21: Dry Brine Turkey

These next few challenges will all be Thanksgiving related. My dad is 80+ years and has always handled the Turkey at our Thanksgivings. The brine, the cooking and the carving. Therefore, I’m a complete novice when it comes to this full-sized protein. I have broken down many a PSMO and cooked some delicious Tenderloins for Christmas…but never once the bird. My dad just didn’t feel he possessed the energy this year so the reins were passed on to me. Why not my other two brothers? Well, they pretty much think the oven is just a clock.

My dad prefers the wet brine in a cooler method. I don’t like that approach with proteins personally. Anyone who knows me well has had to listen to me speak ad nauseam about dry brining ALL your meats. I salt my steaks for a minimum of 6 hours before I even contemplate cooking them. It can turn choice beef into prime simply by diffusion.

However, I’ve never brined a turkey nor have I ever brined any piece of meat for 3 days…which is what I chose to do here. Jojo served as my sous and she had a really fun time salting down Clothilde (her work, not mine.) She was not too impressed by the neck or the packet of giblets I should add. Into the fridge on a wire rack she went. I let her sit for 2 days and flipped her on her breast for the final 24 hours.

The absorption was much quicker with turkey than any other meat I’ve brined before so I was very concerned that it may actually dry the turkey out but we were pot committed. So how did the brine fair? You’ll have to read on! Sadly I don’t seem to have any pics at this stage.

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