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Best turkey preparation method

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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby O.J. » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:02 pm

Brining breaks down the muscle tissue in meat, which helps it retain water during cooking. Use about a cup of salt per gallon of water(also, a cup of sugar if you want to help balance out the saltiness), plus various aromatics to impart more flavor(garlic, rosemary/thyme, peppercorns, apples, cranberries...). With something as large as a turkey, overnight is desirable.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Huckleby » Tue Nov 22, 2011 6:35 pm

thanks, will definitely try brining sometime. I thought it might tenderize meat, like a marinade, guess that is main purpose. The moisture thing is hard to figure, I would think water would seep OUT of bird in attempt to achieve salt equilibrium, but I may have my science wrong.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Nov 22, 2011 7:55 pm

The Times' Harold McGee says no brining; his concerns are for the brine's impact on crisping the skin.

http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/ ... my-turkey/

Huckleby, your science head-scratching should be resolved by the NYT post, even if your decision on whether or not to brine is made more difficult.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Huckleby » Tue Nov 22, 2011 11:27 pm

damn interesting article there. i knew the salt levels would reach equilibrium through osmosis, didn''t occur to me that salt would go into the bird rather than water go out.

I can see the meat changes radically, you're making turkey ham. good. ya, its going to taste like juicy deli meat - bet it's delicous.

I'm not buying the bit about no-crispy-skin-syndrome. When I roast a turkey, I first cook it uncovered at solar nucleus temperature for about 20 minutes. No bloated skin gonna resist that. The high heat seers the bird, crisps the skin. This seals moisture in, then bird is covered and roasted at low temp.

Not ready to follow the "lips that touch brine shall never touch mine" movement until I try brining for myself.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Detritus » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:44 am

Just did one today, an early Thanksgiving. 12-pound free-range never-frozen bird from Jacobson's. No brining, but I did salt the bird inside and out, stuffed it (cornbread-bacon-pecan), and laid about 8 strips of bacon across the top. Also, a mix of water and olive oil in the bottom of the pan. 30 minutes at 450, three hours at 350, and Bob's your uncle.

Bacon: it makes everything taste better.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby lardheppus » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:12 am

I plan on spraying my turkey with some this. According to Fox News, it's a food product. My main concern is it'll make the bird as orange as John Boehner.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Huckleby » Wed Nov 23, 2011 8:05 am

Image
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Bwis53 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:03 am

I guess that's not brine...
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Stebben84 » Wed Nov 23, 2011 10:29 am

A couple years ago my brother in-law decided to buy a couple large turkey breast and throw them in the smoker for a good chunk of the day. It was probably the best way I've had turkey on Thanksgiving. Great taste and it wasn't dry at all. Dunno if they did a brine beforehand or not. You do skip the dark meat doing it this way, but it was worth the absence.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Huckleby » Wed Nov 23, 2011 11:19 am

Detritus wrote: stuffed it (cornbread-bacon-pecan),

never heard of cornbread stuffing, but that sounds great.

I've done mix of brown/wild rice that is good
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Detritus » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:13 pm

Huckleby wrote:
Detritus wrote: stuffed it (cornbread-bacon-pecan),

never heard of cornbread stuffing, but that sounds great.

I've done mix of brown/wild rice that is good

Cornbread is what I've always used for turkey. Make it the night before, cut it up and leave it out so it dries out a bit. I've done the rice thing before, but only with duck.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby Ducatista » Wed Nov 23, 2011 12:45 pm

dave esmond wrote:Gonna try an asian themed turkey myself this year.

Howzat? I'd love to hear more.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby NullDevice » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:43 pm

The best reason to get turkey this time of year is that, pound for pound, it is dirt effin cheap. Especially this weekend. And while it's not the greatest-tasting protein on earth, it's pretty ludicrously versatile. It's cheaper than chicken for making gallons upon gallons of stock.

And a braised turkey breast is a Julia Child favorite. Just watched that episode yesterday!

I'm brining mine currenlty. A few years back I submitted to gimickry and bought an "Orion Cooker" grill, which is essentially a charcoal-powered convection oven, and...well, I'll be damned if it didn't produce one helluva good bird. Took a little finessing to keep the fire lit on a windy november day, and there was a brief worry that I was about to set my garage alight (as noted by my sarcastic 8-year-old neighbor, "Are you TRYING to burn down the neighborhood?"). The skin wasn't super-crispy, but it wasn't slimy either (and a hit with a blowtorch helped that at the end anyway).

I'd really love to grill-roast a whole turkey but I lack the equipment or the skill.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby dave esmond » Wed Nov 23, 2011 1:55 pm

Ducatista wrote:
dave esmond wrote:Gonna try an asian themed turkey myself this year.

Howzat? I'd love to hear more.


It's a variation on one I use for cornish hens. How's that for circling back to the op ?

Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Fish sauce
Honey
Ginger
Garlic

as a marinate.

Still working out a stuffing. Probably ginger/garlic/lemon grass/thai basil based. I like the sound of bacon but I'm not sure it'll work with the marinade.

I like to finish hens/chicken "beercan" style on the grill to get a bit of smoke flavor and a god crisp skin. I'd need a paint can or something to finish up the turkey that way. Maybe some other time. I've got pie and what not to make instead.
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Re: Best turkey preparation method

Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Nov 23, 2011 2:06 pm

dave esmond wrote:god crisp skin

Band name.
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