How To Brine A Turkey?
- 0.1 How long should you brine turkey?
- 0.2 What is the formula for brine?
- 0.3 Is brining for 3 hours enough?
- 1 Do you have to boil the water to brine a turkey?
- 2 Is it better to salt or brine a turkey?
- 3 Is sea salt OK for brining?
- 4 Can I brine turkey in cold water?
- 5 Do you have to refrigerate while brining a turkey?
- 6 Should you flip a turkey when brining?
- 7 Is brining for 1 hour enough?
How long should you brine turkey?
Best Turkey Brine Recipe – The Best Turkey Brine Recipe – A simple blend of salt, sugar, and spices to create the most moist and flavorful turkey you’ve ever made! Servings: 20
- Place a gallon of warm water in a clean bucket or cooler. Add the brown sugar, salt, shallots, garlic, herbs and spices. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar.
- Carefully submerge the turkey in the brine. Add an additional 1/2 gallon of water to make sure the brine covers the turkey entirely. (Or more water!)
- If using a bucket, cover the bucket with plastic and place in the refrigerator for 1 to 3 days. If using a cooler, filled it with ice to keep the turkey cold for up to 3 days.
- The brine time should be determined based on the size of turkey. For a turkey 15 pounds or under, brine for just 24 to 36 hours. For a turkey larger than 15 pounds, brine for up to 3 days. *If you want to brine a smaller turkey for a longer period of time, reduce the salt to 1/2-3/4 cup, so it is not overly seasoned.
- Before roasting, take the turkey out of the brine water and place on a rack for at least a couple hours. Allow the turkey skin to dry thoroughly. Use paper towels to pat it dry if needed. You can place the roasting pan in the refrigerator (or back in the cooler over ice) if you want to give the bird longer to dry. (The dryer the skin, the better it browns. Drying it overnight is best.)
- Once dry, rub the turkey skin thoroughly with butter. Sometimes I stuff the turkey with herbs, but this is not necessary.
- Roast the turkey at 325° F for 15 minutes per pound. Roast uncovered for the first couple hours, then tent with foil the last hour to make sure the breast meat doesn’t overcook. When using a meat thermometer, the breast meat should be 165° F.
- Allow the turkey for rest for at least 25 minutes before serving to allow the juices to redistribute.
If you plan to brine a large turkey for more than 24-48 hours, use 2-3 gallons of water per 1 cup salt, to make sure the turkey doesn’t over-season. Calories: 95 kcal, Carbohydrates: 23 g, Protein: 0 g, Fat: 0 g, Saturated Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 5675 mg, Potassium: 62 mg, Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 21 g, Vitamin A: 30 IU, Vitamin C: 1.2 mg, Calcium: 39 mg, Iron: 0.5 mg Making this recipe? Follow us on Instagram and tag @ASpicyPerspective so we can share what you’re cooking!
Can I brine a turkey with just salt?
We’ll just cut right to the chase: The official Epi opinion is that dry-brining is the only brine method you should consider when prepping a holiday bird. The process is literally just coating the raw turkey in salt, letting it hang out in the fridge for a couple of days, and that’s all.
What is the formula for brine?
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing. When most people think of brining, they picture brining a whole Thanksgiving turkey, but it’s such a great technique that we’ve started using it all year round for all sorts of different meats and even vegetables like cauliflower, We like to throw pork chops and chicken breasts in a quick brine for extra oomph before continuing on with the rest of the recipe.
- Brining is also a great technique if you are cooking a smaller portion of turkey, such as a turkey breast, for Thanksgiving or even for weeknight dinners.
- And although many brining recipes call for brining for at least 12 hours, a much shorter brine can also deliver flavorful, moist meat.
- In fact, a quick brine of just 30 minutes is enough to add flavor to smaller cuts like chicken breasts.
Brining is the process of submerging a cut of meat in a brine solution, which at its most basic is simply salt dissolved in water. A brine can also be seasoned with dried herbs and spices. The meat absorbs some of the liquid and salt, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful final dish.
- This technique is particularly great for lean cuts of meat that tend to dry out during cooking (that’s why it’s so popular with turkey).
- If you are short on time or fridge space, you might be wondering if you can skip brining.
- While there are scientific reasons for brining, it’s not the only way to produce flavorful meat.
If dealing with liquid is what’s putting you off of brining, consider a dry brine, There are other options, too, like rubbing butter and seasonings under the skin of turkey or chicken. Try it in this turkey breast recipe, But we think you should give brining a try — and it’s easy with the basic brining ratio and method we’ve outlined below.
Do you rinse turkey after brining?
Do You Rinse a Turkey After Brining? You should always rinse the turkey after wet or dry brining. Once rinsed, you can let the turkey air dry, uncovered, in the refrigerator for several hours, or pat it dry with a paper towel.
Is brining for 3 hours enough?
Tips for success –
Don’t over-brine the chicken! The salt solution is higher than your standard overnight brine, so you want to make sure to limit your brining time to 2-3 hours at room temperature or 4-6 hours in the fridge. Make sure you actually weigh your ingredients to make sure you have the exact right proportions, This digital scale is a great kitchen item to have on hand anyway! Dissolve the salt completely before you take it off the heat,After brining, salt your chicken skin only lightly before cooking.
Do you have to boil the water to brine a turkey?
2. Flavor the Brine (Optional) – There’s no need to heat the water if you’re making basic brine, but if you want to infuse it with spices and/or herbs, you’ll want to bring half of the brine to a boil with your desired ingredients. Then, let it cool. Some popular brine add-ins include bay leaves, peppercorns, star anise, whole allspice, dried chile, rosemary sprigs, garlic, and orange zest.
Many people like to add white or brown sugar and/or other sweeteners, like apple cider, honey, or molasses to their brine. When roasting, any sweetener will cause the skin to brown more quickly, and you may need to cover the top with foil if it gets too dark. A good guideline for sweetening a brine is to add about 1/4 the amount of sweetener as salt.
Once this liquid cools to room temperature, add the remainder of the water for the brine. Let the brine return to room temperature before pouring it over the turkey. If you’re in a hurry, add the equivalent amount of ice to chill the brine. To avoid potential bacteria growth, never pour hot or warm brine over a raw turkey.
Is it better to salt or brine a turkey?
THE RESULTS: Unbrined vs. Dry-Brined vs. Salt Water-Brined – Based on our side-by-side taste test of turkeys cooked using these three methods, the overwhelming favorite was the flavor and texture of a salt water-brined turkey, The unbrined Simple Roasted Turkey came in a very close second.
