Brining a Turkey

Discussion in 'Recipes, Storage and Preparation of Seafood' started by IronNoggin, Dec 29, 2019.

  1. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    Don't know how many here do this, but if you haven't tried it, you are Missing Out!!

    12 lb bird. Had to use 6 gallons to drown it in the cooler, so jumped the sea salt to 3 lbs, and the brown sugar to 3 cups:

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    4.5 hours later, I gave it a good rinse:

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    A quick pat dry:

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    Then into the fridge overnight:

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    Came out quite dry the next afternoon:

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    Ingredients for the stuffing that went into the buzzard:

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    Stuffing mixed:

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    Bird Stuffed, Trussed, Buttered & Spiced:

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    Into Roaster on the roasting grill:

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    Then into the oven at 400 F:

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    An hour later heat dropped to 250 for a couple hours, then pulled & flipped the bird:

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    Back in at 400 with thermometer in place. While it finished, on with the trimmings...

    Stuffing Mix:

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    A little Bacon to get things going:

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    Mix ready for the oven:

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    As the bird came out - Breast meat exactly 165 F, Skin very nice - crisp & crunchy!

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    Then covered to rest a spell:

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    I failed to get any pictures of the slicing and dicing.
    But The Lady said it was the most tender and juiciest turkey she had ever had.
    I simply had to agree!! Won't be doing them any other way down the road...

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    Merry Christmas Indeed!

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    Cheers,
    Nog
     
  2. tubber

    tubber Well-Known Member

    Awesome write-up and pics, as usual, Nog. I did mine for 24 hours in 6 quarts, with one cup rock salt and 1 cup brown sugar. I have a tall stainless pot which held the bird without needing much brine. Not salty at all, but tender. It helped that the outside temp was around zero C and I don't have any varmints except the dog and some front yard deer, so I just left it outside the back door. Still working on the leftovers.
    Roasting the bones before making stock is a good extra step.
     
    IronNoggin likes this.
  3. Rain City

    Rain City Crew Member

    Did this for the first time this year. Amazeballs. Looks great Nog as usual.
     
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  4. ziggy

    ziggy Well-Known Member

    I tried using the cooler but found I had to make too much brine, so looked for a different method. I bought some of those giant ziplock bags, put the turkey into them and added enough brine to cover about half the bird (1 1/2 -2 gals)Put it into a Coleman cooler with some ice packs and flipped it over a few times. The bags really cut down on how much brine you need. You could also do the same with a food safe bucket, but you’d need to skip using a Coleman .
     
  5. IronNoggin

    IronNoggin Well-Known Member

    Ed Zachery what we did!
    Stew turned out Deadly!!

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    And the balance into cold storage for a spell (Done with Buzzard for a while!)

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    Cheers,
    Nog
     
    walleyes likes this.
  6. walleyes

    walleyes Crew Member

    I’m lost on what exactly this is. Is it a stew from all the left overs.

    Great stuff as usual Nog, always love your recipes.
     
  7. littlechucky

    littlechucky Well-Known Member

    5 gallon bucket from Home Depot (with lid) worked perfect for me (9 kg bird).
     
  8. Saveth

    Saveth Member

    Wait until you introduce a deep fryer into the mix. Takes your turkey game to a whole new level.
     
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  9. triplenickel

    triplenickel Well-Known Member

    I’m a dry brine, spatchcock and cook on the big smoker kinda guy. Put a pan with carrots, celery, onion (skins on for dark gravy), giblets and some broth on the rack below the bird to catch the drippings for a gravy base. Cook over charcoal with a fist sized chunk of apple wood. Haven’t brined one since trying that way. Hey Nog have you seen the article on the science behind brining on amazing ribs? It’s pretty interesting.
     
