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Thread: Brining a Butterball turkey?

  1. #1

    Brining a Butterball turkey?

    Hi everyone. I want to brine my turkey using the Apple Cider Recipe. However, after reading through some of these threads, I realize I screwed up by buying a Butterball turkey. I can't return the turkey and get a fresh one(I tried) But I don't want my turkey to taste like salt.

    So what should I do? Should I alter the recipe by cutting down the salt or omit the salt all together. I still want my turkey to have a slight hint of apple flavor to it. Is it a lost cause? Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks so much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
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    Massachusetts
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    Since I was just reading Cook's Illustrated's article on turkeys and brining I think I can answer this.

    If you bought a frozen "self basting" turkey you most definitely will not want to brine it. The self basting turekys are injected with a solution which contains salt and if you brine one of these turkeys it will be "inedibly salt laden" (this was how CI referred to it- although I may not have used their exact phrase).

    I don't know how effective soaking the turkey in just the apple cider would be, but it certainly can't hurt. I made the chicken for the recipe you are referring to, and you can always reduce the cider for the basting glaze and use that as well to impart some cider flavor.

    HTH!
    -Kim

  3. #3
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    I wouldn't brine it but others seem to have no problem with the extra salt of the brine with a previously injected bird. What you might try is making a glaze of the brine (sans the salt and ice); simmer the apple cider and other ingredients until it's reduced to maybe 2 or 3 cups and then inject some of it into the bird and baste with the remaining...JMHO!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  4. #4
    We are brining for the first time this year and also have a butterball turkey. Our friend has brined a number of times said her turkeys always come out great and she uses butterball. She said they aren't salty at all. Hopefully she is right.

  5. #5
    I've brined a Butterball. The result was a slimy, overly-processed yucky turkey. You'll have a perfectly good turkey if you just roast the Butterball as is. It might not be as good as a fresh turkey brined in your own brine, but it will still be good and everyone will probably enjoy it.

  6. #6
    Do you all think just soaking it in the apple cider mix without the salt would infuse any flavor??

  7. #7
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    I believe Butterball also sells a natural (unbasted) turkey. Perhaps that is what your friend has been brining.
    Susan

    So many books--So little time.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Originally posted by sushibones
    I believe Butterball also sells a natural (unbasted) turkey. Perhaps that is what your friend has been brining.
    Yes, I think the question here isn't so much a Butterball turkey, but a fresh vs. frozen turkey. Fresh turkeys are untreated and therefore benefit from a brine, and frozen turkeys are (generally) treated with a solution, so you wouldn't want to brine. Butterball does sell both-we had a fresh Butterball last year, which was wonderful even without brining.

    -Kim

  9. #9
    I just checked ran to see what we had in the frig. It is a fresh, unbasted one. I was in a panic for a second. I'm not sure what our friend used. Probably right about it being this kind though. Thank you for clearing it up for me.

  10. #10
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    we had the apple cider brined turkey a few weeks ago at our supper club, I thought the leftovers were unedible because they were so salty. I do know the turkey was a butterball. I need to find out also what kind of salt she used since it calls for Kosher salt. I was wondering if she used regular table salt, which I understnad can make it saltier.

    I have brined turkeys for the last 2 years and havent had this happened. I just bought generic frozen turkeys, I never looked to see if they were injected with anything.

    laurie

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