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Dec 17, 2007 02:27 PM

Turkey brining bags

Those gougers at Williams-Sonoma want $26 for a pack of four. "There has to be a better way!"

I've got a 14lb bird on the way. I've thought of extra-large Ziploc bags but I doubt even the biggest could accommodate. I basically need a very big, sealable food-grade plastic bag. Surely some folks here have done this without W-S's help.

Thanks in advance.

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  1. How about a really big stockpot? I have a monster 20 quart stockpot that I used this weekend - easily fit my 20lb turkey.

    Got it for about $39 or so at Home Outfitters or Linens and Things or some store like that last year.

    1. if i remember correctly, my friends bought some during thanksgiving from either rabba or loblaws

      1. I always do mine in a cooler. That way I can keep it cool for the several hours it soaks.
        I never even heard of doing it in a bag. It's messy enough manhandling 14 lbs of slippery wet bird in a cooler with 4 gallons of water, I can't imagine trying to get it into a bag!
        For me the cooler works like a charm and costs nothing.

        5 Replies
        1. re: dinin and dishin

          I agree with the cooler for brining. Make sure to give it a good scrub both before and afterwards (it almost goes without saying, I know).

          If you're looking for some particulars, Google 'alton brown brine' for a simple yet effective method. Also, I'm sure the Home Cooking board has loads of suggestions.

          1. re: xtal

            I third the cooler. Works perfectly. If you're keeping the cooler in your house, then add some ice cubes to the water. You don't need to brine for that long, so the cooler is perfect.

            1. re: xtal

              Put the turkey in a garbage bag, then into the stockpot, cooler, whatever. This makes cleanup easier and the garbage bag is non-reactive unlike, say, an aluminum stockpot.

              1. re: Scary Bill

                I used garbage bags until I read somewhere (can't remember where) that you should not do that as the plastic used is not food safe. I later confirmed the information with one of the bag manufacturers. Garbage bag package covers also state that they are not food safe. Now, I brine my turkey in an extra-large oven bag closed tightly (ideally with the tie on the top) and place everything in a rubbermaid bin (well cleaned, in case the bag pops opens - which happens) and in the refrigerator. Lots of work, but worthwile results.

                1. re: pâté chinois

                  Thanks, never thought about it. (though it is probably pretty far down the list of deadly ingredients I consume and am exposed to)

                  I did a tiny bit of research and discovered that GLAD Small Garbage Bag (4 gallon capacity) is FDA (US) approved for food storage, though it would only hold an 8-9 pound turkey at best I expect.

          2. I am fortunate enough to have an unheated mudroom and if it's cold enough to use as my "fridge", I find a 10 gallon pail works well.

            1. I'll give my turkey a salt rub and keep it in the garage, Dec. 22-24, covered and protected.
              That way I can add spices and herbs to the dry rub (no sugar), and later clear off the salt as if koshering, then spit-BBQ the bird in the garage, weather permitting.