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Thread: Brine an injected turkey???

  1. #1

    Brine an injected turkey???

    Can or should I brine an already injected turkey? I bought a Private Selection (Kroger Brand) turkey that was already injected with 8% solution. I'd still like to brine but wonder if it would make my turkey too salty. Should I just salt and slather the bird with butter and bake?

  2. #2
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    We always brine standard store-brand turkeys and don't find that they are too salty. I haven't tried Kroger brand, but I'd guess the 8% solution is standard.

  3. #3
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    I always brine my plain old grocery store turkey that's been injected. Works great every year.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  4. #4
    What a relief! It's great to know that since I'm cooking turkey for 25 or so people this Sunday (gathering of friends) and would hate for it bird to be inedible. I take it you don't adjust the salt any from a brine recipe?

  5. #5
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    The one I use seems to have less salt than many. It's an apple cider brined turkey, and I can't seem to find the recipe at the moment. I better find it quick!
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrswaz View Post
    The one I use seems to have less salt than many. It's an apple cider brined turkey, and I can't seem to find the recipe at the moment. I better find it quick!
    Is it the one from Bon Appetit?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cafe Latte View Post
    Is it the one from Bon Appetit?
    Thank you! That's where it was, saved in my recipe box on Epicurious.

    Here is a link to the recipe if anyone is interested. I just use the brine and baking directions along with the glaze, and skip the sage broth/stuffing as well as the gravy.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrswaz View Post
    Thank you! That's where it was, saved in my recipe box on Epicurious.

    Here is a link to the recipe if anyone is interested. I just use the brine and baking directions along with the glaze, and skip the sage broth/stuffing as well as the gravy.
    I think I'm going to give this brine recipe a try this year. Sounds delicious and has great reviews. Thanks for posting!

    Just a couple of questions for you mrswaz--do you do as the recipe recommends and start brining two days ahead (brine overnight, then rinse and rest in fridge overnight)? I just called DH to ask him to pull the turkey out of the freezer. I'm starting to worry that I'm running a day behind! Maybe I can brine all day Wednesday, then rinse and rest overnight Wednesday? If I need to, I suppose I can speed up any remaining defrosting on Wednesday morning using the cold water technique. (fyi--Our turkey is 14 lbs and we're planning to eat around 4ish on Thursday.) Like you, I think I'll just do the brine and glaze and skip the broth/stuffing/gravy. Have you ever made gravy using the pan drippings from this recipe? My Mom always makes great gravy using pan drippings, so I thought I'd put her in charge of that. I'm so NOT a turkey expert, so I appreciate any advice you can share!

  9. #9
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    I do start brining two days ahead. On the rare occasion where my turkey is not completely thawed, I'll usually run cold water in the cavity for a while to try and thaw it, but then I'll just pop it in the brine where it continues to defrost anyway.

    I think with a smaller turkey like yours, brining it all day and then draining overnight seems like a good compromise. I would give it as long as you possibly can in the brine before pulling it out to drain overnight.

    It always seems counter-intuitive to me to pull the turkey out of the brine and then leave it overnight with no covering, but this recipe hasn't failed me yet.

    Last year I used a make-ahead gravy base and then used the drippings to finish it off. Best. Gravy. Ever. I used this recipe from Food.com (formerly Recipezaar) and used chicken broth as the base.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

  10. #10
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    Brining an injected turkey sounds redundant ... not to mention the risk of it being over the top salty.

  11. #11
    We celebrated Thanksgiving with friends this past Sunday. There was a gathering of 15 adults and 19 kids where I served 2 brined, injected turkeys with great success. Everybody raved. Most had never heard of brining before and several are going to attempt it this year. I was a little concerned, esp. when I cut a bit of the breast meat and pan fried it to give it a taste before roasting day. It tasted salty, but I had forgotten to rinse the piece off before cooking it. I would recommend thoroughly rinsing your bird and letting it air dry if possible before roasting. I'm getting ready to brine another turkey and breast of turkey tonight for Thanksgiving. Thanks Meganator and Mrswaz for your advice!!

  12. #12
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    Many, many thanks for the advice, mrswaz! Your gravy recommendation sounds easy and great too, so I may do the same.

    And thanks for coming back to report on your success, Apricot!

    I read on the Pioneer Woman's blog that in addition to thoroughly rinsing the brined turkey, you should also soak it for 15 minutes in cold water if you're worried about the drippings being too salty for gravy.

