CGY - need a large, cheap stockpot
Some co-workers and friends are doing an American Thanksgiving dinner in a couple weeks and I have been left in charge of the turkey.
I require a stockpot, or something else food-grade to brine a 15 lb turkey in. I have yet to discover a great place to buy inexpensive kitchen gear at in Calgary, and I do not need a $500 All Clad pot for this task. Does anybody posses knowledge of a place (or have any alternate suggestions for a container) where I might find such a device?
Thanks so much!
Why not use a large new rubbermaid-type plastic container?e.g bucket, storage container etc. It would be a lot cheaper.
I'd suggest using a plastic 5 gallon bucket as julies1949 eluded to. Buy 'em at Home Depot or other hardware store. They are perfectly acceptable - just wash them with soap & water and you're good to go. Way up there in Calgary, all you'd need to do is place the turkey and brine filled bucket outside your door! A matching top keeps the critters out. If that's not acceptable, use a cooler. As long as you wash it well before and after use, you should have no problem.
If you really want an metal pot, look for a large aluminum stock pot at your local hardware store. "Local" meaning you'll likely not find it at Home Depot unless you want to purchase a whole turkey frying kit. Not a bad investment itself, by the way.
I personally have a stock pot I got from The Bay for like $20 or so; it's not big enough for a full-size turkey, though. It's from their in-house product line (Market Square?) and it's a total piece of junk; thin and cruddy and uneven heat distribution. But I use it to make stock like 5 times a year, so it's all I need. I see Ikea has a $30, 10L KARRIÄR stock pot that seems to be a little better quality than mine.
I'd also recommend checking with the good folks down at Ribtor, who might be the only people in town that sell turkey fryers. Hell, swinging by Ribtor is good fun whether or not you're looking for anything in particular.
That being said, I've always brined in a cooler; it's got a lid and it holds a temperature, so you don't need to worry about the bird freezing or the coyotes eating if it's outside.
Browns Food equipment is a great place to buy professional (not "professional looking") quality food equipment as a retail customer. They are over on Riverfront Ave. just north of Bookers. I will agree with other posts that any vessel big enough to contain such an item would be fine. Are you going to need to make 20-30L of stock for home use? A smaller stock pot, maybe 10L capacity or so would be great for home stock and sauce making. Do check out Browns though, its a quirky little gem of a store, easily accessible to downtowners, and often forgotten or overlooked.
Brown's is great, but i find their prices to be quite high unless you have an existing account (and thus a large discount) with them. The restaurant supply place off Blackfoot was a bit better, but i can't remember the name of the place (i bought my ramakins there).
Consider Chinatown... or the Asian restaurant supply place on Center and 9th Avenue N (east side of center next to Mikonos).
I got mine from LnT. Their house brand is actually fairly priced.
EDIT: Just reading through some Cook's Illustrated articles, and they mentioned that "Ziploc Big Bags XL" work perfectly for turkey brining (and they're food safe). I have no idea if they're available in Canada though. Try Home Depot; CI said they are sold there.
My original thought was to use a rubbermaid or a bucket from home depot, but everything I have been reading seemed to emphasize food grade. However, you guys tend to be right, so I will go with plan A. Thanks!
On another note thanks for the Browns suggestion formerlyfingers. I have always wondered where such a place was, and I live close by in Sunnyside. I already own several stock pots, including a fairly nice Cuisinart, just none are quite large enough for a 15 pound turkey.
Thanks again for the thoughtful replies!
EDIT: I also just realized that beer/wine making primary fermentation buckets are both "food grade" and plenty large enough as well as cheap. I sure didn't think this one out. :P
I have seen Turkey fryers at BBQs Galore by the way.
Just to give you another idea for brining, I've used large LOOK turkey bags to contain a 20lb turkeys & the brine. You can get the LOOK turkey bags anywhere (Safeway/Co-op).
Seal up the bag, and then put it an Coleman cooler, open up 2-3 bags of ice, and pour it in. Stick in garage or outside, and its ready for the next day. The cooler insulates so well, most of the ice is still intact, so its pretty food safe.
I decided to go with a fermentation bucket since a brewing friend just offered me one for free, however, getting the info on Russell and Brown's is going to be invaluable. I'll let you know how the Turkey turns out.
I stopped making brined birds. They were so tasty I kept getting asked to make them over and over :)