This was a big surprise to me since so many chefs recommend a dry brine. But here’s the thing – a dry brine yields a more chef-y turkey. Dry brining was very effective in seasoning the meat all the way through, but it also changed the color of the meat (the dark meat had a pink hue after being properly cooked) and gave it a texture and flavor that was earthy and tasted like it had been cured.
It reminded me of the texture and earthy flavor of duck confit. It was very delicious, but just didn’t taste as classic as the other options. While we liked all three turkeys, the salt water brine and unbrined turkeys had a more classic turkey flavor that reminded us of the turkeys we had growing up.
What happens if you don’t brine a turkey?
Step 1: Season your turkey and prepare it for roasting. – What do you do to a turkey before roasting it? Here are my simple steps for making a moist and juicy turkey!
- Season the cavity of the turkey (the hole) with salt and pepper!
- Separate the skin. Using your fingers, separate the skin from the meat of the turkey. (as shown)
- Combine the compound butter ingredients. Make an awesome garlic herb compound butter and put it under the skin. (as shown). When you put the butter under the skin, it allows all those flavors from the butter soak into the meat not just on the skin. Reserve some of that butter, because we’ll use it later.
- Add citrus. Stuff the cavity with fresh citrus and any left over herbs you have from making the herb butter. The juice from the citrus will keep the turkey nice and moist and the herbs add another layer of flavor! In my opinion it’s way better than stuffing it with dry bread aka stuffing.
- Add the cheesecloth. Ok. Now for the good part. Melt the leftover butter in the microwave. Take a large strip of double layered cheesecloth and place it in the melted herb butter. Completely soak the cheese cloth. Then lay it over as much of the turkey as possible. You’ll cook the turkey the entire time with this cheese cloth on, basting over it and everything. It ensures that the turkey does not get burnt AND gives it an even brown. Plus it’s more butter on the skin! Winning!
- Add 4 cups of chicken broth to the bottom of the pan. This will catch all the drippings which is LOTS of flavor and great to use on the turkey as you baste it through the roasting process.
In my opinion, you don’t have to use a brine to make a moist turkey. With these simple steps – adding flavor to the right parts of the turkey and elements that will keep the turkey moist, like citrus. You’ll have a perfect turkey every time!
Is sea salt OK for brining?
What salt should I use to brine? – For a traditional wet brine, Pure Kosher Sea Salt or Pure Fine Sea Salt are great options, but the amount of salt will be different depending on the salt you use. Fine sea salt weighs more than kosher salt when measuring by volume, as the fine grains compress more than the larger kosher crystals.
Is table salt OK for brining?
Brine Ideas – There are only two ingredients in a traditional brine: water and salt. You can choose any type of salt you like, but keep in mind that different salts take up different volumes. Table salt is finer than coarse kosher salt, causing 1/2 cup of table salt to taste saltier.
Add sugar, brown sugar or molasses, These ingredients add sweet flavor to meat while also promoting browning. Use the same amount as salt, or more if desired. Sugar-infused brines work especially well with pork, like grilled pork chops, Use some alcohol, Alcohol can help carry the brine’s flavors, allowing them to penetrate more deeply into the meat. Add as little as a tablespoon of strong, neutral alcohols like vodka or 1/4 cup of flavorful alcohols like rum or gin. Feel free to add even more when working with weaker alcohols like wine and beer. Skip the water, You can absolutely substitute other liquids as the base instead of water. Try using apple juice or chicken broth to replace some or all of the water, or go all-in and brine chicken in buttermilk or pickle juice. If you’re using an acidic ingredient instead of water, you’ll want to reduce the brining time. Acid will break down the proteins on the outside of the meat, giving it an unpleasant, mushy texture. Toss in other flavorful ingredients, Adding fresh herbs or citrus peels (or zest) is a fantastic way to amp up the flavor of your brine. We especially like adding herbs to poultry brines, like herb-brined cornish game hens, You can also use other flavorful ingredients, like soy sauce, Worcestershire, garlic and onions. Try heating the brine to infuse these ingredients into the liquid (and then making sure to cool the brine down before adding the meat).
Can I brine turkey in cold water?
How to brine a turkey –
A brine solution is usually composed of the same ratio of salt to water. Use about 50g coarse salt to 1 litre water.You shouldn’t brine for longer than necessary, or you will end up with salty, mushy meat. Calculate 1 hour per 500g meat.The easiest way to make and cool a brine quickly is to heat half the amount of water you need with the salt and any aromatics. After the salt has dissolved, add the rest of the water, making sure it is as cold as possible – it should be completely cold before you use it.Keep the turkey in the fridge while you brine it.
Try the above, or have a go at this 5% brine recipe:
Does brine need sugar?
BRINING 101 BRINING 101 CHAPTER 1: THE WHY AND WHAT OF BRINING To Brine or Not to Brine: That is the Question. We’ve all had that chicken or turkey that really tasted dry and tough and chewy after smoking. Ever had leftovers that were dry? Brining may be one solution to help you with these problems.Brining gets a lot of questions and interest and this is my attempt to try and help you learn about it.
- PROTEIN MODIFICATION
- The results: juicier, tender and more flavorful.
- CURES IN BRINES
- According to Morton Salt2:
Brining is not new. Soaking food in salt water has been used by cooks and restaurants for many years. Lately however, with the advent of the Internet, we’re able to share information and learn about new methods much easier and faster and Brining has now become a “hot” topic.According to the Food Safety and Inspection Service1 the verb “brine” means to treat with or steep in brine.
- Brine is a strong solution of water and salt.
- A sweetener such as sugar, molasses, honey, or corn syrup may be added to the solution for flavor and to improve browning.The brining of meats is an old process used for food preservation.
- Before refrigeration, heavy amounts of salt were used to preserve meats for long periods of time.
Now, we use much smaller quantities of salt, mixed with other spices and herbs, achieving increased flavor in the meat as well as other benefits. Brining in a saltwater mixture before you smoke typically will add flavor, tenderness and typically reduces cooking times.
- Our poultry and pork have much less fat than they used to, which means they tend to dry out more quickly when cooked and to be less flavorful than in the past.Brining is chemistry in action.
- The chemistry behind brining is actually pretty simple.Meat already contains salt water.
- By immersing meats into a liquid with a higher concentration of salt the liquid is absorbed into the meat.
Any flavoring added to the brine will be carried into the meat with the saltwater mixture. And because the meat is now loaded with extra moisture it will stay that way longer while it cooks.Brining alters the chemical structure of proteins by breaking some of the bonds that give proteins their shape.
The salt denatures the meat proteins, causing them to unwind and form a matrix that traps the water. According to David Krauss, a professor of biology at Boston College, those bonds are sensitive to changes in temperature, acidity and salinity, causing the proteins themselves to break down a bit in brines and allowing the salt, sugar, and other flavoring agents to permeate the food’s flesh.Salt has a couple of efforts for poultry, it dissolves protein in muscle causing the to change and trap more moisture.
