if not cooked properly.

Now when you wet brine a bird....WOW! It is like night and day! Assuming you properly cook the bird, you will notice IMMEDIATELY the juiciness and tenderness of the bird. The flesh will have an amazing texture. Further, the flesh will usually be seasoned throughout. So a piece of breast from the outer edges of the bird will have the same flavor as a piece of breast that is closer to the bone. And if you add additional seasoning/flavoring (rosemary for example), the bird will seamlessly take on that flavor too.

As long as you follow the recommended brine time, the bird will NOT become salty. Just be sure to rinse it under running water after you are done brining. In other words, a bird with basting solution will BENEFIT from brining. Brining AND basting solution will not be overkill since they have different jobs.


(my brined bird from a couple of years back...notice that the flesh is moist, not stringy):

post #8 of 8
that looks so awesome.

I'm brining this year with apple/sage/vinegar solution :) had a sample of it at whole foods and decided to try it myself.
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