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Old 11-20-2012, 10:32 AM   #16
wowsmom
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Last year was the first time I brined. I used the recipe from Penzey's Spices. You can find it at www.penzeys.com - it's called Parker's Turkey Brine (or something like that).

My 15 year old told me last week I MUST brine again this year.
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:31 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotUrsula View Post
No matter what recipe you use, here is a hugely important caveat: DO NOT SUBSTITUTE TABLE SALT FOR KOSHER SALT!!!!

Many, many people make that mistake and live to regret it. Kosher salt is not as strong as table salt, and it also does not penetrate the meat as easily. Table salt will exponentially increase the saltiness.

I rinse the bird inside and out in cold running tap water for a good twenty minutes after I take it out of the brine. It takes work to remove the excess salt that is under the skin, but be sure to do it, because that is where most of it gathers.

I still stuff the bird, but with a brined bird you have to make adjustments: do not put any salt in the stuffing mixture, and also reduce the liquid that you add to it. (All of the components that I put in my stuffing are already cooked; you could eat the mix raw and it would not hurt you. I never use egg in stuffing.)
....actually, I usually use coarse sea salt....
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:02 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrhpd View Post
Yes. I used Alton Brown's recipe years and years. Then last year I tried Emeril's beer brine recipe.

Emeril's was far, far superior to Alton's.

I double the recipe because we usually cook a 20+lb turkey:

Emeril's Beer-Brined Turkey

Ingredients
2 quarts apple cider
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2 cups kosher salt
1/4 cup black peppercorns
1 tablespoon juniper berries
4 bay leaves
1 cinnamon sticks (3-inch)
1 teaspoon whole cloves
4 quarts dark beer
1 turkey (8- to 10-pound)

Cooking Directions
Combine the apple cider, brown sugar, salt, peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cloves in a large pot or bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Combine the mixture with the beer in a 40-quart cooler, or large plastic container. Place the turkey in the brine and, if necessary, weigh down with heavy dinner plates to completely submerge. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 24 hours.
I think I am going to try this this year!
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:14 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hrhpd View Post
Yes. I used Alton Brown's recipe years and years. Then last year I tried Emeril's beer brine recipe.

Emeril's was far, far superior to Alton's.

I double the recipe because we usually cook a 20+lb turkey:

Emeril's Beer-Brined Turkey

Ingredients
2 quarts apple cider
2 cups dark brown sugar, packed
2 cups kosher salt
1/4 cup black peppercorns
1 tablespoon juniper berries
4 bay leaves
1 cinnamon sticks (3-inch)
1 teaspoon whole cloves
4 quarts dark beer
1 turkey (8- to 10-pound)

Cooking Directions
Combine the apple cider, brown sugar, salt, peppercorns, juniper berries, bay leaves, cinnamon, and cloves in a large pot or bowl. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Combine the mixture with the beer in a 40-quart cooler, or large plastic container. Place the turkey in the brine and, if necessary, weigh down with heavy dinner plates to completely submerge. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 24 hours.
I would have a tough time wasting 4 quarts of beer
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:14 PM   #20
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Has anyone just done a simple salt, sugar, water brine? I've never brined but I don't want to use all the ingredients, so I'm thinking of just something that simple.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:38 PM   #21
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I am using the brine kit from Bed Bath and Beyond (cheaper than WS and the WS one had a lot of fruity/sweet components) They had two kinds so we're doing the Herb for Thanksgiving and the apple/sage for Christmas. I've never brined before so I'm interested in the results.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:39 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmar067 View Post
....actually, I usually use coarse sea salt....
Sea salt will also work, but not refined table salt. (Sea Salt is MUCH more expensive than Kosher salt, so if you normally don't have either one in your pantry, kosher salt is going to be less of a splurge.)

Here is Food Network's explanation of the differences in the major types of culinary salt:

Quote:
What is the difference between kosher salt, sea salt, and table salt?

A: For the cook's purposes, the main difference between salts is in their texture. Table salt's fine granules dissolve quickly, making it the preferred salt of bakers. Sea salt and kosher salt possess larger, irregular grains that add a delightful crunch and hit of briny flavor when sprinkled on food at the last minute. Generally, savvy cooks prefer kosher salt when cooking, since its coarse texture is easier to take a pinch of when seasoning savory dishes.

