Tag Archives: brine

Dry vs Wet Brine

Dry versus wet bring. Which is better? More efficient? Which is easier? Every year there is always some one trying to dis the idea of wet brining. Like it was just thought up a few years ago or something. I am certain the Chinese and Scandinavians would take issue with that as they have practiced it for a 1,000 years or longer. Here’s a lovely piece from Buzzfeed that causes me to post about it. I wrote about wet brining last year…HERE.

Here’s Proof That Bringing Your Turkey is Stupid and Wrong
by: 

Lauren Zaser / BuzzFeed

 

IF you can get past the obvious click bait words, “stupid” and “wrong” and ignore the “why my idea is better” atmosphere of the buzzfeed article then we can actually talk about different ways to prep your turkey.

My wife cooks the Thanksgiving turkey at our house. I usually cook a duck, small turkey or chicken, and this year I am throwing in a rack of ribs as well! My wife typically does wet brining. And I know why, cause it works for her. She found a recipe (egad! who follows recipes?!?!) online a few years back. Her turkeys are great.  I typically do whatever I feel like at the time. Dry brine sometimes, wet brine other times. I hate the tone of the above linked buzzfeed article but I think it is fair in asking why should we have to go thru the wet brine process if we can find another way that would make us happy? Not wrong. Not Stupid, just another way.  Did you know that ButterBall used to inject the turkeys with butter? Hence the name? They don’t do that anymore but you can do it! Forget the brine all together, inject that bird with butter!

Anyways, I am making this post because if you are researching brining I don’t want you to use the buzzfeed link as an information tool for wet and/or dry bringing. I want you to view the following two pages before you set you virgin brining eyes on that click bait craze buzzfeed article.

AMAZINGRIBS.COM Ultimate Smoked Turkey
by: Meathead Goldwyn
This page has a plethera of information. Ignore the “smoked” part of the link. It has tons of turkey info. All pretty much proven by science. This page has some kicks ass, I mean kick ass information. I am not partial, I swear. 🙂

Amazingribs.com

The Food Lab: Turkey Brining Basics
by: J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT
This page does a great job of explaining wet brining and is written by a serious chef, not a blogger like me. Yeah yeah, the author of that buzzfeed article is likely more educated than me on the topic. But I promise not an expert. A simple question for qualifying anyone is, would you allow your lawyer to call them in as an expert witness? LOL Anyway this site also talks about a lower “done” temperature like 140*-150*.  I think internal temp is one of the biggest players in making meats dry. That’s an obvious statement, I know. But you are told to cook your turkey to 165* (FDA item #3). AND if you read that AmazingRib write up you’ll see those pop up temp thingies are just a “tad” wrong.

 

Don’t forget our Food Science expert Alton Brown! You don’t like Alton? Put your mouse or finger over the small x in the top right corner and never come back to this site again. Please. Here is Alton’s Thanksgiving page (tagged keyword site LOL) HERE. He also did a video on Brine Thawing. A clever way of thawing your turkey and brining at the same time. View Site link HERE or the Facebook Video Link HERE

Any way you shake your turkey leg, have fun and do test runs. And remember, the recipe is only for guidance. Get a feel for what works and start messing around with what you got until you are happy! Happy Thanksgiving!!

 

 

What is brining? Brine a what?

turkeybath

Plan on bringing that turkey for Thanksgiving? What the heck is brining anyway right? And why does it work so dang well? A brine in its basic form is a solution of water and salt. You can add all kinds of flavors and herbs if ya like but the work is done by the salt and primary liquid. Osmosis is what happens. Yeh, I sucked at science too. Let me copy/paste this one. “Osmosis is the spontaneous net movement of solvent molecules through a partially permeable membrane into a region of higher solute concentration, in the direction that tends to equalize the solute concentrations on the two sides.” Yes yes, there’s more to that, but basically you are hydrating the cells of the muscle tissue while the process is trying to “equalize” each side. You can check this neat trick out by weighing your meat (insert joke here) before brining and then weighing it after. Hmmm, no guys I don’t thinks works on…anyway you should see ~5%-8% weight increase. So when you cook it and it loses its normal amount of moisture, there is more moisture than normal left over. Putting herbs, spices, and other liquids in the brine works because (in an attempt to stay unscientific) those flavors along with the water hitch a ride with the salt.

If you had a huge piece of meat (okay keep calm, it’s only huge in your eyes) that brined for a while, some tips and tricks to help cut down on any salty tastes from the brining are; rinse the meat thoroughly under cold water for a few minutes and/or soak in clean cold water for about 15-20 minutes.

If you like to make gravy from the dripping, use a low sodium broth (check the labels, all aren’t equal) to help with cutting down on the salt tastes.

I don’t typically find brining our meats makes for a salty taste. Here’s a chart I found on finecooking.”The chart below gives salt concentration and brining time for various foods. Concentrations listed are for Diamond Crystal kosher salt. For table salt, cut salt amounts by 1/2; for Mortons kosher salt, cut amounts by 1/4.”

Cook on folks! Don’t forget to share your delicious Thanksgiving food porn pics with us at Frankenspam on Facebook and tag those suckers with #frankenspam and every now and again tweeting it up at @frankenspam. Why tag? Because you cooked it your way!

 

Here's a chart I found on finecooking. "The chart below gives salt concentration and brining time for various foods. Concentrations listed are for Diamond Crystal kosher salt. For table salt, cut salt amounts by 1/2; for Mortons kosher salt, cut amounts by 1/4."
Here’s a chart I found on finecooking. “The chart above gives salt concentration and brining time for various foods. Concentrations listed are for Diamond Crystal kosher salt. For table salt, cut salt amounts by 1/2; for Mortons kosher salt, cut amounts by 1/4.”