brining: how to adjust brining technique for kosher chicken/turkey which has already been salted (in order for it to be kosher).

  • Posted by: allie
  • November 10, 2010


luvcookbooks November 14, 2010
would go with a dry brine without salt. let me know what happens.
Ophelia November 11, 2010
Dry salting rather than brining is popular with Cooks Illustrated these days, just rubbing the salt under the skin of the bird with herbs and spices and then allowing it to sit in the fridge for a while. I can't really remember specifics, but I've read about it a few times in the last year or so. Maybe an herb paste with just a little salt applied under the skin before cooking would work and you'd be able to monitor the amount of salt used more easily.
healthierkitchen November 10, 2010
Good to know!
obleak1 November 10, 2010
Since brining is meant to cause cellular changes via osmosis that enable the meat to retain moisture, I don't know if the dry salting technique used in Koshering will produce the same results. However, I have heard that gently brining a Kosher turkey (half the salt and half the time), can produce good results. The type of salt one uses is also critical. I only use Diamond Crystal. I have not had good results with Morton Kosher.
allie November 10, 2010
OK, figured it out. For kashering purposes, meat is soaked for 30 min (not in salted water) and then "dry brined" for about an hour, so yes, additional soaking (in barely salty water, with other spices) will work. Thanks for all the ideas.
allie November 10, 2010
The NYT one was wet-brined, with sugar and salt. I am going to find out from my buddies in the kashrut-supervision world how long meat is actually salted for to be deemed kosher and will report back.
healthierkitchen November 10, 2010
Allie - maybe a dry brine with just a little salt and the herbs, etc.? The turkey will have already been soaked as well as salted and rinsed. Was the one in the times dry?

My mother, in the days before we all talked about brining, always wrapped the turkey in cheesecloth and bathed it with stock and orange juice with onions cooking in the pan so that their juices also hit the bird via basting. I think she took the cheesecloth off toward the end so the skin could brown.
JSCooks November 10, 2010
I think Allie may be on to something here. I would not brine a kosher bird in a traditional (salt) brine as it would become too salty. However, you could make a brine with crushed garlic and plenty of fresh and dried herbs and spices. (some like sugar in their brine; I think it makes it taste like icky deli slices.) Submerge the turkey and refrigerate--an hour per pound is a good guide. I would use small amount of salt--just a tablespoon or two--to keep the salt from moving from the bird into the water and un-seasoning it. Don't forget to drain the turkey, put it on a rack in a roasting pan, and refrigerate for about 12 hours before roasting to let the skin dry out for nice crispy, brown skin.
allie November 10, 2010
Thanks -- I use kosher chicken etc exclusively and do find it still needs to be seasoned/isn't overly salty. It's not always so juicy so maybe some way to figure out a brine that isn't salty?
healthierkitchen November 10, 2010
Oh and as Mr. Vittles says, if you buy one prepackaged it might be sitting in more salt. However, it is usually possible to buy fresh kosher turkeys that would not be sold in liquid.
healthierkitchen November 10, 2010
This is such a good question. I grew up in a kosher home and have used kosher meat and fowl on and off for years. I do think the kosher turkeys stay moist, but I always wonder if it's my imagination. The process for koshering is, to my best understanding, a much shorter process than brining, but I don't know if that makes any significant difference. for koshering, I think the turkey would only be sitting in the salt for a half hour or an hour, and then rinsed repeatedly.
drbabs November 10, 2010
@AJ, no they're not, but you certainly don't need to add salt.
AntoniaJames November 10, 2010
Just wondering though if the pan juices from a kosher chicken are too salty for use in gravy . . . ;o)
pierino November 10, 2010
Ditto, to Mr V. Skip the brine if it's already koshered.
Mr_Vittles November 10, 2010
Actually, you do not need to brine a kosher bird because it has already been brined in the packaging. Since kosher packaging essentially packs the bird in a heavy salt water solution, it has already been brined.
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