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Thread: Do brined turkeys cook A LOT faster than unbrined? Mine did...

  1. #1

    Do brined turkeys cook A LOT faster than unbrined? Mine did...

    Alton's recipe said 2.5 hours, my turkey bag said 4 hours for a 16 pound turkey. My brined turkey is nearly done at 2.5 hours - and guests aren't arriving for another 1.5 hours! I did not do the 500 degrees for 30 minutes step - fear of smoke!

    Any suggestions? I think we'll skip appetizers and dive into the feast...


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    redding, ca usa
    Hi Laurie! I had this happen too. and I just realized this morning why. because they cook at a higher temp. previously I have cooked at 325 and never factored that in and my turkey the last 2 years was done way too early because of the higher temp. I sliced it wrapped it in foil. then put it in the oven for a little bit before serving to warm it.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Appleton, WI

    Thank you for posting this. I was planning on cooking my brined bird for 4 hours... Now I will go adjust my timing...
    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?

    Still food blogging, just not as often. Tummy Treasure!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    What temp are they supposed to be at? I did 15 minutes at 425 and am now down to 325 (only been in about 45 minutes so far). I didn't know brined turkeys were supposed to be cooked higher? Does it matter? (other than timing...)

  5. #5
    Same thing hapening here. I did the 500 degrees for about 20 minutes(got too smokey), then dropped it to 350. The temp is already at 140 degees inside the breast and has been in the oven only about an hour. I dropped the temp to 300 degrees to slow the cooking--hope it works.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I am so glad I logged on and saw this thread!! My bird is brining as we speak....

  7. #7

    The turkey was great...

    Well, after all that concern, the turkey was done in 3 hours (not 4!), we let it sit in the (turned off) oven for 30 minutes, and then put it on the counter, well wrapped in foil and towels. We heated up the last minute things, carved the turkey, and everything was delicious. I was worried that it wouldn't even be warm by the time everyone arrived, or that it would be dried out - neither problem happened. We did skip the appetizers, though, and ate right after the guests got there!

    I'm still wondering if there is something in the brining process that causes the turkey to cook faster. I know it wasn't my oven - I kept an eye on that temp with a thermometer.

    In any case, it was great, and I know we'll try that again - but plan on about an hour less time for that size bird. I guess my issue today was better than a turkey that wasn't thawed in time nor cooked in time!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    way "upstate New York"
    I can remember when I was younger, back in the 50' ,my Mom put a 12-15lb bird in the oven at 5:30 in the morning and we were lucky if it was done at 2PM.
    Maybe it was because it didn't have all the water/salt injections that todays birds have. Tasted a heck of a lot better too!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Vancouver, Canada
    A lot of turkeys were overcooked before the days of probe thermometers. I think that is why turkeys took longer to cook Also, the turkey company will try to cover their butts by giving you the longest possible cooking time so you don't end up with salmonella. Of course, these are just my crazy theories and have not been scientifically tested.
    Understand, when you eat meat, that something did die. You have an obligation to value it - not just the sirloin but also all those wonderful tough little bits.
    Anthony Bourdain

  10. #10
    I used the probe thermometer on my brined turkey. I inserted it in the breast (which is supposed to be fine) and set the thermometer to yell at me when it was 165 degrees. My 12.5# turkey took just 1.5hours?!?!?! I didn't trust it...and kept it in for another 1/2 hour..oh i had started first 30minutes at 450 and dropped it down to 350....but when it had rested for quite some time (now i was rushing to get everything ELSE ready as i was planning on turkey taking about 2.5 to 3 hours) and i went to carve it nothing but the breast was actually done I ended up carving it and putting everything back in the oven. It still tasted great..but was a hassle and disappointing--so i'm confused. I have brined before with great success...i don't think that was the issue. I wanted the initial high temp for the crispy crust...but now i'm wondering if i should have shielded the breast with foil right after the first 30minutes to slow it all down. I'm in the midst of Alton's "Romancing the Bird"....a little too late i guess for advice...but does anyone know why?

  11. #11
    Oh geez...Alton said to put a foil triangle right over the breast after the first high heat and learn i guess For his 14# bird he said it would take a total of 2 that is somewhat faster than the charts suggest.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I checked our 16 pounder after 3 hours and my thermometer reached 162F - perfect After some resting it was almost 170F and we were ready to go.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Waterford, MI
    Mine always cooks faster too. I think partly because you don't stuff it and I know my mom always stuffs her turkey and she cooked a 20 pounder and it took over 5 hours with stuffing in it. I never stuff my turkey and that cuts down how long it takes to cook too. My aunt stuffed her turkey and it was dry and it was a Kosher turkey which is basically like a brined.


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