Combine Protein Modification and Salt and you get a reduced moisture loss during smoking.There are a lot of brines out there that include “cures”. Cures are also from the old school before refrigeration, you needed to cure the meat to store it. Bacteria LOVES to grow in meats when they are in the temperature range of 40°F to 140°F and cures help prevent this growth.
If you are not sure you can guarantee that your brine will stay below 40°F during the brining soak, you may want to use a brine with a cure in it. Cures go by the names of Tenderquick, Prague Powder, and others. Brine curing is also popular for curing meat. This method is also called a sweet pickle cure.
Brine curing involves mixing the curing salt with water to make a sweet pickle solution. The meat is cured with this brine by injecting the brine using a meat pump or by soaking the meat for a specific time. Curing takes place in the refrigerator and the meat is cooked after curing.
- Remember: Brining actually provides a cushion for cooking, so you can even overcook by a few degrees and the item will remain moist Instead of seasoning outside – brining puts the flavor inside Because water is a heat conductor you will typically find that a brined item will cook faster than an non-brined item.
- CHAPTER 2 – COMMON QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT BRINING
Question : “What’s the difference between brining and marinating?” Answer : Brining involves salt and osmosis to exchange the fluid in the brine with the water inside the meat. Marinating used acidity to break down the texture of the meat. You can actually do both if your marinate has salt in it.
- Question : Can I adjust the amount of salt in the brine without affecting the brining process? Answer : Yes.
- As long as you follow the basic and have a salty solution, Osmosis will have the desired effect.
- Although if you adjust it below 1 cup or 3/4 cup, you’re just “soaking” in salt water, not brining.
Just because a brine has salt in it, however, doesn’t mean you’re going to get a salty end product. Try two things. One: rinse the meat really well to get the salt off the outside (remember, Osmosis puts the salt solution inside so you’re not washing off the flavors).
Two: add a sugar (white, turbinado, brown) to your solution to cut the salt, try for example 2/3 cup of Kosher salt and 2/3 cup of white sugar to a gallon of water. I recommend starting with a recipe and it’s amount of salt, try these two tricks and see if that gives you the desire effect. Remember, brining requires a specific concentration of salt to water.
Don’t cut back too far. Question : The end product, after smoking, tastes over-seasoned and looks “mushy.” Why? Answer : See the discussion about the effect of acidity on a brine solution. Also, anything left in a brine too long will taste over-seasoned.
Keep good logs and what you brined, how long it was brined and the results. Next time you’ll know how long is “too long.” Question : My brine doesn’t have sugar in it and sometimes the chicken comes out so off, uh, gray looking. Answer : Add some sugar to your brine. The same reason that you use sugar for carmelization in regular cooking will work here.
But be careful, if you add too much sugar to a brine and use it on pork – you’ll get a hammy taste. A sugar brine is what is used by many companies to create their hams. Now you know! Question : Can you change flavors with brine? Can you add additional flavors to the brine easily (herbs, spices, etc.)? Answer : Once you’ve tried a brine, experiment.
- Just like any recipe, feel free to modify the other flavorings and spices, but the salt/water mixture/ratio shouldn’t be modified significantly.
- Question : If you can keep your brined fowl down below 38°F the entire time, and are always cooking to an internal of 160°F+, is TenderQuick necessary? Answer : Possibly.
The purpose of TenderQuick is food safety. If you keep your brine below 40°F, you’re not in the Food Safety DANGER ZONE of 40°F to 140°F. Question : Why do I have to let the solution cool before I add the meat? Answer : See answer above about temperature.
Remember, remember, remember the DANGER ZONE for 40°F to 140°F. Avoid at all cost! If you add a hot solution and create a brine that’s in this range (mix a hot solution and cold water and it WILL be in this range) you’re asking for trouble. And, NO, you can’t add it to a really hot brine – then you’re cooking! Question : Why Kosher Salt? Can’t I use table or regular sea salt? Answer : There are some very significant differences in the amount of salt, by weight in kosher salt vs.
regular salt. You can’t substitute them one for one. I suggest the larger, coarser Kosher so that you get a more consistent brine. If you MUST use regular salt, I would recommend decreasing salt by ½ the amount to start with. Question : I can’t find Tenderquick or Kosher Salt at the local grocery store’s.
- I found some Morton’s Pickling & Canning Salt, Will this work? What does TenderQuick do, are there replaceable products? Do I need a “cure” in there or just use salt? Answer : Cures are NOT required in brines.
- I always used them early in my brining trials because that is what the recipe called for.
- But in doing a lot of research, it’s not required.
It is a cure and as such, is typically used in places where you’re worried about the Food Safety DANGER ZONE of 40°F to 140°F. You don’t have to have the cure if you’re sure of your temperatures. Keep it below 40°F. Pickling Salt will work. Don’t use other salts than Kosher (keep reading, there is more info below).
- You can find it, believe me, it’s in every store.
- Question : What is the cook’s reason to brine, anyway? Answer : See the section on Brining Background and you’ll understand why it is something you should try.
- Question : How long to brine and is there too long? Can you brine too long? Does the weight of the bird matter? Answer : See the brine time section for recommended times.
As far as the bird just follow the directions in the basic brine times and adjust if your bird is bigger. You can brine too long, so follow the recommended times, or less, never add more time. Question : Does the strength of the brine matter (dilution factor)? Answer : Yes, if you don’t have a high enough solution of salt to liquid, you’re just soaking.
- I haven’t seen a specified percentage, but the minimum I usually see is 3/4 cup of Kosher salt to 1 gal or water.
- The scientist out there can tell us if that’s 20% solution or not.
- Question : Can you brine a frozen bird? Answer : No.
- The brine and osmosis won’t be able to work on a frozen product and if you let the bird since in a salty solution longer than recommended, you’ll have a less than good quality bird – mushy and over-seasoned.
Question : Should I use a rub if I brined my bird? Answer : You don’t have too. It will depend on the flavorings of the brine. A lot of times I do, so that the outside gets a nice flavor from the rub and the insides gets more flavors from the brine. Question : How scared should I be brining & cooking a bird for a party of 15 if I’ve never brined before? In other words, how hard is it? And, is it easy to screw up? Answer : I’ve seen you cook and you should be real scared.
No, really. Okay, I’m teasing. I always recommend practicing before any large party. You may not like the particular herbs/seasonings in a particular rub. Get to know the effects and flavors of brining before your party. Remember the first time you smoked a brisket – would you feed that to your friends? Practice, but don’t tell them when you do it and see if they notice – they will.
