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

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!



drbabs November 22, 2011
I'd be happy to share a jail cell with you, amysarah.
boulangere November 22, 2011
I'll bring you cookies!
amysarah November 22, 2011
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.
rldougherty November 22, 2011
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.
boulangere November 22, 2011
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 November 22, 2011
That doesn't work for me--it gets up to about 50 degrees during the day.
beyondcelery November 23, 2011
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!
boulangere November 22, 2011
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.
drbabs November 22, 2011
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.)
Courtney November 22, 2011
Add your answer here
drbabs November 22, 2011
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.
beyondcelery November 22, 2011
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.
hadleysage November 22, 2011
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!
beyondcelery November 22, 2011
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.
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