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Old 12-22-2012, 10:16 PM   #1
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Where to brine my turkey?

So I think this is proper forum, but I am planning my christmas dinner, or rather I have it all planned out except for the brine. I have a 17 lb. frozen turkey that doesn't say anywhere not to brine the turkey. So I am planning on a brine, but I can't figure out where to put the turkey. My thought is to put the turkey in a cooler (big enough for the turkey, water and easy to move). But then what do I do with the cooler? I'm living in MN so it's cold right now and supposed to be highs of 20 and 18 the next 2 days (10 on Christmas, yay!). So I am guessing that leaving the turkey outside would result in freezing water or a frozen turkey or just not good. I could put it in my garage but the garage is still warmer than a refrigerator, so what do I do? Is it ok to put ice in the cooler, in which case how do I compensate the water amount? I will be doing an overnight brine, so according to the recipe I'm using (cook illustrated's) it is 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of water. Help please!

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Old 12-23-2012, 12:21 AM   #2
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Overnight in the garage will be fine.
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:13 AM   #3
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Could you crack a window in the garage? My mom's root cellar has a vent to the outside for that purpose. Good luck!

(Otherwise, I'm sure a cold turkey, in cold water, in a cooler in a relatively cold garage would be fine. I'm sure a little ice in the water just to make sure it's nice and cold wouldn't hurt anything, but I wouldn't use too much)
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:52 AM   #4
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Replace some of the water in the brine with ice. Make sure the brine is cold, turkey is cold and then add ice, all in a cooler and set in the garage. There is an excellent chance that there will still be ice in the cooler the next morning.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjomall View Post
I'm living in MN so it's cold right now and supposed to be highs of 20 and 18 the next 2 days (10 on Christmas, yay!). So I am guessing that leaving the turkey outside would result in freezing water or a frozen turkey or just not good....
Salt lowers the freezing point of water, so you'll get some protection from freezing, but even 20 is probably too cold. As others have suggested, what I would do instead of putting it outside is put it in the garage instead. Your mileage may vary, but my attached garage stays approximately 10 degrees above whatever the outside temperature is. You should be fine. Even if it drops below the freezing point in the garage, that much salt water is not going to freeze immediately and should be okay overnight.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:18 AM   #6
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I am assuming you thawed the turkey; it must be for the brine to absorb. I place my turkeys in a leak proof plastic bag pour brine over turkey and seal bag. Shake the bag to coat the whole turkey. I place it in my refrigerator like this. If you do not have room in the refrigerator you can place in cooler and pack in ice. Remove the turkey occasionally and shake to keep the turkey marinated. Always make sure your cooler is packed with ice to keep turkey cold. I would not put it out in below freezing temperatures. Keeping the cooler packed with ice in the kitchen should work well.
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:03 AM   #7
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The salt lowers the freezing point of the water, but not the turkey. Ever made ice cream using salt water? Lol
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:04 AM   #8
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Put it in a ziplock bag with the brine in the cooler and pack with ice. Then leave it in the garage. Check once in awhile to Make sure ice has not melted.
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:52 AM   #9
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Put it in a ziplock bag with the brine in the cooler and pack with ice. Then leave it in the garage. Check once in awhile to Make sure ice has not melted.
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:22 AM   #10
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The salt lowers the freezing point of the water, but not the turkey. Ever made ice cream using salt water? Lol
Ever brined meat before?

In ice cream making, the cream/sugar mixture is separated from the brine by an impenetrable membrane, so there's no salt in the substance you are trying to freeze. Not the case here. The salt is absorbed by the turkey as well, and thus lowers the freezing point of the meat.
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