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To brine the turkey or not?

(26 Posts)
DragonsCanHop Tue 22-Dec-15 20:57:26

I haven't cooked a Turkey in years but I've bought a crown for this year.

I've seen some talk online about how wonderful brining is and I have all the ingredients to do it.

Should I bother, is it worth the faff?

Saz12 Tue 22-Dec-15 21:03:16

I brined last year and it was....OK.
Not that much of a faff, but then, not that much better than a non-brined bird, either. It was more salty than I would ordinarily have - not grim SALTY, but a little more so than usual.

DragonsCanHop Tue 22-Dec-15 21:06:40

I don't mind doing it if it is worth it, like OMG wow but, Ok... Hmm, not sure. Can I still put butter under the skin if I brine it?

bobinsky Tue 22-Dec-15 21:08:10

Yes, definitely. Nigella's is the one I use year after year!

DragonsCanHop Tue 22-Dec-15 21:11:48

Yes, it's the nigella one I have all the ingredients for although I've not got fresh ginger, I can't stand ginger and I would know it had played a part grin

bobinsky Tue 22-Dec-15 21:13:41

Go for it.....turkey and maple syrup taste great :-) I usually stick it in the afternoon before - only thing is you can't use the cooking juices as they are far too salty - but the turkey is lush!

Sheezus Tue 22-Dec-15 21:16:36

Made no difference in my experience.
Plenty butter under the skin and save yourself the bother.

Although, if you have all the ingredients just do it and make your own mind up.

Crikeyblimey Tue 22-Dec-15 21:17:46

I've brined in the past but have up a couple of years ago cos didn't feel it made that much difference to a quality turkey and as said above, you can't use the juices to add to your gravy cos it is too salty.
I just butter under skin and cook like I would a big chicken these days. I make stock from the giblets and add the roasting juices.
It is good but not worth the faff in my opinion.

GoooRooo Tue 22-Dec-15 21:18:06

I've done it and it made no difference at all.

That said I managed to make a really dry turkey last year and I've no idea what I did wrong (I didn't brine that one). I think more butter is probably the answer to everything.

Lightbulbon Tue 22-Dec-15 21:19:26

I've done it and they have been lovely.

Def worth the effort.

DragonsCanHop Tue 22-Dec-15 21:20:41

bobinsky I read two days before? Do you think I could pop it all in a container (plastic toy box with lid - clean!) in the garage on Thursday morning, take out Xmas eve morning to dry and then cook?

My crown is being delivered tomorrow so I could do either.

Thanks for the help

bobinsky Tue 22-Dec-15 21:27:58

The first time I did it I brined it 2 days before, but it was too salty for us - tbh, we've cut down on salt a lot in our house so probably notice it more. So a day of brining seemed to work fine for us. It wasn't too salty to eat, but too noticeable for us. 24 hours works for our family!

DragonsCanHop Tue 22-Dec-15 21:31:41

I like salt but Dh doesn't and then we have the DC to think about. I think I will try 24hrs wth less salt and feed it positive vibes!

wine flowers santa

I'll let you know how I get on smile

bobinsky Tue 22-Dec-15 21:38:24

Good luck, and merry Christmas!!

HolgerDanske Wed 23-Dec-15 00:29:48

Hmmm, we did it a couple years ago and all agreed it was disgusting. I'd never do it again. But clearly a lot of people are quite satisfied with it, so hopefully it'll all work out well for you.

whitershadeofpale Wed 23-Dec-15 00:39:16

We all love it. I'd never not brine it now. It's moist and means the leftovers are always willingly hoovered up.

LuisCarol Wed 23-Dec-15 00:56:01

www.seriouseats.com/2012/11/the-food-lab-the-truth-about-brining-turkey-thanksgiving.html

howtorebuild Wed 23-Dec-15 01:36:06

Have you tried the salt method?

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut Wed 23-Dec-15 11:33:38

Felicity Cloake in the Guardian advocates covering the turkey in butter soaked muslin as the best method:

www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/wordofmouth/2010/dec/20/how-to-cook-perfect-christmas-dinner#turkey-and-gravy

I can't vouch for it as I've never cooked a turkey in my life (never enough people: we have chicken). My FIL always just uses Delia's method with the foil tent, and it's perfectly nice and not dry. Brining seems like it would be a big pain in the arse to me, and I'm not convinced it would be worth it.

howtorebuild Wed 23-Dec-15 11:37:39

I turn chicken upside down, if it's a big bird, then brown the top. I may try that with my turkey crown.

SymphonyofShadows Wed 23-Dec-15 15:09:30

I'd rather do the Phil Vickery steaming method, and you get delicious wine infused juices and veg to blitz up for your gravy. I'm doing beef though.

Gatekeeper Wed 23-Dec-15 15:14:23

I tried it and wasn't impressed esp as you can't use all the lovely meat juices for gravy

bobinsky Fri 25-Dec-15 20:26:07

How did you get on Dragons? Ours went well again this year, a 3.5kg turkey crown between 6 adults and 3 kids - demolished! I know it's a disadvantage not being able to make a gravy from the juices, but I've plenty of frozen down chicken stock from the slow cooker and have used that.

sooperdooper Fri 25-Dec-15 20:30:52

I've used Nigellas recipe the last few years and it's lovely - not too salty at all! And we've used the meat juices to make gravy too, why wouldn't you? You drain the brine first, baste and cover in bacon

DilysMoon Fri 25-Dec-15 21:25:16

I tried it one year and noticed no difference so haven't bothered again.

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