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Nov 7, 2008 08:36 AM

Kosher Turkey v. Brined Turkey

I usually brine my turkey for 72 hours using Alice Waters' brine recipe. I am thinking to avoid this by buying an Empire Kosher Turkey this year. Has anyone had experience with both and how do they compare?

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  1. Empire Kosher is an excellent idea. It is already brined and you do not need to use up a lot of fridge space that may be needed for other Thanksgiving goodies.

    1. I've done both. If anything the Kosher is more consistent, and just as good.

      1. You have intrigued me with this post. So curious, where do you get Empire turkeys (i.e. specialty stores, butcher. regular supermarket). Are they frozen or fresh? Do you usually have to order in advance? TIA

        2 Replies
        1. re: Colby

          You can buy an Empite Turkey in the supermarket. I usually find them to be frozen, although this time of year you will see fresh ones too.

          1. re: Colby

            My local butcher shop is advertising them and as far as I know they are fresh.

          2. I actually have done both, in consecutive years...the brining the first year and the Empire turkey the second. There is probably a post from me a couple years ago about this experience on chowhound.

            The brining was a royal pain in the you know what. I had a very large bird and getting a receptacle for it was no easy task. Plus it was too large for the fridge so I had to keep it in a room we don't heat, with the water filled with ice to keep it cold.

            The result: A moist, tender, delicious turkey.

            The next year, I used the Empire Kosher, a fresh one, and the only problem I had with it was it had quite a few pin feathers and hairs I had to remove...which I painstakingly did with pliers and tweezers. It took an hour I think.

            The result: A moist, delicious, tender turkey.

            This year I am going with a fresh organic bird...not planning on brining...

            I would choose the Kosher over the brining because you can pluck the bird the night before and in the morning it will be ready to go. A lot easier than brining and you get an excellent bird.

            3 Replies
            1. re: TrishUntrapped

              I'm really confused...I have brined my turkeys for the past several years, however this year I wanted to try a Kosher turkey....does that mean I should not brine it? Can I just add less salt?
              Help, Turkey Day is almost here and I need a plan

              1. re: mis0350

                Kosher whole turkeys should not be brined before cooking, although if you're doing parts like turkey legs, which I often smoke, then brining is a good idea.

                1. re: mis0350

                  Kosher turkeys (or chicken or meat, for that matter) are usually brined to drain the blood from the animal.

                  My grandmother kept a kosher kitchen and she could always taste if the chicken or turkey was kosher or not.

              2. This year I am leaning towards a non-Kosher bird and brining again. I'm such a decisive person generally, but I admit choosing the right turkey and method always perplexes me.