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Turkey brining bags

s
SxCx Dec 17, 2007 02:27 PM

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.

  1. g
    gps_shag Dec 17, 2007 02:41 PM

    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. c
      c_snapper Dec 17, 2007 03:21 PM

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

      1. dinin and dishin Dec 17, 2007 03:31 PM

        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
          xtal Dec 17, 2007 04:11 PM

          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
            Full tummy Dec 17, 2007 05:10 PM

            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
              s
              Scary Bill Dec 18, 2007 05:54 AM

              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
                p
                pâté chinois Dec 18, 2007 10:11 AM

                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
                  s
                  Scary Bill Dec 18, 2007 10:37 AM

                  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. p
            pastina Dec 17, 2007 05:06 PM

            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. jayt90 Dec 18, 2007 06:19 AM

              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.

              1. e
                embee Dec 18, 2007 11:25 AM

                A plastic bag would need to seal, but a rigid vessel simply needs something on top. You'd need to weight it if you have cats walking around, or if you put it outdoors. Otherwise, anything will do.

                Several possibilities, not in any order of preference:

                - I use a large, covered stainless steel Dutch Oven. (I don't put it in the fridge. It isn't at room temp long enough to spoil, given all of that salt, and it is then cooked to a temperature well above any bacterial danger range.)

                - There is an extra large size ziploc bag - I have seen this size only at Wal-Mart

                - You can get a food grade plastic pail at almost any foodservice supply place. There are many sizes, from bucket to a large garbage pail style.

                - You can use a large punch bowl or something similar.

                1. s
                  saltygarfy Dec 18, 2007 11:29 AM

                  I thought I saw the brining bags at the Paderno factory outlet store (Heartland Town Centre in Mississauga). Give them a call 905-890-0700

                  1. c
                    charlottecooks Dec 18, 2007 11:29 AM

                    Cooler. Never waste money on those gimmicky "brining bags"

                    I used to work for a company that sold them. They bust at the seams, they knew, they sold them anyway.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: charlottecooks
                      Dax Dec 19, 2007 01:16 PM

                      Coolers and pickle buckets work great. Bonus in this weather is that no need to keep in fridge for the most part (that was more true when I lived in Boston).

                    2. d
                      David Anderson Dec 15, 2008 12:36 PM

                      I use my $14 enameled preserving pot from Canadian Tire. It is the perfect size goes from stove to the fridge and hold upst a 18-20 pound turkey. If turkey floats put a plate on top and put some soup cans in a sealable plastic bag and place on top. If it is not to cold it goes in the unheated garage if it's to cold it goes in the beer fridge

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