Turkey brining mistakes

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by snewman, Sep 15, 2009.

  1. snewman

    snewman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    I could use a little advice here. I'm planning a big Thanksgiving meal with the goal of the whole table being filled with things I raised, including the turkey. I have BBW turkeys and had one that I had to process early because she broke a wing. I considered it a dry run for the big day and wanted to try brining, especially since she was young and didn't have much fat on her. I had never brined before. The process went fine, it cooked well and tasted good. However, the skin never got crisp (is this because there was no fat?) and the gravy I made from the juices was, well, unbearably salty. I did rinse the bird after brining, but maybe not enough? Is there a way to do this and still be able to make edible gravy?
     
  2. deb1

    deb1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2008
    NC
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  3. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    Let me start by saying that Alton Brown is my God. That being said, brining your bird will always make it more salty. I would imagine, since gravy is salty anyway, there would be no way to avoid super-salty gravy on a brined bird. You could always take the drippings from a chicken, cooked ahead of time and preserved, for your gravy.
     
  4. KDbeads

    KDbeads Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2009
    East Central VA
    I love that brine recipe! Alton Brown ROCKS. On the gravy though, I take the drippings, skim off the fat (still use it, just don't want it to interfere with my measuring) and dilute the rest by half with an equal portion of water or LOW/NO sodium chicken broth, makes a BIG batch of gravy that is a lot less salty. And I love gravy [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Mom will not eat a brined turkey or chicken, good thing she doesn't live anywhere near me [​IMG]


    ETA.... never had a problem with uncrispy skin with this recipe!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2009
  5. jaku

    jaku Chillin' With My Peeps

    As for crispy skin- did you cook it covered or uncovered? We usually uncover our chickens for about the last half hour, which makes the skin crisp. Not sure how long to do that on a turkey, but it will do the trick.
     
  6. pdpatch

    pdpatch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 5, 2008
    Hastings, Nebraska
    We don't use salt brine.

    We place the poultry in a large ice chest with ice water for 24 to 48 hours, then freeze the poultry.

    We do this for turkey's and chickens.

    To get crispy golden brown skin you have to uncover the turkey for the last 45 minutes to 1 hour of cooking.


    Tom
     
  7. snewman

    snewman Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 22, 2007
    Belleville, WI
    Thanks to all for the advice! Hopefully the big tom I have planned for Thanksgiving will be an improvement from this first experiment.
     

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