Question : Can you brine and inject? Answer : You don’t need to, if you’re going to inject the brine. Osmosis works for you – so you don’t have to. Now, if you want to inject your own flavorings after the brine, feel free. Question : Should you pay attention to lowering the salt in your rub, if you use a traditional salt brine? Answer : Good Question.
- Many cooks don’t realize how much salt is in everything they’re using.
- By using a brine, you’re adding more.
- As I always recommend, you’ll have to be the judge, so if you’re worried about being too “salty”, cut back the salt somewhere.
- Most of my rub recipes have little to no salt in them for this reason, so I can add salt as needed.
Question : Food nutritionists say honey breaks down at 160°F,so should you wait till after you boil the brine and it cools some to add the honey? Answer : I’m not a food nutritionist, but I haven’t notice a lack of honey taste in my Honey Brine because I put the honey in when it was too hot.
I mix my brines by putting the salts and sugars into solution and bring it to a rolling boil. Then I take it off the heat and add the honey. If you want, wait until you solution cools below 160°F before adding your honey. Question : Can the brine be used for a second time for the same food type? Answer : Food Safety 101 – Don’t every reuse a brine once it’s had food in it.
I’m sure the food scientists out there can tell us how and when and why you might be able to, but I don’t recommend doing it. The whole issue is cross-contamination, do you want to get food poisoning? Nope, not me. If you feel you can accomplish food safety and reuse a brine, it’s all up to you.
- Question : Instead of water, can I use something else, like Coca-Cola, Orange Juice, Apple Juice, Beer, Etc? Answer : Trick question, but a good one.
- Yes you can substitute other liquids for the water that is the base for a brine – BUT – and this is a big but, don’t make the solution acidic.
- Remember that a brine uses osmosis and marinades use acid.
If you make your solution acidic (like using a orange/citrus juice) you’ll actually get a mushy exterior on the meat. The reason is the length of time your brine works vs. the length of time for a marinade. You can use a little acid, but if you add too much, watch out for the effect that acid has on your meat.
If you do add acid, reduce your brining time accordingly. Question : My refrigerator isn’t big enough to hold the brine in a big bucket, what do I do? Answer : Get another refrigerator! (Sorry, bad humor). Be creative, but remember two things: temperature and air are your enemies. Keep the temperature below 40F° and the meat completely covered by brine.
Once the solution is made, you can break it up into smaller quantities. For example, take a zip lock back, put 4 to 6 chicken breast in there and add brine to cover, close it after squeezing out the air and you’ll do fine. For turkey, I’ve see people add the brine to a larger garbage bag (clean one of course) add the turkey, seal it.
Then place this inside a larger bag, incase the first one leaks. Just keep temperature and air in mind. Question : Can I brine pork? Answer : Since the worm that causes Trichinosis is no longer present in American pork, it is now safe enough that it doesn’t have to be cooked well done. However, Jim McKinney, chef-owner of Club Grotto in Louisville, KY, couldn’t convince his customers of that.
“If they see pink in a pork chop, they think they’re going to get sick,” he says. By brining his 12-ounce pork chop for 24 hours in a mixture of kosher salt, brown sugar, fresh rosemary and juniper berries, some of the blood is drawn out and McKinney can cook it to just 140°F degrees without hearing any complaints.
- And the flavor it packs is incredible,” he says.
- His brine is 28 percent salt and 10 percent brown sugar3.
- CHAPTER 3: BASIC TIMES FOR BRINES HOW LONG TO BRINE? It all depends (don’t you love that answer)? The size of the item your brining, the relative strength of the brine and your individual preferences will all make a difference.
I highly recommend you experiment, keep good notes and you’ll determine your own answer. Before you experiment, read the Questions and Answers chapter for some ideas and concerns about changing times and solutions.These are “sample” times. Feel free to adjust -SLIGHTY- but remember:If you’re worried about your first brine, go with a time in the middle of the range.
|Whole Chicken (4-5 Pounds)
|8 to 12 hours
|1 1/2 hours
|Cornish Game Hens
|Pork Tenderloin (whole)
CHAPTER 4: BRINING RECIPES Preparation If you’re new to brining, read all the information in the Q&A section for some of the common mistakes and concerns.To prepare your solution, there are two methods. Remember that whatever your mixing needs to be thoroughly into solution before using.
- Measurements “How much is an Ounce?” 2 tablespoons = ounce 6 teaspoons = ounce Method 1: Cold.
- Dissolve salt in a cold or room temperature water, add other ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- All solution to set overnight. Then use.
- Method 2: Heated.
- Mix salt, sugar and water in a pot and bring to a low/rolling boil.
Take off the heat and add other flavorings. Let cool.When brining, always use stainless steel, glass or food-grade plastic containers.Totally submerge in solution and store in a refrigerator for the recommended time.As a general starting point, take one gallon of water and add 3/4 cup (preferable – but you can use up to a cup) of salt (Kosher is best), 1/2 cup of sugar and then the rest is up to you.
- Sliced onions are nice, a few cloves of crushed garlic add a nice flavor and then there’s the spices and herbs.
- SIMPLE BRINE I: Ingredients: 1/2 cup Kosher salt1/2 cup sugar1 gallon water SIMPLE BRINE II: Ingredients: 3/4 cup Kosher salt3/4 cup brown sugar1 gallon water1/4 cup coarse black pepper SMOKIN’ OKIE’S HOLIDAY TURKEY BRINE: Ingredients: 1 gallon water1 cup coarse Kosher salt3/4 cup soy sauce1/2 cup white sugar1/2 cup brown sugar1/2 cup honey1/2 cup apple cider vinegar4 tablespoons black pepper3 – 4 tablespoons chopped garlic1 teaspoon Allspice1 oz.
Morton’s Tenderquick (optional) Instructions: Heat water/salt/sugars to rolling boil. Take off burner, add other ingredients. Allow mixture to cool before placing meat into solution.Place 10 – 12 lb. turkey in non-reactive container and cover with brine.
Refrigerate for minimum of 24 hours, preferably 48 hours.Load smoker’s wood box with 4 oz. hickory wood.Remove turkey from the refrigerator and discard brine. Rinse turkey three times, pat dry and lightly rub skin with mayonnaise. Apply light coating of Cookshack Spicy Chicken Rub. Place turkey in smoker and smoke cook at 200°F for one hour per lb.
I like cherry or apple wood for my turkey. Smoke until internal temperature of breast reaches 160°F to 165°F. Remove from smoker and allow to sit for 30 minutes before slicing. Note: About the “optional” Tenderquick. If you smoke a turkey at temperatures of 180° to 225° F., you might want to consider using the Tenderquick.
