Like most, I am naturally curious. However, my curiosity is not idle. I’ll put out the effort to satisfy that curiosity more times than not. Since Thanksgiving, a holiday I greatly enjoy is right around the corner, friends and family have been talking about cooking the turkey, what appetizers to eat this Thanksgiving, and overall meal planning. More than one mentioned “brining” the turkey. I wasn’t exactly sure what is brining a turkey, so I found out and thought I’d share that with here at Things Men Buy.
First off, please don’t think I’m a complete food idiot. I have at least a passing knowledge of what brine is, but that’s mainly limited to what you find in pickle and olive jars. And yes, I can cook. My cooking skills are pretty basic, but I can whoop up some wicked tasting chow. However, I am far, far, far away from being anything close to a chef or having chef-like skills.
What is Brining a Turkey Anyway?
Okay, let’s check out what I learned.
Brine is simply a type of marinade. That means that brining is marinating. While the purpose of most marinating is to add flavors to whatever it is you are marinating, in the case of Turkey, brining seems to be a mix of adding moisture and flavor to the meat.
When brining a turkey, the basic method is to mix up some salt and some water and then soak that bird in this brine. Seems like most recommend soaking the turkey in the brine from 8 to 24 hours.
Many are fans of brining a turkey to add flavors. Seems reasonable to me. They say that adding spices or herbs or even sugar is a good idea to get added flavor into that turkey. Not necessary, but a nice touch. Who am I to argue?
Warning! Don’t Over Brine Your Turkey
I found out a few other things about brining. You can over brine. Leaving your turkey in the brine too long can make it too salty. If your brining mixture is more diluted and you leave the bird in it too long, you run the risk of diluting the natural flavor of your turkey.
You can also “dry brine” a turkey. This confuses me a bit since a major point of brining is to add moisture. My guess is that dry brining is to solely add flavor. I could be wrong, but I could be right.
Good News for Procrastinators
The turkey does not have to be thawed in order to be brined. A frozen turkey can be brined too! Do wonders never cease? I’m full of Thanksgiving dinner ideas. Maybe not so much, but I am trying to help.
So there you go. A little exploration of what is brining a turkey courtesy of TMB.
By the way, I highly recommend reading more or watching some videos before you try this on the main course of your Thanksgiving dinner. I just wanted to whet your appetite a bit. As I said, when it comes to brining…I’m a rank amateur.
Happy eating! To get back to the home page, please click here. You can also check out this turkey brining video below.