GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. -- Executive Chef Michael Selby from Lunds and Byerly's joined KARE in the kitchen Saturday to share tips for brining Turkey this Thanksgiving.
Brining is a very popular technique that's used to keep meat moist and tender. It's a process similar to marinating, where the meat is soaked in a brine before cooking to enhance the flavor profiles and the juiciness. A brined turkey is far more forgiving when overcooked, which takes a lot of pressure off cook in the kitchen.
Simply put, a brine is most often a solution of water salt and sugar that, when applied to a turkey, can lock in moisture. These days there are hundreds of variations, some using water, others using vinegars or juices. The amount of time needed to brine depends on the size of the meat; more time is needed for a large turkey.
Not everyone has brined a turkey before, though. Below is a list of the top 5 most frequently made mistakes when brining that can help make your turkey a hit this Thanksgiving!
Top 5 Brining Mistakes to Avoid
- Never brine a kosher turkey, as it's already been salted. You'll also want to avoid self-basted turkeys, which have added salt.
- While the actual type of salt used in a salt-water solution may seem arbitrary, different varieties of salt have different profiles. So if a recipe calls for table salt, don't substitute kosher or mill salt without converting the recipe.
- If you brine your turkey, you'll most likely have to skip stuffing it. The salt from most brines will leach into the stuffing, possibly ruining one of the family-favorite dishes. Stuffing can be done, but only with a slow and very low salt brining solution.
- Don't forget to give your turkey a light rinse in cold water prior to cooking. The salt that has been absorbed into your turkey has already done its job. Rinsing simply removes the excess surface brine.
How long you brine and how much brine you actually need is completely dependent on the strength of the brine. Always use exact recipes with corresponding instructions. Substitutions are very popular with marinating, but don't usually work with brining.
If you're still looking for cooking tips and helpful hints for Thanksgiving this year Lunds and Byerly's are offering a cooking class centered around Thanksgiving including how-to-make several gluten-free side dishes. Sign up for the class online.
You can also pre-order heat-and-serve Thanksgiving dishes by going online to the Lunds Byerly's website.
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