Its Fall and time to stand in line at the grocery store, seems like everybody is here loading up their carts with Meat, stuffing mix, dont forget the broth.......
The lady in front had at least 10 of everything, Turkeys , at least 20 boxes of stuffing mix and three shopping carts full ! No she was not catering for an army, but instead filling up the Fire Department food drive bins just outside the entrance where the courageous firemen and women were grateful for any donation.
Lets not forget those this winter out in the cold, wet and an empty tummy while we sit by the fire and stuff ourselves. What can you do to " give a little " ?
In our family growing up in and around the kitchen sharing stories, learning how and giving thanks was just a small part of the holidays. From a young age I learned from Mom and Buddy how to be a better cook. If you love a fresh moist Turkey then you need to Brine it for sure.
Test will prove in terms of Color, Appearance, Tenderness, Aroma, Flavor and so on a Brine bird will " outlast and outplay " the others. Its best to brine for at least 16 to 24 hours to get the full benift, while a short brine will help.
Some like Citrus & Tons of herbs , sugar etc while others the traditional plain salt brine. I have done several of both flavored and non.
Since brining does not preserve poultry, the turkey must be kept below 40 degrees F throughout the entire brining process. If refrigerator space is limited, the brining process should be done with the use of ice packs to ensure the turkey stays below 40 degrees F during the brining time.
A few other pointers:
- Reduce the amount of salt in the turkey stock
- Use unsalted butter in the meal preparation
- A brined turkey cooks slightly faster than an unbrined turkey, so check the internal temperature frequently during the last 30 minutes-45 minutes of cook time.
- If the turkey is to be cooked at high temperatures (450 degrees F-500 degrees F), in the oven or on a grill, it is best to reduce the amount of salt by one-half and to use only a little sugar in the brine. These adjustments will prevent the turkey from browning too quickly.
Try this Recipe
- 16 - 24 Pound Turkey
- 2 Gallons cold water
- 10 Ounces Soy Sauce
- 1/2 cup kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons dried sage
- 2 Tablespoons dried celery seed
- 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
Remove the giblets and neck : rinse well inside and out. In a large stock pot or 5 gallon container, mix water with remaining ingrediants. Stir well until all the salt dissolves.
Place the turkey in the pot ( A cooler lined with trash bag works well ), cover and let stand overnight ( Be sure its kept below 40 Deg throughout ).
Remove from brine, rinse well and follow whatever cooking instructions you like to follow.