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A question about a recipe: Russ Parsons' Dry-Brined Turkey (a.k.a. The Judy Bird)

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Two questions, actually:
1) I don't have 2.5 gal plastic bags or a turkey oven bag. Can I bag it up in a plastic garbage bag and rubber band it shut? The point's to keep moisture inside, right?
2) I don't have any type of roasting rack or pan. I have a broiling pan. I also have a metal rack that goes in my toaster oven that I think I could balance the bird on, inside my large glass pan. Which do you think is going to work better for this?

My husband works in a restaurant and the owner is giving all the employees a free turkey this year. Surprise, I get to cook a turkey!

asked by beyondcelery over 6 years ago

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14 answers 2892 views
hadleysage
added over 6 years ago

I'd be careful about using plastic not meant for food -- see if you can get to the supermarket or borrow an oven bag from a friend.

The idea is to elevate the turkey so that it roasts evenly in the oven. I'd say go with whichever option seems to accomplish that best -- but if you go with the glass, be sure to double check that it can withstand the temperatures (and temperature change) specified in the recipe.

Hope that helps!

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beyondcelery
added over 6 years ago

Thanks! I actually can't find the 2.5 gal bags and none of my friends have an oven bag. Maybe if I wrapped it in plastic wrap? I think I'll try the metal rack in my glass pan--that'll lift it the highest. I use the glass pan for braise roasting, so it should be fine temperature-wise.

drbabs
drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 6 years ago

I used a clean never-used plastic garbage bag. I actually didn't think about the issue hadleysage raised, but I'm going to try not to stress over it.

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beyondcelery
added over 6 years ago

Honestly, I'm inclined to think that a never-used eco-friendly biodegradable garbage bag would be okay in the fridge with it for 3 days. Unless it biodegrades... Well, I think I may just try it and see! I just don't even know where to find 2.5 gal plastic bags, since they're not at the local grocery stores.

Courtney
added over 6 years ago

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boulangere
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 6 years ago

It's never recommended to use anything other than food-safe plastic bags for any kind of food. Garbage bags are frequently treated with disinfectants or compounds that help them break down faster. I'd spring for a box of turkey roasting bags; that way, you'll have something on hand the next time you decide to brine something.

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drbabs
drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 6 years ago

Ok, totally freaked out now so i checked the label and the bag is used is called a kitchen bag, not a garbage bag so I'm hoping we're OK. (I looked in 2 places for turkey roasting bags and large ziploc bags but couldn't find them.)

rldougherty
added over 6 years ago

How big is the turkey and where do you live? Is it possible to brine the turkey in a big stock pot and keep it in a cool place like a garage or outdoors? I live way up north and our outdoor bbq grill basically is used like a make-shift fridge thanksgiving and christmas to keep things cool when we have many things crowding our fridge.

As for the roasting rack--you could make your own using celery and big onions pieces in the glass pan. That way you might also get a more flavorful gravy.

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boulangere
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 6 years ago

Yes, I' grateful to have the "walk-out" cooler available these days, too. I routinely roast meats on a "fond" of carrots, celery, and onions - great suggestion.

drbabs
drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 6 years ago

That doesn't work for me--it gets up to about 50 degrees during the day.

beyondcelery
added over 6 years ago

What good ideas! I can't keep it outside, but I might be able to fit it into my largest pot, which barely fits in the fridge. (I'm not hosting, so the fridge only has to fit this bird and the 3 side dishes I'm bringing to my aunt's.) The husband's coming home with this bird tonight, so I'll cross my fingers and hope it fits. Gosh, and I have a TON of celery right now. Thanks!

amysarah
amysarah

amysarah is a trusted home cook.

added over 6 years ago

Oops. I just checked the box, and the bag my turkey has been brining in since yesterday is also just labeled 'Kitchen Bag' . And here I was so proud of myself for getting it together 3 days ahead! It's always something.

Let's hope it doesn't kill anyone. If so, we can share a jail cell - the prison chapter of Food52.

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drbabs
drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

added over 6 years ago

I'd be happy to share a jail cell with you, amysarah.

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boulangere
boulangere

Cynthia is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

added over 6 years ago

I'll bring you cookies!