Drying a brined turkey in the refrigerator

Discussion in 'Food and nutrition' started by Paul M. Cook, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. Paul M. Cook

    Paul M. Cook Guest

    We're doing a brined turkey using the Alton Brown method. The only
    difference though is that I read in so many places that a brined bird has
    very soggy skin when cooked. So my solution was to pull it from the brine
    this morning after 12 hours and let it dry in the fridge, loosely covered to
    allow some air circulation.

    Any schools of thought on this? I guess I'm a tad nervous. I usually try a
    method before preparing it for guests. This time I'm winging it - so to
    speak.

    Will 24 hours be too much time or should I seal it up tight after say 12 or
    so?

    Paul
     
    Tags:


  2. On Wed 23 Nov 2005 02:46:21p, Thus Spake Zarathustra, or was it Paul M.
    Cook?

    > We're doing a brined turkey using the Alton Brown method. The only
    > difference though is that I read in so many places that a brined bird
    > has very soggy skin when cooked. So my solution was to pull it from the
    > brine this morning after 12 hours and let it dry in the fridge, loosely
    > covered to allow some air circulation.
    >
    > Any schools of thought on this? I guess I'm a tad nervous. I usually
    > try a method before preparing it for guests. This time I'm winging it -
    > so to speak.
    >
    > Will 24 hours be too much time or should I seal it up tight after say 12
    > or so?
    >
    > Paul


    Dunno, never tried it. I would proceed as planned, checking the skin
    periodically. When it feels the same as a non-brined turkey, I would seal
    it.

    --
    Wayne Boatwright *¿*
    _____________________________________________

    A chicken in every pot is a *LOT* of chicken!
     
  3. Susan

    Susan Guest

    x-no-archive: yes

    Paul M. Cook wrote:
    > We're doing a brined turkey using the Alton Brown method. The only
    > difference though is that I read in so many places that a brined bird has
    > very soggy skin when cooked. So my solution was to pull it from the brine
    > this morning after 12 hours and let it dry in the fridge, loosely covered to
    > allow some air circulation.
    >
    > Any schools of thought on this? I guess I'm a tad nervous. I usually try a
    > method before preparing it for guests. This time I'm winging it - so to
    > speak.
    >
    > Will 24 hours be too much time or should I seal it up tight after say 12 or
    > so?
    >
    > Paul
    >
    >


    <delurks> I rinse my brined turkey very thoroughly, then dry it very
    well inside and out with paper towels and let it sit, uncovered, in the
    fridge for several hours or even overnight. It's critical for it to be
    very dry not only for aesthetics, but a dry bird is much safer to cook;
    it won't cause oil boiling up or spattering.

    You're brave; I had a backup turkey in the oven my first time. :)

    Susan
     
  4. Paul M. Cook wrote:

    > We're doing a brined turkey using the Alton Brown method. The only
    > difference though is that I read in so many places that a brined bird has
    > very soggy skin when cooked. So my solution was to pull it from the brine
    > this morning after 12 hours and let it dry in the fridge, loosely covered to
    > allow some air circulation.
    >
    > Any schools of thought on this? I guess I'm a tad nervous. I usually try a
    > method before preparing it for guests. This time I'm winging it - so to
    > speak.
    >
    > Will 24 hours be too much time or should I seal it up tight after say 12 or
    > so?


    You're doing exactly the right thing. Letting the skin dry in the fridge
    will form a "pellicle" on the skin that will end up making the skin
    wonderfully crisp. Uncover it and let air get to all the surfaces.

    I'd say that it could have used more than the 12 hours, but no matter
    how long you've brined it, it'll be better than unbrined.

    Pastorio
     
  5. On Wed, 23 Nov 2005 21:46:21 GMT, "Paul M. Cook"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >We're doing a brined turkey using the Alton Brown method. The only
    >difference though is that I read in so many places that a brined bird has
    >very soggy skin when cooked. So my solution was to pull it from the brine


    You heard wrong. If you're following Alton's directions on cooking the
    turkey, it will NOT be soggy in the LEAST. Alton's directions (which I have
    followed carefully for the last three years), specifically have you start
    the bird in a 500 degree oven just to crisp up the skin and brown it. Trust
    Alton, he wouldn't give you a recipe that turned out a soggy bird.

    In fact, when you take the bird out of the brine and let it "dry" you're
    letting some of the brine out. Which is contrary to the whole point.

    Though I imagine it's far too late now, since you've already taken it out.