- Option 1:
- Option 2:
- OTHERS :
- CHAPTER 5: BRINING TIPS & TRICKS
Try this with pork chops. Brine for eight hours, using the largest pork chops you can find (reduce for smaller pork chops). After brining, sprinkle the pork chops with the rub and let sit for one hour. Smoke or grill to an internal temperature of 130°F to 135°F.Use a piece of flattened out tenderloin (or even chicken tenderloin).
- Since you’re using a smaller piece of meat, brine for 2 hours.
- Bread and cook as you would a normal tenderloin=delicious.Add 1/4 of Bourbon to your brine.
- Tip : Because water is a heat conductor you will typically find that a brined item will cook faster than an non-brined item Tip : If you want your poultry to have a golden and crispy skin it needs to sit in the refrigerator for several hours after you remove it from the brine so that the meat can absorb the moisture from the skin.
Whole poultry is the exception however. To get a crispy, brown skin whole birds should be removed from the brine, wrapped in foil or plastic and put in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 12 hours. Tip : The saltier the brine, the shorter time is required.
- And the brine will penetrate a chicken breast or pork chop much faster than a large thick muscle like a whole pork loin or turkey.
- Tip : Water is optional.
- Any liquid will do for brining; just keep in mind my discussion about it being too acidic.
- You can substitute some or all of the water with whatever you heart desires.
Wine, beer, fruit juices (especially good is apple), or vinegars all make a good liquid base for your brine. Just remember our discussion about making the brine to acidic. If you add more acid to your mixture, I would decrease the brining time. Tip : Any herb, spice, sweetener, fruit, vegetable will work; let your imaginations run wild.
Think of a brine as a soup, there can be a lot of complexity in soup or just simple ones. Tip : You need enough brine to completely submerge the meat without any part being out of the liquid. Some items might need to be weighted down to stay under. Tip : How much liquid will you need? Take the meat you plan to brine and place it in the container.
Cover with liquid. Now you know! Measure the amount and you’ll know how much brine to make. Tip : Almost any container will work as long as it’s non-reactive to salt. Tip : You don’t want the brine cooking the meat, always add your meat to a cold brine, not a hot one.
- Tip : Lighter more tender meats needs less brining time.
- Tip : Denser meats like pork, need longer times.
- Tip : Remember that the longer you brine the stronger the flavor will be.
- Tip : You do not need to rinse unless you were using a high salt concentration in the brine.
Tip : Want to preserve the color of the meat? Add 1 tablespoon of Cure (Saltpeter, Tenderquick, Prague Powder) per gallon of liquid This will help. Another trick used by chefs is to add 1 tablespoon of Saltpeter per gallon of liquid. If the color is important to you, consider the cure.
- Special Thanks to Shake for my very first brine was
- Note 1: Food Service.
- Note 2 :Morton Salt:
Note 3: Janet Fletcher, Chronicle Staff Writer n article: Notice: Please contact the author, SmokinOkie, if you have any questions or corrections.TheBBQZone.com [email protected]
Is brine a salt or vinegar?
Pickling, Brining, Marinating, and Curing? – Before there were CBD seltzers and cauliflower pizza crusts and tie-dye Frappuccinos and zoodles, and even before things like refrigerators and chest freezers and even ice boxes, humans had to eat. And surrounded by meats and fish and fruits and vegetables and other delicious stuff that gets decidedly un-delicious after a short time in the hot sun, our ancestors had to get creative.
They had to figure out how to preserve it: to keep it fresher for longer, to make it taste good even after hanging out for days or weeks or months or years. They started pickling, brining, marinating, and curing — methods that we still use today, even if we don’t actually understand the differences between them.
But before we start stocking our pantries, we need to talk about salt and acid, Salt and acid are the two major mediums in which food can be preserved; they’re the things that keep it from spoiling, and in many cases, the things that transform the food into something wholly new.
When we talk about preserving (and/or flavoring) with salt, we’re talking about brining; when we talk about preserving (and/or flavoring) with acid, we’re talking about marinating. A classic brine is a mixture made of salt and water, and it can be used to preserve and/or flavor pretty much anything: vegetables, fruits, meats, fish.
(You may also see foods ” dry-brined,” which means they’re covered in salt, not immersed in salt water.) Brining meat for a few hours or days before cooking it makes for a juicier and more tender final product; the salt disrupts the structure of the muscle filaments, allowing the meat to absorb more liquid (and therefore lose less moisture while cooking) and keeping the proteins from coagulating as densely as they would naturally (and therefore preventing the meat from getting too tough).
Brining fish for a short period of time has a similar effect, but you’ll also see fish brined for much longer; stuff like lox, anchovies, and salt cod are brined for weeks or months. In those cases, the salt transforms the fish into entirely new ingredients; the salt inhibits the bad bacteria from proliferating and aids in the proliferation of new savory compounds, creating more complex flavors and aromatics where there were none before.
A marinade, on the other hand, relies on acid to do its job. Acids — such as vinegar, wine, fruit juices, and buttermilk — are great at killing microbes, making marination another great form of preservation. Marinades, like brines, also provide flavor, and like their salty cousins, they weaken a piece of fish or meat’s muscle tissue and allow it to retain more moisture when cooked.
So where does pickling come into this? According to food scientist Harold McGee, a pickle is a food preserved through immersion in a brine (as in brining ) or a strong acid (as in marinating ). So: pickles can be brined, or marinated, or both! In order to be considered a pickle, however, the food must be preserved through either method, not just flavored ; a steak that’s marinated just before grilling isn’t really a pickle, for example.
Though you’ll see it in other contexts, the term “pickling” is most often used to refer to preserved vegetables and fruits: think bread-and-butter pickles, olives, preserved lemons, kimchi, and sauerkraut, just to name a few. But when it comes to pickling, salt and acid (usually vinegar) have very different uses.
Pickles that are brined, such as the aforementioned sauerkraut, kimchi, and preserved lemons, are also fermented ; the salt encourages certain good microbes to flourish, while preventing the growth of other microbes that cause the food to go bad. The characteristics of the pickle depend on the salt concentration, fermentation length, and temperature — as well as the actual thing being pickled, of course.
Pickles that are dunked in acid, on the other hand, are unfermented ; the vinegar stops the growth of the spoilage-causing microbes and helps to flavor whatever is being pickled, without stimulating the microbe growth that causes food to ferment. Pickling in acid is a lot faster and gives you more control over the texture of the final product, but the flavor that develops is a lot less complex.
And what about curing ? Curing refers to any way of preserving food and preventing spoilage: it can mean brining, pickling, or marinating (as well as smoking, which isn’t on today’s lesson plan). If you’re doing something to food in order to make it last longer — short of, like, hiding a package of Oreos in the back of your pantry so that they’re out of your line of sight — you’re curing it.
