How to Brine a Turkey and Should You Brine Your Turkey
Before we look at how to brine a turkey let's consider if we should bother to brine a turkey.
You only need to worry about how to brine a turkey if you are absolutely certain that you want to brine your turkey. If you are positive that you want information for how to brine a turkey click here for: wet brine, click here for: dry brine - but understand that ALL TURKEY SHOULD NOT BE BRINED. If you want more information about whether or not you should brine your turkey please continue to read.
Should You Brine a Turkey? Do You Want to Brine your Turkey?
People are starting to realize that the brining process can make a big difference in the flavor, texture, and juiciness of turkeys.
Many chefs and a large part of the turkey industry have known about and used this technique or a variation of it for years. This is one of the reasons that it may not be a good idea to brine your turkey - it may have already been brined when you purchased it.
So, the first step in brining a turkey is selecting a bird which has not
A kosher turkey is another product that might not need brining. As part of the kosher processing it is treated with salty water and it too is essentially already brined.
The Kind of Turkey to Select if you want to Brine a Turkey
If you are going to brine your own turkey you need a turkey labeled "natural"
or "minimally processed" or "no additives" bird.
Why Brine a Turkey?
Why should you worry about how to brine a turkey especially since you can purchase turkeys that have already been brined?
The process is not difficult, but it can take up space and time. The primary reason to brine is to infuse flavor into the meat. Turkey skin is waterproof and it doesn't let much flavor pass through into the meat. This is the reason that basting a turkey may flavor the skin but it does little to flavor the actual turkey meat.
There is a chemical process (osmosis) that will allow salt, moisture, and associated flavors to move through the skin and into the meat. It will also tenderize the meat as it opens spaces between muscle fibers and promotes juiciness. Brining creates the atmosphere that allows this process to take place. And, when you do your own brining, you decide what flavors are introduced into the meat.
How to Brine a Turkey
Do you have the time and space the enthusiasm and a container and a turkey that is "natural?" If your answer is yes then there is good reason to brine it yourself. You take control of the time, technique, ingredients and flavor introduced into the bird. Brining a turkey is a big step toward perfection and when you brine your turkey yourself you will know exactly what has been added to your bird.
If you are ready, your next step is to choose between two brining techniques Wet Brining and Dry Brining.
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