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Recipe File: Classic Roast Turkey
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Ludwig
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 6:25 pm    Post subject: Turjey and brining Reply with quote

I do not understand the reason for brining unless the purpose is of religious value such as doing a kosher bird. This is not good for those who have dietary health problems, either.

Why not just stuff the turkey, then roast and baste it??
As a child I often saw it done this way---especially with chestnut or other suffing which would then be made into a dressing such as sage, chestnut or sausage etc.
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GaryProtein



Joined: 26 Oct 2005
Posts: 535

PostPosted: Sat Nov 25, 2006 2:57 am    Post subject: Re: Turjey and brining Reply with quote

Ludwig wrote:
I do not understand the reason for brining unless the purpose is of religious value such as doing a kosher bird. This is not good for those who have dietary health problems, either.

Why not just stuff the turkey, then roast and baste it??
As a child I often saw it done this way---especially with chestnut or other suffing which would then be made into a dressing such as sage, chestnut or sausage etc.


Brining is not of any "religious value." The Kosher law requires SALTING and there is no substitute. After salting, a period of rinsing with cold water is required. The purpose of salting is to draw out any remaining blood after slaughter, liquid brine cannot do this and does not satisfy Kosher law. The purpose of brining is to partially denature and break down the protein and soften the poultry over a 12-48 hour period. It also, after a period of equilibration brings more water into the meat, making it juicier after cooking. Longer brining periods can be used. but I am told it leads to meat that is too salty tasting.

A problem with cooking a stuffed birds is that the stuffing draws water and moisture out oif the bird and also increases the necessary cooking time needed for the stuffing to reach a safe internal temperature. This extra cooking time also tends to dry out the bird.
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JC
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 6:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

How would you convert your Classic Turkey Roast recipe to the smaller bird, the chicken? ie. Do you have a suggested roasting minutes per lb (or per kg), and would there be any difference in temperature?

Thanks! I love your website, and hope you continue to add more recipes!
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 10, 2006 9:40 pm    Post subject: Turkey Reply with quote

I'm not an expert, but after 35 years of cooking turkey, I've learned a little. Fresh beats frozen every time, especially if farm raised locally. Do not overcook, 170 degrees is about right. Cooking will continue after removing from heat. 18-22 lb. birds cooked on a Weber using indirect heat are hard to beat. Basting is the only mandatory ingredient to cooking turkey. All else is just icing on the cake. Pat dry, baste, cook, baste, cook, rest, slice and eat. This is not brain surgery- just susti Smile nence.
Bill
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SteveInSweden
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 12:07 am    Post subject: Sleeping after turkey plus plus plus Reply with quote

Quickly - Happy Christmas everyone!

About the earlier discussion on why people sleep after turkey - yes, turkey contains Tryptophan. This is an amino acid that your body uses to make serotonin, one of the "home-grown" chemicals that your body can synthesise to make you feel good. This can make you feel sleepy, just like drinking some wine, or having sex, can make you sleepy. I am inclined to say, though, that the AMOUNT of Christmas dinner people manage to put away, rather than the particular content of the dinner, is more likely to make them sleepy. Eating a lot turns off your body's adrenaline reactions, making you into a doughy, dopey ball of niceness, rather than the angry, powerful tower of strength you would be if you were locked outside in the snow without your turkey.
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righthandman314
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 8:34 pm    Post subject: Brining container Reply with quote

I've brined several times over the past 10 years. What I've always used is a plastic carboy from my beer brewing equipment. They're available in a variety of sizes, and are made of food-grade plastic. I've assigned one strictly for brining duty. Easy to clean and to sanitize afterwards, although it's a bitch to fit in the fridge.

You might want to consider brining with Wild Turkey added as well. Chris Carmichael (or something like that) had a real nice recipe for turkey brined in WT on Martha Stewart's web site.
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maplesbc
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 25, 2006 9:22 pm    Post subject: larger bird? Reply with quote

Great site! Sorry if I missed this, but I've scrolled all down the page and not seen an update for bigger turkeys. I love the chart with timing, and have printed it out, but my turkey is 15 pounds, not 12. Was an update for larger birds ever added? Thanks in any case for the good tips and pix. (I *will* brine next year...(
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mtnman
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 30, 2006 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

why kosher salt? will mortons iodized work the same?
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Capn Guts
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:00 pm    Post subject: Brine Reply with quote

I have cooked just 2 turkeys before. I'm about to do a third. The first was done "paper bag" style. Though you have to get a food-safe paper bag, it works pretty well. The idea is that it holds juices like a plastic baking bag, but the paper acts a little like a sponge to hold juices against the skin instead of letting them all run down.