SO, to debrief:
Brining = preserving and/or flavoring with salt Marinating = preserving and/or flavoring with acid Pickling = preserving with salt (fermented pickles) or preserving with acid (unfermented pickles) Curing = all of the above
• The freshest news from the food world every day : What’s the Difference Between Pickling, Brining, Marinating, and Curing?
What is brine ratio?
How Much Salt? – The traditional brine is made from a ratio of 1 cup of salt to 1 gallon of water. This is based on table salt. One cup of table salt weighs in at 10 ounces. So we want 10 ounces of salt (by weight) per gallon of water. Kosher salts can weigh between 5 to 7 1/2 ounces per cup, so in these cases, we would need between 2 cups to 1 1/2 cups of kosher salt per gallon of water.
Do you have to refrigerate while brining a turkey?
Brining Safely Will Bring Tender, Flavorful Meat to the Thanksgiving Table Posted by Archie Magoulas, FSIS Technical Information Specialist in Brining done right – how to safely brine your Thanksgiving turkey. Are you interested in brining a turkey, but aren’t quite sure how to do it safely? USDA is at your service! Though brining may sound like something only done commercially or by a certified chef, it’s quite simple with the right strategy — that means following safe food preparation steps.
Brining simply means to soak your turkey in a water and salt solution (the brine). Often, other ingredients are added to the brine, such as sugar, molasses, honey or corn syrup. The purpose of a brine is to produce a more tender and flavorful turkey. According to research published in the, the salt in the brine dissolves a bit of the protein in the muscle fibers, and allows the meat to absorb the brine and retain moisture during cooking.
This makes the poultry juicier, more tender and improves the flavor. There is no shortage of brine recipes, but in order to reap the benefits of brining, you must use the following safe steps.
Brining Steps: Fresh turkeys can only be kept safely for one to two days, in the refrigerator. Let’s use a fresh whole turkey in our example and follow the four steps to safe food preparation: CLEAN
Begin by washing hands with warm water and soap for a minimum of 20 seconds. Also wash and sanitize surfaces such as countertops and sink using a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach in 1 gallon of water. Let the solution stand on the surfaces for a few minutes; then air dry or pat dry with clean paper towels.
Do NOT wash the bird prior to brining. Washing raw poultry can cause cross-contamination — raw juices that can contain harmful bacteria spilling onto other foods or splashing on countertops. Prepare the brine by mixing ingredients until all of the salt is dissolved. If your brine recipe calls for heating the mixture, be sure to cool it to room temperature before using it. Then place the turkey in the brine and place in the refrigerator. Don’t leave the turkey sitting out at room temperature while brining. Place the bird breast down in a large container made of food-grade plastic, stainless steel or glass, or a brining bag. Be sure the container will fit in your fridge. Add brine, covering the entire turkey. Carefully secure the container with a lid or cover, so as not to splash other foods or surfaces inside your refrigerator. Place the container in the refrigerator for the period of time specified in the recipe. The amount of time will depend on the type of brine you use; however, do not brine any longer than two days and always keep the turkey and brine refrigerated (at 40°F or less). Remove turkey from brine after the recommended time.
NOTE: If you must rinse the turkey and clean out the cavity, first take the time to remove dishes, dish drainers, dish towels, sponges and other objects from around the sink area. Then cover the area around your sink with paper towels. Place the roasting pan next to the sink, ready to receive the turkey.
Clean the sink with hot soapy water, rinse well and fill it with a few inches of cold water. Even if the cavity is partially frozen, use cold water to rinse the cavity. Cold water is still warmer than the frozen cavity. Run the water gently to prevent splashing. Make sure the water is coming out the other end of the cavity.
If it isn’t, the neck or giblets may still be in there. And that’s it! No need to scrub or rinse the rest of the turkey. Hold the turkey up to let it drain into the sink and gently place the turkey in the roasting pan. Remove the paper towels, clean the sink and the area around the sink with hot soapy water, and proceed with your preparations.
Cook the brined turkey according to USDA’s food safety recommendations. You can view more tips on preparation of a turkey at: Check the internal temperature of the turkey in the innermost part of the thigh and wing and the thickest part of the breast with a food thermometer. The minimum internal temperature should reach 165°F for safety. For quality, let the turkey stand for 20 minutes before carving to allow juices to set.
Divide leftovers into smaller portions. Refrigerate or freeze in covered shallow containers for quicker cooling. Cooked turkey, stuffing and gravy should not be left out at room temperature longer than 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90°F. Use refrigerated turkey, stuffing and gravy within 3 to 4 days.
Brining can be used with a variety of poultry and meats. See more food safety tips on brining, including suggested recipes in the fact sheet. If you have questions about your Thanksgiving dinner, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) to talk to a food safety expert.
How long should turkey sit out after brine?
How to Make a Traditional Brine – Not convinced by the dry-brining argument? No problem. Here’s how to do a traditional brine. To brine a turkey using the standard method, start by clearing out a space in the fridge big enough to fit a container that’s large enough to hold your turkey.
- Alternatively, fill a few empty two-liter soda bottles three-quarters of the way with water, and freeze them with the lid off.
- Once they’re completely frozen, seal the bottles with their lids.
- Next, fill a large cooler or plastic basin with the prescribed amount of tap water.
- Add the salt, and stir until dissolved.
Submerge your fully defrosted turkey in the brine solution, and refrigerate for 12 to 18 hours. Alternatively, place the brining basin in a cool spot in your home and add the frozen soda bottles, replacing them every few hours to keep the water below 40°F (4°C).
- After 12 to 18 hours, remove the turkey, dry carefully with paper towels, and roast.
- For crisper skin, brine a couple days in advance, and let your turkey air-dry at least overnight and up to two nights, uncovered, in the refrigerator on a rack set in a rimmed baking sheet.
- When you’re constructing a brine, what really matters is the amount of salt compared to the amount of water, not the amount of salt compared to the size of the turkey.
So long as your brine solution is around 6% salt by weight (that’s about one and a quarter cups of kosher salt per gallon) and your turkey is submerged, you’ll do just fine. Here are some approximate measures for the minimum amount of water and salt you’ll need for a range of turkey sizes:
Should you flip a turkey when brining?
I brine a Thanksgiving turkey every year because it’s the right thing to do. Brining involves soaking a turkey in a very salty solution for a certain length of time, long enough for the salt to infiltrate the turkey and actually alter the molecular structure of the meat.
It doesn’t turn it into a salty mess, either. It just results in a juicy, fantastic turkey. If you’ve never brined a turkey, you’ll just have to trust me on this. You can buy ready-made brining solutions. I used to buy one at Williams-Sonoma. But making one is a cinch, too. You basically need salt and a mix of other seasoning ingredients.
