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Turkey Brining Suggestions

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I was going to keep it basic, Water, Salt Sugar, and some aromatic herbs for 12 hours or so. What are my fellow chowhounds doing? I've beend told to avoid acidic liquids, like apple or orange juice as it toughens up the meat. Any thoughts?

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  1. I avoid acids as well. I try to use honey or maple syrup instead of sugar. Gives a more complex flavor. I usually use fresh sage and rosemary, cracked black peppercorns, and rough chopped fresh garlic as my spices.

    1. I use a little bit of apple cider in mine and it's delicious. I think I got that from an Emeril recipe, but I don't use as much as he did. I also put some slices of ginger, strips of orange peel, a whole dried hot pepper, maybe a star anise, some cracked coriander seeds along with the peppercorns, and garlic and herbs.

      1. I sub some of the salt with soy sauce to up the umami (savory) factor.

        1. Make sure you don't brine a bird that has been previously "treated" like a Butterball.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Scagnetti

            Some Butterballs haven't been "treated." Their "fresh" ones are unadulterated and can be home-brined. Check the label to make sure -- it'll say if it's been injected or "deep basted" (haha) as they like to call it.

          2. I see no advantage to using any ingredients other than water and salt here.