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Stuffing a brined turkey??

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  • jeff Nov 13, 2005 10:43 PM
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I am going to brine my turkey in a low salt herb brine. If I rinse it well can I still stuff it, or will it be too salty? Should I reduce the amount of salt in the stuffing just in case?

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  1. The idea of a brine is to be very salty, so I'm not sure what a low-salt brine will accomplish. The salt is what carries the flavours into the bird.

    The drippings will be a little salty but not badly so, so I'd undersalt the stuffing. Since you are probably going to need to remove the stuffing and bring it up to temperature in the oven, you can taste it then and adjust seasoning as necessary.

    (I don't have Alton Brown's stuffing-phobia, but I've never yet in 15 years got stuffing beyond 120° by the time the turkey was done -- and that simply isn't safe, so I always have to finish it in the oven while the turkey rests.)

    1 Reply
    1. re: Das Ubergeek

      I cannot tell you the temperature of my stuffing, or that of my mother's or grandmother's, but in all my years of having and stuffing the Thanksgiving bird, no one has ever gotten sick... Maybe we were just lucky... This year, just out of curiosity, I am going to get a temperature reading...

       
    2. I've stuffed a brined bird for 6 years running and not had a problem with stuffing being too salty. Ditty with gravy from the drippings - not a problem. I make sure not to heavily salt the stuffing.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Celeste

        I, too, have had no trouble with stuffing a brined bird and also use the drippings for great gravy. As you know, there is no need for a heavily salted brine if one is willing to leave the bird in the brine for a while. A heavily salted brine just makes the bird taste like lunch meat, to me. That's not the taste I am looking for!

        1. re: Jeremy Newel

          Based on what chefs like HB suggest I use 60 grams of Kosher salt to 1 liter of water. He offers a solid scientific explanation for the ratio IMO.
          I never stuff a bird. B/c IMO the interior/exterior of the bird will not cook evenly.
          The HB 'low and slow' doesn't really account for the use of stuffing in the cavity.
          Each to their own though. I do make a 'giblet' stuffing done on the stove top.