I like to balance the saltiness with the mild sweetness of apple cider (and okay, the not-so-mild sweetness of brown sugar), and it’s the easiest way to season a turkey, There’s a couple important things to remember, though: Only brine fresh turkeys.
- Brining a frozen turkey is never a good idea, because frozen turkeys are most typically injected with a sodium solution.
- There are some organic frozen turkeys that have a much lower concentration of the sodium solution.
- Generally speaking, though, you’ll want to brine fresh—not frozen—turkeys.
- Making homemade turkey gravy from the drippings of a brined turkey can result in a really salty gravy if you’re not careful.
Don’t worry, I’ll show you a few steps that will prevent this from happening. Can you make the brine ahead of time? Yes, you can make it several days in advance and store in the fridge until you’re ready to submerge your bird! How long should you brine a turkey? Shoot for at least 16 hours but no longer than 24 hours.
If you brine it any longer than 24 hours the turkey will be too salty. Do you have to refrigerate a turkey while brining it? Yes! Do not leave a turkey brining on the counter or it’ll spoil. Treat it just like you would a raw turkey, because that’s what it is—always refrigerate it! Do you rinse a turkey after brining? Yes, you’ll need to carefully rinse the turkey (inside and out!) to remove some of the saltiness from the brine.
I actually like to soak mine in cold water for about 15 minutes. This is the only time you should ever rinse a turkey! If you don’t brine your turkey, you don’t need to rinse it. But you should definitely brine it, just so I’m clear. It’s time. It’s time for Thanksgiving recipes.
- I don’t care that it’s not even Halloween yet! Oh, I know how it goes.
- Every year around this time, I think I have all this time to post Thanksgiving recipes on this little food blog of mine.
- I think, “It’s not even Halloween yet.
- I’ve got all the time in the world!” Then it happens.
- It’s the same every year.
We dress up our children in Iron Man and Richard Nixon costumes, go trick-or-treating in our quaint little town, then by the time they’re on their last piece of candy—which is actually like twenty hours later—it’s suddenly Christmas, And I’m looking around my kitchen and my little food blog like, “Okay what just happened?” And then I ask my children if they have any candy left because I’m having a wicked sugar craving. Here’s what you need: Cut off the top and bottom of each orange. Carefully slice off the peel in sections. Mmm. Fragrant to the max. Strip the leaves off the rosemary sprigs, measure the salt, sugar, bay leaves, and peppercorns. Inhale. Exhale. Thank the Lord above for the aromas that spring forth from the earth. At least that’s what I do every time I make this turkey brine. (Oh, and you’ll need some minced garlic. I just forgot that step. Happens.) Pour three cups of apple cider into a stock pot. Add two gallons of water A cup and a half of salt Two cups of brown sugar Bay leaves Rosemary Peppercorns And orange peel. And the forgotten garlic. Loveliness! Now, bring the mixture to a boil, then immediately turn off the heat and cover the pot. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature; feel free to stick it in the fridge or freezer halfway through the cooling down process This is an alien hand (left) and a brining bag. I’m obsessed with brining bags. Obsessed! It’s all I think about anymore. Here’s the turkey inside the brining bag. Once the brine solution is cooled, pour it over the turkey. Now you’ll just need to seal up the bag and refrigerate it for at least sixteen hours. Twenty-four hours is better, though, especially for a large turkey. Place the turkey, breast side down, in the bag, but 2/3 of the way through the brining, flip the turkey in the bag to make sure it brines evenly.
- Just pretend you’re an obstetrician and you’re trying to get a breach baby to flip! Note: This is enough brine for a 20-pound turkey.
- If you feel as though the turkey needs even more liquid, just top it off with more water and it’ll be fine.
- If you’re using a much smaller turkey or a turkey breast, just halve the recipe.
Next up: Roasting this dang thing. (Here are the turkey roasting instructions!) The fun has only just begun.
Is brining for 1 hour enough?
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing. Quick-cooking chicken breasts and pork chops are great for weeknight meals — except when they turn out as dry and flavorless as shoe leather. Brining has become my saving grace ! It’s a way of ensuring juiciness and adding flavor, and unlike turkey and corned beef that need to soak for days, these thin cuts will brine in about the time it takes you to make a side salad,
My standard brining solution is 1/4 cup of kosher salt dissolved in 1 quart (4 cups) of warm water. I combine the salt and water in a shallow baking dish and stir it gently until the salt is dissolved before adding the meat. This is enough to brine 4 chicken breasts or pork chops, about 1 1/2 pounds of meat.
I’ll also add some aromatics into the brining solution — star anise and cumin seeds, lemon peel, ginger or lemongrass, black peppercorns, smashed cloves of garlic. Whatever I have in the kitchen that sounds good together gets thrown in the brine for an extra boost of flavor.
- Then you can just let the brining meat sit while you prepare the rest of the meal.
- Ideal brining time is about a half an hour, but I’ve found that even a 15-minute brine makes a difference.
- The meat cooks up juicier and with more flavor than it does otherwise.
- You can also brine for longer, but after about two hours, the meat can start to get a bit mushy.
Cook the meat any way you like once it’s been brined. Grilling, broiling, pan-searing are all fine options with brined cuts. Do you ever brine your meat before cooking it?
Is it OK to brine overnight?
How Does Brining Work? – If you’re wondering what the magic behind brining is, there is one very simple answer: salt. Wet or dry, brines work because the salt helps the meat retain moisture. How? By breaking down proteins in the meat. When those proteins break down, the meat won’t contract while cooking which means less water is lost, thus a more juicy plump bird.
- Plus, the salt does double duty and thoroughly seasons the meat, hence, more flavor.
- Now, to wet or dry brine, that is the question.
- Wet brines, take a bit longer, but will help add moisture.
- And because they take longer to brine, they have a lot of flavor.
- Dry brines, however, will retain only the natural juices of the meat without adding in other liquids, which means the flavor is more intense.
It’s also faster and the skin will be crisper. Both are delicious, so it comes down to time and preference. Time is of extreme importance when brining, the longer the brine the better. Dry brines can be left on for just a short time if cooking small cuts of meat or you if are in a hurry, but for a dry brine to really work its magic, leave it on for 12 to 24 hours or up to 3 days.
Is it worth brining a turkey for 4 hours?
How Long to Brine a Turkey – Brine your turkey for 12 to 24 hours. The longer the better, but honestly, even a quick brine does wonders for the turkey. If you only have a few hours before it needs to go in the oven, then it’s still worth doing. Be sure to keep your turkey covered and refrigerated while brining.
Is it worth brining a turkey for 4 hours?
