Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Great Turkey Brining Experiment

Everywhere you go, people are brining their turkeys. I mean hello did anyone ever hear of brining a turkey five years ago. Well, I am very cautious when it comes to changing the Thanksgiving menu. And messing with the turkey is sacrilegious.

In the spirit of trying new things, I bought a small ten pound turkey. I didn’t know turkeys came that small, that is a new experience for me. Even the butcher looked at me strangely since I am always asking him for the largest turkey known to man. 

Back to the brining experiment, heat three quarts of water, two cups and sugar and the brining packet that comes in the brining kit. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Let cool 15 minutes. 

Next, remove the insides of the turkey, rinse and place in the bag provided. 
Add five quarts of ice water and the bringing water mixture. Let sit in the 
fridge or an iced cooler for 1 hour per pound. Do not let the turkey gets above 40 degrees.

Remove the turkey from the brining mixture and place on a roasting pan. I usually cover my turkey with a combination of butter and oil. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes per pound, unstuffed.

So how did the turkey taste? I think the brining mixture was way too strong. The herbs overpowered the turkey and although it was moist, it would have been better with less time in the brining mixture. If I make it for Thanksgiving, I am cutting the time in half.

That being said, I love Thanksgiving turkey the way I have always made it. 
 My turkey has never been dry or tough and always had wonderful flavor.
I think the $8 ten pound turkey for the brining techniques was a great investment because I am not messing with my turkey!!! What are your thoughts on brining?

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