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Thread: Cooler for brining a turkey

  1. #1

    Cooler for brining a turkey

    I am thinking of trying a brined bird this year. I don't have the refrigerator room. Would this Igloo cooler be big enough for a 10-12 pound turkey or should I go with something more in the lines of the 5 gallon one? I want to buy the right size so if I do a larger bird it will work and I won't have to buy another one in the future.

    It would be nice if it came in another color besides orange too!
    "Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven." - Yiddish Proverb

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    St Louis metro
    Posts
    3,672
    tea4one, I've always used a big huge cooler (the shape that looks like a miniature "coffin" syle freezer) to do my brining. My cooler got a leak this summer so we had to throw it out
    I'm not sure about the size you have pictured, but I wanted to warn you that if your brine recipe calls for garlic (most do) you won't get the smell out of the cooler. It was no biggie for us, but if that matters to you it's something to think about.
    I've always wanted to get a styrofoam cooler for brining so I could just toss it afterward, but I can never seem to find them in mid-Novemeber . I should have got one in the summer and stashed it away!!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    2,660
    Quote Originally Posted by boisewinesnob
    tea4one, I've always used a big huge cooler (the shape that looks like a miniature "coffin" syle freezer) to do my brining. My cooler got a leak this summer so we had to throw it out
    I'm not sure about the size you have pictured, but I wanted to warn you that if your brine recipe calls for garlic (most do) you won't get the smell out of the cooler. It was no biggie for us, but if that matters to you it's something to think about.
    I've always wanted to get a styrofoam cooler for brining so I could just toss it afterward, but I can never seem to find them in mid-Novemeber . I should have got one in the summer and stashed it away!!
    We use the same kind of cooler but line it with a garbage bag first so we don't have any transfer of germs/ odors. We put bags of ice in the cooler to take up the space where the turkey isn't, then put in bag, put the turkey in it and fill the bag with the brine. That way we don't have to make gallons of brine either!

    Tea 4 One, that cooler looks nice and big. I'm wondering though, if that style is more expensive than plain old coolers? The orange color is quite appropo for Thanksgiving though
    Barbara

    Nutella is love! - 9yr old ds

  4. #4
    I too use the coffin style. However, I have a refrigerator in my basement and I put the whole cooler in there. No ice in the cooler.

    The only way to figure out the size issue is to measure I think. Or put the turkey in before you unwrap it and if it doesn't work, return the cooler.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
    Posts
    257
    the cooler you have pictured should be plenty big enough. the plastic bag idea sounds like it would work to prevent flavors from being left behind, but i always clean my cooler with a final soak of water and baking soda to remove any odors and flavors.
    "If she ain't happy, then you ain't happy"
    Jeff Foxworthy

    Misplaced CA in PA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    orange county, CA
    Posts
    359
    I brine in a big rectangular cooler lined with trash bags (about 2-3 layers depending on how paranoid I feel.) I pour in the brine, plunk in the turkey, and tie each layer of bag with a twist tie. Then I plunk some bags of ice on top.

    I clean the cooler with a little bleach water after all is done, but this has worked great for me.

    One could argue the trashbags aren't food safe, but I am not too worried. I think I'm more nervous about salmonella, rational or not.

    Your cooler would probably work, but I wouldn't use it for dispensing drinks as the brine probably would leave a taste??? (Like tupperware)

    I bought a special foodstorage 5 gallon bucket for brining, and never used it as I
    couldn't figure out how to keep it foodsafe cool, and my husband came up with the trashbag cooler method. Smart guy!

    Good luck with brining, it really improves the turkey.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    6,504
    I had this strange idea for a brining vessel this year, and I'm not sure if it would work. I thought about buying a box of those new Ziplock "Big Bags". They advertise them for sports equipment, out of season clothes, etc. Anyway, put the bird in there, fill it with brine, and not have to worry about fitting an actual container in my 2nd fridge. Any thought about this? I'm intially thinking no, because the liquid will just slosh around and not actually cover the bird.

    I guess maybe what I'll do is put the bird and brine in one of these bags, and then stick it in our upright cooler so that it maintains the right shape.
    In a nutshell, I'm saying no to fishbread.
    - Wendy W - CLBB

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