Everyday Food Blog

Thanksgiving Poll: To brine or not to brine?

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Does your bird take a flavor bath before roasting?

Some people think brining (submerging the turkey in a salt solution prior to roasting) is the answer to dried-out Thanksgiving turkeys. Others, including the famous kitchen scientist Harold McGee, think it's a superfluous step that may add moisture but does little for flavor. What's your take? Is it worth it to find a paint bucket/ice chest/garbage bag to hold your turkey (and refrigerator space to store it), or does old-fashioned dry-heat roasting have it covered? Vote!

And if you decide to brine, here's a spice-enhanced turkey brine you might want to try.

Thanksgiving Turkey: Brine or No Brine?

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Comments (6)

  • avatar

    Brining is so simple. You don't have to do anything fancy if you don't want to. Just equal parts salt and sugar is fine... My turkey was delicious...

  • avatar

    Hello,
    thanksgivin is coming so there are too many thanksgivin ideas ,recipes ,no suprise. I have a suggestion. Next weeek Muslims will be celebrating one of the biggest holidays: Eid al-Adha. They slaughter animals for the sake of God and share with friends and needy and poor. May be you can post somethign related whic woudl be useful for you Muslim readers,
    Thanks

  • avatar

    We do a "Judy Bird" dry brine every year and love, love, love it. =)

  • avatar

    EF Blog Typo Alert:

    You wrote "may add flavor but does little for moisture."

    You meant to write "may add moisture but does little for flavor".

    I'm with McGee, no brining for me.

  • avatar Author Comment:

    Thanks for the edit! We've corrected the post.

  • avatar

    Sorry, but I disagree. I've been doing a simple brine for the past few years, and last year I tried Martha's receipe - the one with juniper berries, and my birds always turn out delish! I get rave reviews from guests. The turkey's moist and the brine imparts a subtle flavor, which is what you want.

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