    But if you don't end up with a moist bird, don't blame the recipe or AB.
    The instructions say what they for a reason.

    --
    Siobhan Perricone
    "Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family,
    people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o and all the other things I can
    prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have."
    - Penn Jillette from his "This I Believe" essay
     
  6. Siobhan Perricone wrote:
    > On Wed, 23 Nov 2005 21:46:21 GMT, "Paul M. Cook"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>We're doing a brined turkey using the Alton Brown method. The only
    >>difference though is that I read in so many places that a brined bird has
    >>very soggy skin when cooked.


    Having brined literally hundreds and hundreds of chickens and turkeys,
    I've never seen one have soggy skin, no matter if rinsed, patted dry or
    dried to a pellicle surface.

    > So my solution was to pull it from the brine
    >
    > You heard wrong. If you're following Alton's directions on cooking the
    > turkey, it will NOT be soggy in the LEAST. Alton's directions (which I have
    > followed carefully for the last three years), specifically have you start
    > the bird in a 500 degree oven just to crisp up the skin and brown it. Trust
    > Alton, he wouldn't give you a recipe that turned out a soggy bird.
    >
    > In fact, when you take the bird out of the brine and let it "dry" you're
    > letting some of the brine out. Which is contrary to the whole point.


    In drying the bird, brine doesn't leak out particularly. What does
    happen is that the salt and soluble protiens form a slightly tacky
    pellicle on the skin that insures a crisp, browned skin in the cooking.
    Much like salted salmon will form that same sort of pellicle by drying
    before the smoking process. The surface becomes shiny.

    I take birds out of the brine 12 or so hours before cooking. Put them
    into the fridge on a sprayed cake rack that permits air to circulate all
    around htem. The spray keeps them from sticking to the rack.

    I believe that the OP mentioned rinsing the bird. That will remove some
    brine. AB specifically says not to do that; to merely pat it dry. I've
    seen other, knowledgeable, people say to rinse. I don't rinse. I pat dry
    and then put on a rack in teh fridge to develop a shiny surface pellicle.

    If smoking meats or fish, that pellicle will help adhere particles of
    smoke to the skin adding a depth of flavor.

    > Though I imagine it's far too late now, since you've already taken it out.
    >
    > But if you don't end up with a moist bird, don't blame the recipe or AB.
    > The instructions say what they for a reason.


    But AB's method isn't the only way to brine foods. It's good, certainly,
    but others do it differently. Here's an archived piece that Russ Parsons
    wrote about the subject: <http://tinyurl.com/9axtl> There's a lot I'd
    disagree with (and so would you if you follow AB's approach) in it, and
    that's the point. I've done birds direct from the brine and others tried
    for a pellicle. I prefer the skin of the dried ones. YMMV.

    Pastorio
     
  7. Paul M. Cook

    Paul M. Cook Guest

    "Siobhan Perricone" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > On Wed, 23 Nov 2005 21:46:21 GMT, "Paul M. Cook"
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >We're doing a brined turkey using the Alton Brown method. The only
    > >difference though is that I read in so many places that a brined bird has
    > >very soggy skin when cooked. So my solution was to pull it from the

    brine
    >
    > You heard wrong. If you're following Alton's directions on cooking the
    > turkey, it will NOT be soggy in the LEAST. Alton's directions (which I

    have
    > followed carefully for the last three years), specifically have you start
    > the bird in a 500 degree oven just to crisp up the skin and brown it.

    Trust
    > Alton, he wouldn't give you a recipe that turned out a soggy bird.
    >
    > In fact, when you take the bird out of the brine and let it "dry" you're
    > letting some of the brine out. Which is contrary to the whole point.
    >
    > Though I imagine it's far too late now, since you've already taken it out.
    >
    > But if you don't end up with a moist bird, don't blame the recipe or AB.
    > The instructions say what they for a reason.



    I did follow the instructions. I was tempted to substitute a salmon for the
    turkey but I went for the whole ingredient list instead. I'm sure Mr. Brown
    would understand that due to oven real estate issues I am forced to cook
    this bird in a roaster which goes no higher than 425. I cannot cook it
    exactly as per his directions. But it doesn't turn out, I won't blame Alton
    Brown. I won't, I promise. So far the bird is still pretty wet looking.
    It goes in the oven in 1 hour. So we'll see.

    And I did some more research and there must be hundreds of methods. From
    4-24 hour soakings and some that include hanging the bird to dry for several
    hours to some that say 2 days in the fridge.

    I'll let you know.

    Paul
     
Loading...