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Nov 23, 2006 04:36 AM

Am I the only one who doesn't like a brined bird?

Brining seems to be all the rage these days. But I don't like the way the brining changes the texture of the meat. It doesn't taste real to me...it tastes processed. Yes it's moist, but in a fake way. I used Emeril's brine a few years ago and the ingredients were good, and the flavor was fine, but the texture was awful. And I didn't overbrine....I followed the instructions.

I way give me a fresh, free-range, non-antibiotic, not-injected-with-solution-of any-kind bird and it will be flavorful, moist and wonderful.

Am I alone in my madness??


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  1. If the texture of the meat changes, you're brining it too long.
    I brine only overnight - 8 to 12 hours max. for a really large turkey. I use only kosher salt. And I just don't buy that flavorings, sugar, spices make that much difference - all those can be added after brining with the same effect.
    Have been doing this for decades, started doing it with wild game before I tried it with a turkey.

    1. You are not alone; I dislike brined meats and it is certainly not due to overbrining. I've tried brining a few times and found that while the meat is wonderfully tender and can have good flavor, the actual texture of the meat is altered in an unpleasant way.

      1. nope not alone. I think it taste like deli lunch meat or something. I love Zuni dry brine on chicken, but hate cooks illistrated wet brine for chicken. I think it has less to do with whether it was prepared right or wrong than personal taste. I don't know what compelled me to try again this year...maybe all the hype. Anyway I prepared the 12-24 brine (this year with even less salt) with course sea salt and 5 hours into the process I panicked and aborted the mission. I paid big bucks for a free range and I decided to let this puppy shine. So I know my 5 hour brine could not have ruined it, but will be curious if it impart any flavor at all. Have a great thanksgiving everyone!

        2 Replies
        1. re: lyn

          Exactly what I thought -- it tasted like deli lunch meat. To each his own!

          Happy T-Day everyone!

          1. re: lyn

            I agree, the Zuni dry brine method is the best. Actually Cooks Illustrated's latest edition did the zuni dry brine technique and they admitted it tasted more like turkey and texture was less spongy. I have to agree.

            LA Times' Russ Parsons did 4 techniques to cook turkey and the zuni way came out on top.

          2. For me brining = poor texture and flavor.

            1. my weak 1/2 as salty 5 hour brine did no harm. Turkey was great..but I am sure glad I pulled it out though as the texture was starting to already head to a bad place. who knows I may have liked it better w/o any brine at all. I also let it dry uncovered in the fridge for a day. I don't mean to sound catty or anything, but I think our tastebuds are getting so accostomed to processed foods that the brined turkeys appeal to a lot of peoples taste. as I mentioned,I think dry brined chicken is a whole other animal though.