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Nov 17, 2006 02:46 PM

WF brines for you - who knew?

I just ordered my T-Day turkeys (yes, that's plural, I have 37 people coming for sit-down dinner) from Whole Foods, taking advantage of their $1.99/lb free-range special, and they offered to brine the birds for me. Great deal, especially as I don't have anything (other than a bathtub, which I'm too squeamish to use) big enough to brine two 30-pounders at home!

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  1. I'm also taking advantage of this. They do charge slightly more per pound (I think it becomes $2.49/lb.) But still definitely worth it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Kbee

      How is that worth it? The price per pound increases, yet the amount of meat in a pound decreases (each pound of turkey sold represents some meat and some fraction of added water, which could be like 10%).

      1. re: Luther

        I would be very surprised if they charged by the post-brining weight. Normally when you ask a butcher to do something special, they check the weight before starting the procedure and charge based on that. WF is not the sort of place to intentionally rip off the customer (some of their food prices notwithstanding)!

    2. How is the free-range bird compared to something like a butterball or bell/evans fresh bird?

      2 Replies
      1. re: Spike

        More flavor, and, they claim, larger breasts. And for moister, juicier meat you're better off brining rather than taking the Butterball approach of injecting what is essentially margarine into the bird.

        1. re: BobB

          Butterball turkeys are injected with a salt solution. No oil. It's exactly the same as brining, except it's more efficient because they do it from the inside.

          The only difference between a WF turkey and a Butterball is that the WF turkey got to walk around a 10-foot pen instead of being crammed in a tiny cage. And the price, of course.

      2. Not all Butterball turkeys are "deep basted." Their "fresh" turkeys are not.

        Butterball only "deep bastes" the breast meat. When BB's injection process was invented, hydrogenated vegetable oil was used. Perhaps they no longer do. I never buy them.

        I try to find Bell and Evans turkeys, though that's not easy.

        Also, I was under the impression that free range turkeys actually had less breast meat because commercially produced chickens are bred to have unnaturally large (Dolly Perton-like?) breasts to appeal to American's taste.

        1. Gee, my butcher is letting me brine mine is his cooler for free.

          1. do you know who the producer is? I tried to find some info on the WF website, but could not.

            Eberly is by far the best turkey I have ever had, it's hard to find, though.

            2nd best turkey: Ashley farms turkey brined for me by a local chef (his own flavorful recipe, not just salt and water).