How Long to Brine a Turkey – Brine your turkey for 12 to 24 hours. The longer the better, but honestly, even a quick brine does wonders for the turkey. If you only have a few hours before it needs to go in the oven, then it’s still worth doing. Be sure to keep your turkey covered and refrigerated while brining.
How long can you brine a turkey at room temperature?
Recipe: Brined turkey LET IT REST: For a moist and remarkably tender turkey, Judy Rodgers recommends brining the bird for two days, then roasting it. It’s important to let it rest after cooking. Total time: 3 hours, plus 2 to 3 days brining time Servings: 12 plus leftovers Note: Adapted from Judy Rodgers.
2/3 cup salt1/2 cup sugar1 gallon cool water1 (15-pound) turkey, preferably a tom1 carrot, cut in chunks1/2 onion, cut in wedges1 bay leaf2 to 3 whole black peppercorns4 tablespoons melted butter
1. Dissolve the salt and the sugar in the water in a bucket large enough to hold the turkey. Rinse the bird well, place it in the brine to cover and let it sit in the refrigerator for 2 or 3 days. If you don’t have room in the refrigerator for a large bucket, place the bird in the brine to cover and leave it at room temperature for 10 to 12 hours.
Pour off the brine and place the bird in a pan or on a deep platter, tent it with plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 2 to 3 days, turning it daily and keeping it completely covered in between so it doesn’t dry out.This method produces a less complete cure, but is a good option if space is an issue.2.
The day before you plan to cook, make a stock for the bread salad. Cut away the neck and the tips and middle joints of the wing. Cut the neck into a few pieces and cut the wings in half at the joints. Rinse them and place them in a small saucepan. Add the carrot, onion, bay leaf and peppercorn and add water to cover by 1 1/2 inches.
Bring the liquid to a simmer, skim any impurities that float to the top and add a few pinches of salt. Taste; you should barely taste the salt. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Tasting every 15 minutes or so, cook until it tastes like turkey, about 1 1/2 hours. The neck will be nearly falling apart.
Strain and refrigerate until needed.3. To roast the turkey, rinse and pat it dry inside and out and leave it at room temperature for an hour or two. Because it is not completely chilled, it will cook more evenly and rapidly. By arranging for the center to be 10 degrees or so warmer than the refrigerator before you start, you get a juicier result.
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. A smaller bird, say a 10-pounder, should be roasted at 375 degrees.4. Warm a shallow roasting pan on top of a burner (or heat it in the oven). Wipe the turkey back dry one last time and set the turkey in the pan. Because the skin is dry and the pan is hot, this will help prevent sticking later.
Brush the surface of the bird with the butter.5. Place the turkey in the oven and roast until it reaches a temperature of 155 degrees when a thermometer is inserted in the thickest part of the thigh, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the turkey, your oven and how cold the turkey was when you placed it in the oven.
- If the turkey isn’t browning well when the internal temperature reaches about 130 degrees, raise the oven temperature to 400 degrees (or turn on the convection function if you have one).
- Basting occasionally will help encourage browning, but it is not as efficient as raising the oven to a higher temperature and it doesn’t affect juiciness.6.
When the turkey has reached the desired temperature, remove it from the oven and place it in a warm spot, free of drafts, tightly covered with foil, to finish roasting as it rests for 20 to 30 minutes. Protected as described, the internal temperature will rise about 1 degree a minute for at least 15 minutes, and will continue to rise, although more slowly thereafter.
Don’t skip or rush the resting phase, or you risk serving hard, dry, chewy outer bits and moister but still chewy inner sections that may be incompletely cooked. Each (4-ounce) serving: 264 calories; 32 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrate; 0 fiber; 14 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 101 mg. cholesterol; 543 mg.
sodium. Get our L.A. Goes Out newsletter, with the week’s best events, to help you explore and experience our city. You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. : Recipe: Brined turkey
Does brining a turkey really make a difference?
How Brining Works – Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, let’s do a quick recap on brining basics. The basic process involves soaking meat (usually lean meats, like turkey, chicken, or pork chops) in a tub full of heavily salted water overnight. Most brines are in the range of 5 to 8% salt to water by weight.
- Over the course of the night, the meat absorbs some of that water.
- More importantly, that water stays put even after the meat is cooked.
- By brining meat, you can decrease the amount of total moisture loss by 30 to 40%.
- To demonstrate, I cooked three identical turkey breasts in a 300°F (150°C) oven to an internal temperature of 145°F (63°C).
One was brined, the other was soaked overnight in plain water, and the last was left alone. All three breasts came from non-kosher, non-enhanced birds (i.e., the birds were natural, having received no treatment after slaughter). I charted their weight straight from the package, after brining, and after cooking.
- As you can see, both the bird soaked in brine and the bird soaked in water gained a significant amount of weight prior to roasting, but while the watered bird lost nearly all of that weight as it cooked, the brined bird retained a good deal more.
- This corresponded to a juicier texture on eating.
- So what’s going on here? Some publications attribute it all to osmosis—the tendency for water to move across a membrane from an area of low solute concentration to an area of high solute concentration.
In this case, water moves from the brining vessel (low solute concentration) to the inside of the turkey’s cells (where there are lots of proteins, minerals, and other fun biological goodies dissolved in the water). This theory is, in fact, inaccurate.
- If it were true, then soaking a turkey in pure, unsalted water should be more effective than soaking it in a brine, and we’ve already seen that that is not the case.
- Moreover, if you soak a turkey in a ridiculously concentrated brine (I tested turkey in a 35% salt solution), according to the osmosis theory, it should dry out even more,
However, I found that despite turning the turkey inedibly salty, a highly concentrated 35% salt solution was just as effective at helping a turkey retain moisture as a more moderate 6% salt solution, indicating that the osmosis theory is entirely bunk.
To understand what’s really happening, you have to look at the structure of turkey muscles. Muscles are made up of long, bundled fibers, each one housed in a tough protein sheath. As the turkey heats, the proteins that make up this sheath will contract. Just like when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste, this causes juices to be forced out of the bird.
Heat them to much above 150°F (66°C) or so, and you end up with dry, stringy meat. Salt helps mitigate this shrinkage by dissolving some of the muscle proteins (mainly myosin). The muscle fibers loosen up, allowing them to absorb more moisture, and, more importantly, they don’t contract as much when they cook, ensuring that more of that moisture stays in place as the turkey cooks.
How long do you rinse turkey after brining?
2. After brining, rinse the turkey thoroughly under cold water for a few minutes. – Take the brined turkey out of the brining bag or pot (or whatever vessel you set it in for brining), then discard the brine and set the turkey in a clean sink. Turn on the water and move the turkey underneath the water, allowing the water to run all the way into the cavity, and even using your hands to rub the surface of the turkey as it rinses.