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comment by thenewgreen
thenewgreen  ·  1718 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Grubski Exhibition: Thanksgiving 2015

There are a lot of people that say a wet brine just basically infuses water in to the bird. A dry brine preserves that natural juices, instead of replacing them. Last year I did a wet brine. This year, I'm trying a dry one.

kleinbl00  ·  1715 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The basic problem is that turkey, as sold in the United States, is a dead-end agricultural product that has been robbed of all its flavor and mouth-feel in the name of economics and mass production. All these faddist preparations are attempts to infuse some sort of flavor into a meat that is fundamentally flavorless. That's why they all smack of desperation and panic - dry rub, wet brine, deep fry, butter skin, these are all batshit things that serve only to mask the fact that the bird isn't very good.

Can you think of any other delicacy we eat that can be bought for 99 cents a pound? I mean, Butterball turkey comes in a tiny percentage of the price of prime rib and we wonder why it tastes like shit. Think about wonderbread - how much magical shit would you have to do to wonderbread to make decent toast out of it? And how much better off would you be if you started with a decent homemade boule to begin with?

This was the eighth year in a row I've paid $6/lb for free range, heritage breed turkey. The one we ate was raised by friends of friends. It was about 60% dark meat. It was running around Saturday and in the fridge Sunday. I had no doubts whatsoever that if its wings weren't clipped, it could have flown south for the winter. Drumsticks were about the same size as the breasts, and the breasts, on a 15 lb turkey, were about the size of the chicken breasts you get at the store.

We brined it overnight, didn't baste it, didn't do any other stupid bullshit to it and it was impossibly delicious. Of course, that just demonstrates that I front-loaded my fetishism rather than picking it all up on the prep but you know what? It was a lot less work.

And now here I am, stuck on the side of a mountain, eating cold turkey with salt and pepper and loving it.

thenewgreen  ·  1715 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I bought a fresh, organic, free range bird and it was great. I dry rubbed it over night. Wiped off the salt the next day and stuffed it full of apples, sage, rosemary and onion and it was very tasty. Moist and awesome.

Not cheap, like $60ish for a 14# -but worth it.

kleinbl00  ·  1715 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Tellin ya, dude. The organic-free-range-fresh-whatever matters not a lick compared to the breed.

All that stuff matters a lot less than eating this guy:

Instead of this guy.

psychoticmilkman  ·  1717 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I grew up with super dry turkey every year. Been wet brining for the past 5 and I don't know if I'll ever do anything else. Vegetable stock, salt, ginger, onion, orange or lemon and brown sugar (this year we used Stevia, cause I'm trying to cut back on sugar). Brine for at least 12 hours.

qiy  ·  1716 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I grew up with completely moist, soft and generally lovely turkey.

The trick is making a water barrier with fat. Don't brine. Don't do anything that takes time. Stuff it with whatever you enjoy. Then just cover the bird in saturated fat (vegetable shortening is the go to) then wrap in aluminum foil. Make the oven hot enough to cook the bird through in 3-4 hours and do just that. My parents have never once failed to deliver a perfectly cooked turkey.

OftenBen  ·  1718 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'll be interested to hear the results.

Still recommend the butter thing though

thenewgreen  ·  1718 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I plan on rubbing herb butter under the skin

cgod  ·  1717 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Dry brine with butter rub here.

It's my first time not doing a wet brine.

There is a lot of fadism with Turkey cooking, dry brine is this year's fad I suspect that I should have salted more liberaly.

thenewgreen  ·  1717 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I did the same. The results were good. I had a ton of sage and rosemary in it with apples and onions. It worked!