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Old 11-20-2006, 10:02 AM   #1
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Wink Brining Butterball turkey?

hi all! i am bent on brining my thanksgiving turkey this year--however, after all the reading everthing i have read says not to brine a prebasted turkey--i know that the turkey is just fine on its own--[butterball]--but i would like to try zested lemon, zested orange--etc. can i do this without the salt?? would it work???--please find a way for me..how much dammage can a little extrak kosher salt do anyway?? is the salt what makes it work???-help--oakey


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Old 11-20-2006, 10:09 AM   #2
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You can add the citrus flavors by just putting some quartered fruits into the cavity (assuming you're not stuffing).

If you are stuffing, make a compound butter with the citrus zests and spread it on the breasts under the skin.

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Old 11-20-2006, 10:14 AM   #3
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Yes it is the salt that makes the brine work. Without the salt you would actually do the opposite of what you are trying to do.

With your turkey, you would need to add a lot more salt to brine it a second time and chances are it would make the turkey taste way to salty.

I would go with Andy's suggestion.
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Old 11-20-2006, 10:22 AM   #4
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Have brined turkeys and find Butterball, without brining, to be equally as good if not better.

I would go with Andy and put the zest under the skin and toss some citrus into the cavity.

I have tried doing that and quite honestly cannot taste any difference it made. But that may be just my palate.

Happy Thanksgiving.
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Old 11-21-2006, 03:35 PM   #5
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There is a reason you keep finding information that shoots down your brining idea for a Butterball turkey. Brining is for fresh turkeys - look on the label for the word "fresh" and the "ingredients" label on the back to make sure the ingredients don't include the words "broth" or "salt"- the only ingredient should be "turkey" if you want to brine it. Self-basting turkeys are already loaded with all the salt they need - brining will make them too salty! Same goes for Kosher turkeys.

I'm not sure that your zest in the brine would really do that much good anyway. The flavor in the zest is an oil - and oil and water don't mix. It sounds like what you are really wanting to make is a marinade - which would be high in salt but also includes a large proportion of oil that could carry the citrus flavors into the meat along with the voodoo that the salt does.

I would go along with the idea of tossing some chopped citrus into the cavity (and make dressing instead of stuffing) and either place zest, or make a compound butter with zest, and put it under the skin. Another option might be to place thin cross-section slices of your citrus fruit under the skin.
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