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 Brining Turkey is Better Than Burning Down Your House 
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Post Brining Turkey is Better Than Burning Down Your House
Brining Turkey is Better Than Burning Down Your House
by: Chef Todd Mohr

Brining turkey is my favorite way to prepare my holiday turkey. People’s biggest fear is that their turkey will be dry after cooking it. This is a reasonable fear, because “roasting” is a dry-heat convective cooking process. When roasted, your turkey is cooked indirectly through the use of hot air. Hot air will evaporate moisture, making your turkey dry.

When your frustration rises from another dry bird, you might resort to a deep fried turkey in an effort to achieve your goals. Deep frying turkey is expensive, dangerous, unnecessary, and the just the wrong way to cook a carcass. Submerging your holiday bird in liquid is a much safer way than deep frying to get a moist result. You can’t burn down your house while brining turkey.

If you fear a dry turkey, adding moisture BEFORE cooking is the best strategy. Just like a grilling marinade adds moisture and flavor to your steak, brining turkey is the opportunity to add flavor and retain moisture when cooking in a dry heat process.

The most important part of any brine is salt. Salt will be the medium that draws the liquid and flavors of your marinade into the meat of your turkey. It’s important NOT to use a Kosher or Self-Basting bird, because they have already been injected with saline solution. Brining these types of turkey will give you a very salty result.

I use 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of brown sugar as a base for my turkey brine. These first two ingredients must be completely dissolved in hot liquid first. If salt or sugar crystals remain in the brine, they will not penetrate the muscle tissue. This would be like sprinkling salt and sugar on the outside of the bird.

Using a 5-gallon bucket for brining my turkey, I can now add any combination of flavorful liquids and seasonings that I desire. To keep with the Fall flavors, I decide to use apple juice, apple cider vinegar, bourbon, chicken stock, cinnamon sticks, and whole peppercorns in my mixture. I’ll add enough liquid to fill half of the 5 gallon bucket.

Food safety is extremely important when brining turkey. While the presence of Apple Cider Vinegar, an acid, will lower bacterial growth, the raw bird should be brined no longer than 24 hours, and must be kept below 40F (4c) to be safe. Most people don’t have a refrigerator large enough to hold a 5 gallon bucket, so improvisation is necessary.

If you live in colder climates, the bird-in-a-bucket can simply sit in your garage. If the temperature is to climb above 40F, you can use a large cooler to brine your turkey. Add ice to the cooler every few hours and use a thermometer to assure the safety of your dinner to be.

Now you’ve combated the drawbacks of roasting. The dry cooking process has been thwarted by the liquid and flavors you’ve added 24 hours before subjecting the bird to evaporation of liquids in your oven.

Brining turkey takes no special skills, no study, no special equipment, no gallons of expensive oil, nor fire extinguisher at the ready like a deep fried turkey. It’s a way to create the most moist, flavorful thanksgiving turkey you’ve ever been that proud of. And, it will leave the firemen out of your holiday dinner plans.

About The Author
Click Brining Turkey. to see the entire brining turkey video.

Chef Todd Mohr has freed thousands of people from the frustration of written recipes with his online cooking classes. The Chef’s cooking DVD series “Burn Your Recipes” empowers people to cook with basic methods and the ingredients they desire.
The author invites you to visit:

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Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:53 am
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