There are so many great conversations on the Hotline -- it's hard to choose a favorite. But we'll be doing it every day leading up to Thanksgiving, to spread the wealth of our community's knowledge -- and to help you host the least stressful Thanksgiving yet. No promises on the crazy relatives.
Today: We’re helping you decide how to brine your bird. (Or not.) Tommorrow we'll review brining basics and help you find space in the fridge.
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Is it better to brine or not to brine your turkey? Our question is decidedly less angst-filled than Shakespeare's, but still has the power to ruffle feathers. Anti-briners contend that brining reduces flavor, while pro-briners believe that done well, brining can provide juicy flavorful meat, perfectly crispy skin, and still preserve the bird's flavor. And if you agree that it is better to brine, you then need to decide whether to use a traditional wet brine or the less-messy dry brine. The questionofwhetherto brine has been asked multiple times over the years on the Hotline, and the opinions have flocked in:
Matilda Luk finds that brining poultry makes the meat take on a more processed texture. (But admits that brining makes the meat juicier and provides cooking flexibility -- your bird is less likely to be ruined with extra time in the oven.)
Ellenl agrees that brining helps keep the bird more moist, but at the sacrifice of flavor.