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A question about a recipe: Barbara Kafka's Simple Roast Turkey

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I have a question about the recipe "Barbara Kafka's Simple Roast Turkey" from Food52. Do you think this turkey would benefit from a brining?

asked by kari about 1 year ago
7 answers 472 views
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cv
added about 1 year ago

Dry-brined yes. Wet-brined no.

I despise wet-brined turkeys. Something about the liquid brining process inrevocably damages poultry flesh consistency. I have loathed deli turkey meat for decades and now I know why. It is the brining process that sucks.

Note that I am perfectly fine with wet-brined pork. It works well for that meat. I am simply against wet-brined poultry.

Dry-brined (a.k.a. "salted") poultry is great.

Generally speaking, I dry-brine all my pork roasts and/or larger poultry roasts for 24-48+ hours.

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Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 1 year ago

This is a fabulous recipe and I've had it with heritage turkeys twice. They tend to be lean, especially if pasture raised, so a dry brine is a good way to go. Just a caution, these dry brined turkeys seem to cook lightening fast. Watch the internal temp carefully. If you read the comments, many experienced the same thing.

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 1 year ago

Oops..I thought this was the question about the Ju

730e314f caf5 438f 9a9a 998057ffb9ff  20151109 150352
Susan W

Susan W is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added about 1 year ago

Ugh..I thought this was the question about the dry brined Judy Bird and the dry brining. So sorry. However, yes, dry or wet brining is a good thing to do to a turkey. I have not experienced the odd texture from a wet brine that CV speaks of. Delies almost always use other ingredients than we would in their brine.

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Cav
added about 1 year ago

No. No poultry benefits from a wet brine. Firstly, they tend to come factory brined already, increasing the weight of the bird and so profits. Secondly, it doesn't make them juicy but wet. The juiciness of meat comes from gelatine and melted collagen, not water. Brining doesn't inject gelatine into the meat. Thirdly the salty wetness does not a good gravy make. Fourth, it dilutes what taste there is of the turkey or chicken.

I'll salt rub a bird, which actually does cause osmosis and penetrates a little. You end up with a crispier skin too But no, never a wet brine.

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added about 1 year ago

I've always gotten fantastic results from "wet" brining. The San Francisco Chronicle some years ago published an article where they prepared turkey several different ways, and the brined turkey was the best. The next year they did it again, not believing it really could have been that good....and it was! Its also a fantastic rescue for the cheap turkeys the supermarkets give away as promotions.

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creamtea

Lisanne is a trusted home cook.

added about 1 year ago

I have been dry brining for the last few years, following the advice for Russ Parsons Dry Brined Turkey. I think the results are fantastic. The turkey ends up tasting turkier.