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Do you "brine" your turkey?

(16 Posts)
HurdyGurdy Wed 05-Dec-18 17:48:05

I've just head the term for the first time on a Tesco advert. I have no idea what this even means, and I'm wonder if I should be doing it??

Anyone else brine a turkey, and if so, how, when - and why?


jusnoneed Wed 05-Dec-18 18:10:25

I have never done it but I know my cousins hubby in the USA always brines theirs. It's basically soaking the turkey in a brine solution, water/salt/sugar and you can add spices if you choose. It supposedly keeps the bird moist when you cook it.

Maggiemaybe Wed 05-Dec-18 18:43:20

That's strange, I've just seen the term for the first time today too. I wonder if it's a recent thing in this country?

I find a big slab of butter under a couple of old butter wrappers does the trick.

jusnoneed Wed 05-Dec-18 19:03:30

I suppose it's similar to the water that gets injected into poultry over here, I think the drying out is probably as much to do with over cooking as anything else.
I was watching a cookery programme a couple nights ago and Matt Tebbutt was cooking one he had brined. He did cook the legs and crown different times after taking legs off the bird. Said if you cook them together the breast meat will always be over cooked by the time you get the thick part of the legs done.

Witzend Fri 07-Dec-18 09:00:34

I never have. I think it's true though that if it's cooked enough for the thickest part of the leg, the breast will probably be overdone.
I used to cook mine upside down for most of the time, just turn it over for a while to brown the breast, but it was such a performance, turning over a very hot big turkey.

I read the other day of leaving it to rest upside down, so the juices drain into the breast and keep it moist. Can't think why I never thought of that - will def. try this year. Ours always rests for about an hour.

Teetime Fri 07-Dec-18 09:37:04

Nigella started this off a few years ago - there is an episode of Gavin and Stacey where Larry Lamb as the father talks about brining his turkey all the way through the programme - very funny episode.
No I dont do it I just cook it the way blessed Delia taught me and its fine.

shysal Fri 07-Dec-18 09:53:36

I have never tried it with a turkey - for that I use the Phil Vickery method - but brined a pork joint once which turned out very moist with great crackling.

Nanabilly Fri 07-Dec-18 10:14:19

I remember following the phil Vickers method last year but can't remember if I was happy with the results of not.!
Never heard of brining a turkey but just the word "brine" brings me out in a rash.
I will do my old trusty lots of butter and streaky bacon method again this year.

Davidhs Fri 07-Dec-18 11:16:12

I hadn't heard of brining turkeys, remembering my school science brine would tend to dry out meat, osmosis and all that.
The theory with turkeys is that it plumps up the breast meat and it cooks more slowly and of course the salt enhances the flavor. The other advantage is that brine is antibacterial so if there are any bugs about it will kill them.

phoenix Fri 07-Dec-18 12:17:30

The Phil Vickery method, tried for the first (and last time) resulted in a cracked hob! angry

Luckygirl Fri 07-Dec-18 12:42:46

I never do this - and have never heard of it.

I usually cook/steam my turkey - cover it in a loose housing of foil and then give it a massive hot blast in the oven, then turn down to about 140 and let it cook for 8 hours or even longer - moist and yummy. It steams in its foil and roasts at the same time.

HildaW Fri 07-Dec-18 14:18:17

Very much part of the US way of treating turkeys probably because their meat industries are so much more reliant on chemicals and drugs resulting in a lot of their meat having a very high water content...hence the need to brine the turkey to remove high levels of water and give it a bit of taste and texture. Much better to buy a decent quality bird IMO!

Poppyred Fri 07-Dec-18 14:30:42

Never heard of it until this year, therefore will ignore. 🙄🙄

HurdyGurdy Fri 07-Dec-18 22:46:16

Thanks for the replies. I don't think I'll be brining anything! I was just curious, as I'd never heard the phrase before it came on the Tesco advert.

We usually have a three or four bird roast done by our lovely butcher, so no need to worry about overcooking one part of the bird because of having to cook longer for another part.

Shirleyw Sat 08-Dec-18 06:10:25

I haven't brined a turkey before but I did consider it as nigella does it in her Christmas book but I always cook my turkey the Delia way.....legs intact lol.....

jusnoneed Sat 08-Dec-18 08:27:18

I don't have to worry about the turkey legs as I only buy a small crown - just to keep OH happy. I wouldn't bother with one at all. I prefer chicken.
Lamb for me and my son for our Christmas dinner.