Since I didn't have any food-safe paper bags handy, my next turkey was cooked breast side down, directly on the oven rack, with a tray below to collect drippings. No brining, flipping, or basting here either. The better airflow around the bird did make it cook quite quickly to temperature, but the wings and legs ends dried up a lot. The breast (cooked down, so it had grill marks, but I don't care) was wonderful.

I always start with a salt, butter, and spice rub as well as a few broken veggies in the cavity for flavor. Both mine so far have come out as good or better than anything I remember from childhood holidays.

Oh, I had a question. I have always used frozen turkeys like Butterball and such that contain 8-10% "of a solution." I assume this is the butter juice they get injected with or something. My point is, are these birds essentially pre-brined? Will further brining simply dilute their special "solution" with your own? Having never had a brined turkey, am I simply missing something?
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guest
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 08, 2007 2:14 am    Post subject: Brining and breast-down cooking is definitely the best Reply with quote

I just cooked a 12 pound turkey breast-down after brining for 4 hours and it was the best turkey I ever had. Here is the high-level process:

Brined for 4 hours using 1 cup salt per gallon of water. Covered entire bird in solution.

Pat-dried with paper towels and used a hair dryer on 'cool' setting to completely dry the bird.

Covered entire bird with salt, pepper and butter.

Put breast-down on a rack laying over a baking tray.

Basted one time after 1 hour.

Cooked at 325 F for 3.5 hours.

Cooled for 15 miutes.

Awesome turkey!! Thanks for the tips.

Anthony
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angfab
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2007 6:53 am    Post subject: turkey brine Reply with quote

I was wondering if you can use orange juice along with the brine to help break down the proteins and add flavor in one step.
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2007 10:16 pm    Post subject: Re: turkey brine Reply with quote

angfab wrote:
I was wondering if you can use orange juice along with the brine to help break down the proteins and add flavor in one step.

Sure.
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Christian P.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2007 8:09 pm    Post subject: Suitable container to brine a large bird in. Reply with quote

Recently I was called upon to feed a large number of my fellow students. I needed to find an economical meat to feed 11-14 people and I decided upon turkey.

I had absolutely no idea how to cook the bird and came to this site to find out how. I came to the part in the recipe that requires brining. I did not have anything large enough to brine a bird. So I took off to Wally-World to find something and found nothing in the cooking ware section.

It was not until I went to purchase some food for my fishes that I found an inspiration as to resolve the problem of a non-reactive container for brining. I saw a display of 25 gallon(and other sized) glass aquariums for $35-40 in price.

I ended up buying a 25 gallon aquarium and using that to brine the turkey. Worked like a charm for me.

P.S. - Considering this was my first time cooking a turkey, I did very well. Whether that is due to the instructions on this website or blind beginners luck..IDK, but I do know the bird was a hit. Thank you very much Cooking For Engineers!!!
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Guest
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2007 9:02 pm    Post subject: Roast Turkey Reply with quote

This is the absolute BEST recipe for roast turkey. It is moist, presentable and flavorful. Brining DOES bring out the flavor. Some say that it is not necessary but it is, especially if you are buying a free range or kosher bird that has not been injected with any salt water solution prior to purchase. you will not be dissapointed. I have cooked a turkey every year for thanksgiving for the past 12 years but something was always sacrificed. It took an engineer to give a better recipe than cookbooks and a advice from a few grandmas. Teasing
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Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1626
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2007 5:02 am    Post subject: Re: Roast Turkey Reply with quote

Guest wrote:
Some say that it is not necessary but it is, especially if you are buying a free range or kosher bird that has not been injected with any salt water solution prior to purchase. you will not be dissapointed.

Be careful when brining a kosher bird - often they are already pretty salty and a full brining time will result in an overly salty bird. I recommend halving the brining time when using a kosher turkey.
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