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Old 11-16-2011, 10:19 PM   #1
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Turkey questions

Since I"m still thinking about how I"m going to do my turkey, curiousity got me and I saw the Alton Brown videos after reading the post regarding Alton Brown. These are pretty general questions so I figured it would be best to start a new post.

1. where do you get a big bucket like that if you brine?
2. he said brine 6-8 hours. Is it going to hurt to brine it longer? I'd like to put it in the brine before I go to bed Wednesday night. Dinner probably won't be until 2pm ish Thursday.
3. I'm thinking about not trussing though. Any input on not doing that?

Thanks!!!

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Old 11-16-2011, 10:28 PM   #2
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I can only answer the first question. We have a neighborhood pool, and I save the big plastic buckets they sell the chlorine tabs in. Otherwise, the pool folks throw them away. Rinse them very, very, very well. Spray with bleach solution. Rinse again. Then line your bucket with a plastic garbage bag or huge ziplock. Brine away.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:05 PM   #3
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1. Home Depot/Lowe's sells empty buckets.
2. It may or may not hurt, depending on the salt content. As a general rule, you brine for less time with more salt in the water and less time with less salt. If you brine longer with more salt, the meat becomes salty. Likewise, if you're in a time pinch you can add more salt and reduce he brining time. I've never used Alton Brown's recipe for brining turkey but you can always cut the salt to brine for longer. Worst-case scenario it's slightly underseasoned which is way better than overseasoned. If you're making gravy, you can compensate for the lack of salt in the turkey if need be.
3. Trussing will help it cook more evenly and you will have a better turkey. It's only the slightest inconvenience to truss the bird properly versus the benefit it gives.

Hope this helps.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:36 PM   #4
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1. Another vote for home depot for 5 gallon buckets with lids.

2. I always put the turkey in the brine Wednesday night before I go to bed and cook it mid-day Thursday. Never had a problem.

3. I don't truss. the turkey still cooks great.

You may be looking at a different recipe. This is the recipe for Alton Brown's Good Eats Roast Turkey. Good Eats Roast Turkey Recipe : Alton Brown : Food Network It's the one everyone raves about.

It doesn't call for trussing the turkey and says to put the turkey into the brine the night before or early on the day of cooking and brine for 8-16 hours.
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Old 11-16-2011, 11:44 PM   #5
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What Andy said.


I brine mine in a big cooler in a ginormous ziplock.
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Old 11-17-2011, 08:06 AM   #6
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I'll assume that when you place the turkey into the brine the night before - the turkey should already be defrosted and not frozen right? Also, does it matter what kind of bird to buy "fresh vs. frozen" if using the Alton Brown brining method or any brining method. I think that will do it. I'm almost ready to tackle the turkey project. ; )
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:26 AM   #7
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Yes it needs to be completely thawed with innards removed.

Has anyone tried brining bags? I've seen them all over this year.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:27 AM   #8
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I use our big tall, round orange drink cooler. The kind you see football players pour Gatorade over their coach after a winning game.

It has a nice carrying handle on it and, since it's cylindrical, the turkey is nestled nicely in the brine. Plus, when I'm ready to get rid of the brine, I just put the cooler near the edge of the sink and push the spigot to let it run out. Or, at least enough for me to safely pour the rest into the sink without making a mess.

And, yes, the turkey should be thawed if you have purchased a frozen one. I've brined fresh and frozen turkeys and haven't discerned any difference between them. They've both been wonderful.
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Old 11-17-2011, 09:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I save the big plastic buckets they sell the chlorine tabs in.
Quote:
Originally Posted by no mayonnaise View Post
1. Home Depot/Lowe's sells empty buckets.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
1. Another vote for home depot for 5 gallon buckets with lids.
PLEASE do Not do this!

These are not Food Grade plastic buckets and will leach
toxic chemicals into the Turkey.
I would hope that you and your family's health is worth more to
you than the $5 or so that these dangerous buckets cost.

Check with the Bakery Dept. at some grocery stores. They
should have some buckets around that had frosting or other types
of food in them and are safe to use. Often they are FREE or only
a dollar or two. Also you can buy quality food grade buckets
at any "Home Brew" type place where people can buy equipment
for making Beer & Wine at home.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Pine View Post
PLEASE do Not do this!

These are not Food Grade plastic buckets and will leach
toxic chemicals into the Turkey.
I would hope that you and your family's health is worth more to
you than the $5 or so that these dangerous buckets cost.

Check with the Bakery Dept. at some grocery stores. They
should have some buckets around that had frosting or other types
of food in them and are safe to use. Often they are FREE or only
a dollar or two. Also you can buy quality food grade buckets
at any "Home Brew" type place where people can buy equipment
for making Beer & Wine at home.
I'm thinking that the garbage bag to line the bucket isn't such a hot idea either. I am always careful that the plastic/plastic bags that my food touches is food grade.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:35 AM   #11
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As Al Pine says, stop by your grocery store bakery and ask them if they have a big bucket that frosting came in. A busy store will likely have empty ones, as they will go through multiple buckets weekly, otherwise they just throw them away.

Another option is the Home Depot bucket, with a brining bag in it. I bought a pack of 2 brining bags at Target last night for around $6. If you have a bucket and are not sure if it is food grade, this is a good solution. I try to only use food grade plastics.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:59 AM   #12
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Just buy the large ziplock bags as liners.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:03 PM   #13
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That's interesting that you are mentioning the plastic leaching into the brine solution. The reverse action can happen, too. Plastic can actually draw the nutrients out of kibble dog food, and I imagine other foods, too, if it's not food grade. I'm always telling people not to pour their dog's food into a plastic garbage can, leave it in the bag and set the bag in the can.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Just buy the large ziplock bags as liners.

Jen, how big are these bags? I looked at the market this morning and the biggest I saw for food was 2.5 gallons.

Someone else mentioned brining bags???
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M.

Jen, how big are these bags? I looked at the market this morning and the biggest I saw for food was 2.5 gallons.

Someone else mentioned brining bags???
I got mine at Target, they were in the area where they were merchandising roasters and other holiday type cookware and tools, a special display.
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Old 11-17-2011, 01:47 PM   #16
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I got mine at Target, they were in the area where they were merchandising roasters and other holiday type cookware and tools, a special display.
Thanks bakechef, how big are they (in gallons)?
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:36 PM   #17
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Jen, how big are these bags? I looked at the market this morning and the biggest I saw for food was 2.5 gallons.

Someone else mentioned brining bags???

I am assuming that the golden retriever size is made from the same plastic as their smaller bags. But they might not be.

But if it's not I still wont lose any sleep over it.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:16 PM   #18
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1. Home Depot buckets are not food grade plastic and may oe may not be safe to use for food, especialy when you using salt.
2. I do not think it will hurt any if you put the turkey into brine before going to sleep and take it out first thing in the morning.
3. Have no idea what "trussing" means have to look it up in a dictioanary.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:17 PM   #19
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P.S. Should have read what people said already, would not have to post about un-safe buckets.
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Old 11-17-2011, 03:48 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy M. View Post
Jen, how big are these bags? I looked at the market this morning and the biggest I saw for food was 2.5 gallons.

Someone else mentioned brining bags???
You should be able to find these at most all stores this time of
the year....they should work great to brine a Turkey in.


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