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Thread: Help with Turkey Thawing/Brining Question!

  1. #1
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    Help with Turkey Thawing/Brining Question!

    I have a 14.5 lb. turkey. We are doing our T-Day on Saturday, November 14. So if a turkey takes 24 hours for each 5 lbs to thaw and 35 hours to brine, does this sound right?

    Put frozen turkey in fridge Mon morning (Nov.9) to thaw 3 days. Put in brine (in fridge) Thursday night (Nov 12) and then brine until Sat (Nov 14) afternoon?

    Will this work?? Will i have any issues if the turkey is not completely frozen when i put it in the brine?

    First time brining!!
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

  2. #2
    The brine time is too long, I think. CI recommends 8 hours in one place and 6-12 in another; Alton brown recommends 8 to 16 hours. Since yours is a medium-sized turkey, I wouldn't go over 12.

  3. #3
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    I will look what recipe I printed off, i'm sure i got it from this board.

    Im just having math issues today!
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Brine time depends on the salt concentration, but for the 12 pounder we did on Saturday, 1 3/4 cup Morton kosher salt in 2 gallons water for 12 hours (basically overnight) was just about right and I think 8 hours would have been fine.

    Higher salt concentration, less brine time. Lower salt, less brine time. I believe CI recommended lower salt, longer brine for really big turkeys (like 20-24 pounders) because you needed that time for the brine to penetrate the "thicker" layer of meat. It's buried in my old annuals but I can look it up if you'd like.

    Michelle

  5. #5
    I got the 8-12 hour time frame (even for larger turkeys, 18-24 pounds) from CI's 9/08 article "Brining," and the "no more than 8 hours" time frame from their "Basics of Brining" PDF. They also have a recipe for "Roasted Brined Turkey" that calls for either a short, 4-6 hour brine (with higher salt concentration) or a longer, 12-14 hour brine (lower salt concentration).

  6. #6
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    Here is the recipe from Food & Wine - looks like there isn't tons of salt, maybe that is why the brine time is that long? Also, this recipe is for a 12 lb turkey, do you think I will have to adjust the measurements for a 14.5 lb?

    Deep-Fried Turkey Brined in Cayenne & Brown Sugar

    Ingredients
    3 cups packed light brown sugar (about 1 1/4 pounds)
    1 1/2 cups Dijon mustard
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons salt
    2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
    2 gallons cold water
    1 bunch of thyme
    1 head of garlic, separated into cloves and crushed
    One 12-pound turkey
    2 1/2 gallons vegetable oil

    Directions
    In a large stockpot, whisk the brown sugar with the mustard, salt and cayenne. Gradually whisk in the water, then add the thyme and garlic. Add the turkey, cover and brine in the refrigerator for 35 hours.

    In a turkey fryer or an 18-quart or larger stockpot, bring the oil to 400°; this can take up to an hour. Remove the turkey from the brine and pat it dry inside and out with paper towels. Transfer the turkey to a frying basket, breast side up.
    Lower the turkey into the hot oil and fry for 3 minutes per pound, 36 minutes. Lift the basket out of the fryer and drain the turkey on a rack set over a rimmed baking sheet for 15 minutes. Carve and serve.


    ETA; I googled and just found the same recipe on Butterball site, and it's exactly the same except says brine overnight. I may just brine overnight and be done with it!!!

    I just want to be sure that i don't screw it up!!!
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

  7. #7
    Interesting! Or maybe because it's deep fried rather than roasted? The brine times I've seen are for roasted turkeys, I think - I'm not sure if there's a difference if you're frying? Sorry I can't be of more help.

  8. #8
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    After I posted, that's what I was starting to think, maybe it's because of deep frying why the brine time is so long.

    I think i'm going to follow the instructions and go with my first post as far as timing for thawing and brining and cooking. I would love any more comments from anyone who may have anything to suggest/comment on!

    TIA!!!
    Everyone needs to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer. . .

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