    I don't know why I get so worked up over Thanksgiving. I suppose it's lack of practice. I really should try to roast more than one turkey a year so I'll feel more confident. Last year I put my Mom in charge of the turkey, and she just slow roasts and bastes with butter. The turkey was so dry, the meat crumbled. My parents still liked it since it's the way their Thanksgiving turkey has always tasted, but DH and I think we can do better. I've brined somewhat successfully before (I say "somewhat" because it was hard to completely enjoy what I thought was a moist, successful turkey when DH kept commenting that it's so moist it must not be done!), so I'm eager to try again.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    Laura

  13. #13
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    Thank you, mrswaz! Our turkey was the best I've ever had! It's absolutely delicious and actually one of my favorite items on the plate. (I'm usually much more of a side-dish girl.) Like you, I did the brine and the glaze. I could definitely taste the apple cider, but it's not overwhelming at all. Very moist and great flavor and definitely not too salty. We used a basic frozen Jennie-O Turkey that I got for $7, so I assume it was already injected. The only changes I made: I added some fresh rosemary and peppercorns to the brine; my ratio for the glaze was more like 1 1/4 c. cider to 1 stick butter; and I filled the cavity with 1 orange and fresh herbs (parsley, sage, thyme). Oh, and I used the Pioneer Woman's technique of soaking the rinsed bird in fresh cold water for 15 minutes prior to letting it sit in the fridge. I did sort of run a day behind on the 2-day brining process. I soaked the turkey in the brine for about 12 hours (overnight Wednesday), and then it rested in the fridge after the rinse/soak for only 4 hours (Thursday morning). I made sure it was dried very well when it went into the fridge. It tasted perfect to me.

    The pan drippings made incredible gravy with a bit of homemade chicken stock (very low salt), water, and flour added. (I should have watched Mom more closely to see exactly what she did, but I was busy wrangling two hungry toddlers at that point.)

    I feel so much more excited and confident about cooking a turkey now!

    Thank you again!

    Laura

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by charley View Post
    Brining an injected turkey sounds redundant ... not to mention the risk of it being over the top salty.
    Ah, but you weren't paying attention in chemistry class, were you?

    Actually, I was afraid of the same thing at first, but we've done it and I understand now why it works fine. If you do it right, you can actually reduce the amount of salt in that injected bird. Instead of a cup and a half of Kosher salt in 8 qts of liquid, we used a cup. The solution is then less salty than the "ideal" brine solution and when you put the turkey in it, the juices in turkey, including the natural and injected juices, will mix with the brine and the salinity will work to reach an equilibrium throughout. If there was more salt in the bird than in the brine, you will wind up pulling out salt and adding flavor. In our case, the bird had leaked out all over the fridge, so we did a brine at the last minute to make sure it wasn't dry and that the liquid that leaked out didn't leave salt behind. That's why we went with less salt -- and I like it a bit less salty anyway. I'm enough of a science nerd to understand the concept, but not enough to figure out just what 8% solution means and the ratio of salt to brine liquid. But if anyone feels the need, go right ahead and let us know.

  15. #15
    Thanks for the Chem 101 lesson!! I remember hearing Alton Brown talk about it once, but needed a refresher course apparently. I can now explain it better to my non brining friends.

  16. #16
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    Just want to thank Mrswaz for suggesting the BA brine recipe--I combined the brine with aromatics of apple and onion suggested by a recipe from AB--the result--the best turkey I've cooked in 42 years!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Apricot View Post
    Thanks for the Chem 101 lesson!! I remember hearing Alton Brown talk about it once, but needed a refresher course apparently. I can now explain it better to my non brining friends.
    LOL I was chuckling about this and telling DH about it. but it made sense. When we thought about it, we had one turkey that was too salty -- and it was a year or two before we started brining them. I think the one we just did has convinced me to continue brining them.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by LHBryan View Post

    I feel so much more excited and confident about cooking a turkey now!

    Thank you again!

    Laura
    Yay! I'm so glad to hear it all worked out for you! We had our Thanksgiving yesterday and I did not make enough gravy. We had enough for dinner, but I only have about 1/4 cup of the gravy made from those drippings for all the leftovers.

    Quote Originally Posted by JJeannette View Post
    Just want to thank Mrswaz for suggesting the BA brine recipe--I combined the brine with aromatics of apple and onion suggested by a recipe from AB--the result--the best turkey I've cooked in 42 years!
    Isn't that brine awesome!? It also works well to use that brine and then grill your turkey. We had two birds yesterday- one in the oven and one on the grill, and both turned out wonderfully. It would take a very special brine recipe to get me to not make this one every year.
    Merry: I don't think he knows about second breakfast, Pip.
    Pippin: What about elevenses? Luncheon? Afternoon tea? Dinner? Supper? He knows about them, doesn't he?


    I'm food bloggin' almost daily at Tummy Treasure!

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