Chemically there is little difference between kitchen salts. All are at least 97 1/2 percent sodium chloride. But there are significant differences in the provenance and processing of these salts.

Table salt is mined from underground salt deposits, and includes a small portion of calcium silicate, an anti-caking agent added to prevent clumping. It possesses very fine crystals and a sharp taste. Because of its fine grain a single teaspoon of table salt contains more salt than a tablespoon of kosher or sea salt.

Sea salt is harvested from evaporated seawater and receives little or no processing, leaving intact the minerals from the water it came from. These minerals flavor and color the salt slightly. However, because these salts are usually expensive, it is worth keeping in mind that they lose their unique flavor when cooked or dissolved.

Kosher salt takes its name from its use in the koshering process. It contains no preservatives and can be derived from either seawater or underground sources. Aside from being a great salt to keep within arm's reach when you are cooking, it is particularly useful in preserving, because its large crystals draw moisture out of meats and other foods more effectively than other salts.

Food Network Kitchens
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:11 PM   #23
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Thank you everyone for the recipes, and suggestions! Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your turkeys!!!
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:16 PM   #24
Hrhpd
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NotUrsula View Post
No matter what recipe you use, here is a hugely important caveat: DO NOT SUBSTITUTE TABLE SALT FOR KOSHER SALT!!!!

Many, many people make that mistake and live to regret it. Kosher salt is not as strong as table salt, and it also does not penetrate the meat as easily. Table salt will exponentially increase the saltiness.

I rinse the bird inside and out in cold running tap water for a good twenty minutes after I take it out of the brine. It takes work to remove the excess salt that is under the skin, but be sure to do it, because that is where most of it gathers.

I still stuff the bird, but with a brined bird you have to make adjustments: do not put any salt in the stuffing mixture, and also reduce the liquid that you add to it. (All of the components that I put in my stuffing are already cooked; you could eat the mix raw and it would not hurt you. I never use egg in stuffing.)
absolutely about the Kosher salt.

However, I have never gone to the other lengths that you have and I have never had a problem with saltiness. I make my regular stuffing with the same amount of liquid, no problem. And I do a quick rinse after the brine. Certainly not 20 minutes. I am a salt-a-holic, so I would love it if the bird was a bit salty. But it never is.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:40 PM   #25
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Thank you so much for saying that sea salt or kosher salt could be used. I had a ton of sea salt and didn't know what to do with it. This will work!

Can't wait to brine my turkey! I hope that everyone comes back and posts how their turkeys came out.
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:10 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erin1715 View Post
Has anyone just done a simple salt, sugar, water brine? I've never brined but I don't want to use all the ingredients, so I'm thinking of just something that simple.
Have used the linked "simple" brine for several years for our rotissierre turkey with great success. It doesn't include sugar and I substitute Kosher salt for sea salt, nor do I use the drippings for gravy, so can't vouch for that. (I do a "make ahead gravy" from the wings before brining.)

I'm always tempted to try the Alton Brown or Emeril recipe, but don't usually keep allspice berries, candied ginger or juniper berries on hand.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/turkey-...e7=Home%20Page
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:17 PM   #27
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Some say you cannot brine a turkey if it is a frozen turkey and that you should always use a FRESH turkey. Do all of you just use a fresh, not frozen, bird?
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Old 11-20-2012, 09:25 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeysgal View Post
Some say you cannot brine a turkey if it is a frozen turkey and that you should always use a FRESH turkey. Do all of you just use a fresh, not frozen, bird?
We've used Alton Brown's brine recipe for years, on both frozen and fresh turkeys, and I can't tell the difference between the two.
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Old 11-21-2012, 12:04 AM   #29
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We do, and it is as easy as this! It contains sea salt, brown sugar, cranberries, apples, garlic, orange peel, juniper berries, Malabar black peppercorns, thyme, rosemary and sage. We find it in our local Kroger grocery stores.

Honestly, you can make a brine yourself, but we have been using this one for years, and we are always happy with the results, so we just stick with what we know.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:38 AM   #30
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I can not imagine soaking a turkey in that much salt-heck I don't even add salt to the water I boil pasta in because I can taste the salt (yes even that small amount) in my pasta if its boiled in salted water. I sure wouldn't want to eat salty turkey.
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