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  10. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    How long and at what temp for the turkey bones? I do hali carcases for chowder and they turn out pretty good :)
     
  11. tubber

    tubber Well-Known Member

    325-350* for about 1.5 - 2 hours until deep golden brown. Then simmer starting with cold water and some carrots/onions/celery/pepper corns without boiling or the broth will go cloudy. Don't bother picking the bones or eating those veg. The flavour is spent into the broth. Just strain and move on.
     
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  12. Derby

    Derby Crew Member

    Thank U sir :)
     
  13. Captain PartyMarty

    Captain PartyMarty Well-Known Member

    Here is the brine Recipe we use

    3 cups coarse salt, plus more for seasoning
    5 cups sugar
    2 medium onions, coarsely chopped
    2 medium leeks, white and pale-green parts only, rinsed and coarsely chopped
    2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
    2 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
    2 dried bay leaves
    3 sprigs fresh thyme
    3 sprigs fresh flat-leaf parsley
    2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns, plus freshly ground pepper
    Put salt, sugar, onions, leeks, carrots, celery, bay leaves, thyme, parsley, peppercorns, and 10 cups water
    in a large stockpot. Bring to a boil, stirring until salt and sugar have dissolved. Remove from heat; let
    brine cool completely.

    Brine for 24hrs then cook!
     
  14. Big Green Machine

    Big Green Machine Well-Known Member

    The brine is a must for Turkey, but the amount of salt and how long you brine is dependent on the turkey. Some turkeys come pre brined like a Butterball, or if you choose a smaller bird, say 8 pounds, you need to be mindful of the brining process.
     
  15. dradons

    dradons Active Member

    Also, good is just smoking the bird. You can then make a pretty good split pea soup with the carcass.
     
  16. Reeltime

    Reeltime Well-Known Member

    Did a butterflied turkey in a bowl brined in apple juice, basil, rosemary, salt.. brined over night, then in the smoker with apple wood for 3hours
    then finished off in the oven, was one of the juiciest birds i've ever had, the breast was like a good quality deli turkey breast, sliced just like it
    Apple and smoke flavour went right into the meat just a hint of it...
     
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  17. Steplift

    Steplift Member

    I use a similar brine and smoke it for a few hours family favourite now days. When birds go on sale we pick up a few because they don’t last in our fridge around all my kids.
     
  18. Steplift

    Steplift Member

    Brined and smoked turkey for supper tonight.
     

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  19. getbent

    getbent Well-Known Member

    For those of you that like turkey juicy and tender, using a brine is the way to go for sure...but too finish it off so it is even more stellar I do the following:

    Pull the bird out of the oven around 145 degrees, wrap it in tinfoil, shiny side in then lay HEAVY towels on it...like 6 inches thick and leave it on the counter for a couple of hours...
    unbelievable how the lack of the additional heat on the protein lets it relax, the heat that is built up will finish cooking the bird perfectly, just like a steak or roast finishing as it relaxes...only downside is no crispy skin although you can give it a flash under the broiler.

    One other tip from my restaurant days is to pull the breast right off of the bird and slice against the grain...give it a go, just like using a brine...you wont go back.
     
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  20. Waterwolf2230

    Waterwolf2230 Well-Known Member

    I grew up with a father that owned a meat market/butcher shop and was taught how to debone a turkey. Once you go this way, you'll never go back to fighting with a full turkey carcass ever again. The process is really quite simple. You start by removing the breasts in one piece. Then take off the thighs/legs and debone the thighbone from the thigh. Put both thighs together and tie them into a roast. Do the same with the breasts. This leaves you with a white meat roast and a dark meat roast. The advantages are that it takes way less liquid to brine them. I just use a large stock pot. Also when you cook them, they will be absolutely perfectly cooked as you can monitor both roasts and remove one when its done vs letting the breasts dry out while you wait for the thighs to finish cooking. Especially easy if you have a dual temp meat probe. I think the best advantage is the carving aspect. Its always chaotic when its time to serve and with this its as simple as slicing a roast. Additionally, i take that carcass the day before and cook it down and make my gravy a day in advance which again makes the day of cooking less painful. Check out the pics :)
     

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