Sunday, January 10, 2010

To Brine or Not To Brine

The Marathon of Cooking continued into Christmas Day.
Last year, one of my coworkers was singing the praises of brining--oh how moist and flavorful his turkey was. So when I found a recipe for a brined turkey, I was all about it. All you had to do was soak the turkey overnight in a refrigerator with a brine that had a bunch of seasonings and salt. Easy, right? Ok, think about this for a minute--soak an 18 pound turkey overnight completely submerged in a liquid in a refrigerator. Right.

Thus began my fervent internet searches. What in the world will hold an 18 pound turkey and enough brine to completely submerge it that will also fit in the refrigerator? Then I found a recommendation that sounded reasonable--buy a styrofoam cooler that will fit in the refrigerator. Well, that worked fine...until the side broke off the styrofoam cooler and brine soaked the refrigerator floor and garage. Check it out.

Eventually I settled on brining the turkey breast side down in the roaster. Not completely submerged, but I couldn't take it anymore.

I'll tell you this, though. Not thinking, I left the turkey breast side down when I put it in the oven the next morning. Everyone was laughing when I took it out of the oven. Yet when we cut into it, it was the most moist turkey I've ever cooked. Brining or cooking it upside down? I can't tell you why it was so good, but I might just try both again!

Here's Jeff doing the carving honors!

1 comment:

  1. My husband has brined a turkey several times, but he does it ghetto-style, which is code for "leaves it out all night." He fills a bucket with brine and just chucks the turkey in there. No one's died yet, so I guess it's OK.