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How long should I brine a turkey breast for roulade?

I made a stuffed turkey roulade for Thanksgiving and it was so good, I'm planning a repeat for Christmas. But I'd like to try brining to make the meat more moist. I'm used to brining a whole turkey. How long should I brine for a boneless breast? (4-5 lbs or so) With a whole turkey, I usually take it out of the brine 8-12 hours before roasting to air dry the skin a bit. Can I still do this with a breast?

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Monita is a recipe tester for Food52 and a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 1 year ago

Yes - you can do the boneless breast the same way


Emily is a trusted source on Scandinavian Cuisine.

added over 1 year ago

I know a lot of recipes call for brining a breast overnight or 24 hours, but with smaller pieces of meat I've generally found brining for 6-8 hours to be enough.

ChezHenry added over 1 year ago

I would do a quick brine here, much as I would with a porkchop or chicken breast of similar thickness. Longer brines are designed to get in and around the skeletal structure of a large turkey with a breast that can be 6 inches or more deep. Here you are pounding out the breast for the roulade and a quick brine will definitely work-1/2 to 1 hour is all you will need. Additionally I assume you will be using some sort of stuffing. By rolling up the meat, the salt from the brine will have nowhere to go but into your stuffing. Thats why they dont recommend that you stuff a brined turkey. Additionally you have to be careful with the pan drippings from a brined bird due to the salt that will come out during roasting. I follow a simple guide of 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup sugar (brown or white) dissolved in 1 cup of water, then chilled to below 40 degrees, and added to 1 quart of ice water also below 40 degrees fahrenheit. Any aromatics you want can be added now. For a Turkey breast of this size I would use 2-3 quarts of brine. Make sure the breast is covered and brine for up to 1 hour. Pat it dry before rolling and roasting. This same technique is how I make my weekly porkchops!

ChezHenry added over 1 year ago

To be clear, I would pound out the breast first, then brine it.

Ms. T added over 1 year ago

Thanks for the tips everyone!

Kristen W. added over 1 year ago

ChezHenry, are you saying to use 1/2 cup
sugar and 1/2 cup salt per every 5 cups of water (the cup the salt & sugar are dissolved in plus the quart it gets added to), or that same amount of salt and sugar per 2-3 quarts of water?

ChezHenry added over 1 year ago

Kristen, no you need 1/4 cup of salt and 1/4 cup of sugar dissolved in 1 cup of water (I bring it to a boil on the stovetop then rapidly cool it down) added to each quart of ice water. For 2X the recipe dissolve 1/2 cup each of salt and sugar in 2 cups of water added to 2 Quarts of ice water. Best, CH

Kristen W. added over 1 year ago

Great, thanks for the clarification.

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