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Nov 21, 2010 07:15 AM

Tukey Brine, Substitute Ground Allspice for Allspice Berries?

I'm going to make the Good Eats Roast Turkey brine which calls for 1 1/2 teaspoons allspice berries. I have ground allspice and I am wondering if it would be fine to substitute ground for whole. I am guessing that 1 1/2 tsp whole = 1/2 tsp to 3/4 tsp ground.

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  1. You're probably fine, but don't be surprised if the allspice flavor is still stronger using ground. My assumption is that the berries will release less allspice flavor because of the surface area contact with the liquid of the brine will be far less than that of the granules of the ground product. If you found some conversion chart though, you'll probably be fine.

    1. I have exactly the same dilemna! Also making Alton's turkey, no allspice berries in the 'greater metropolitan' area.
      I read 5 berries equals 1 t ground. Now, how many berries in 1 1/2 t whole? Anyone know that?

      3 Replies
      1. re: brockly

        I found these two responses to this query.

        The first one suggests 10 to 12 berries is 1 tsp. The second says that they found that about 48 berries is 1 Tablespoon, so that would mean 16 berries is 1 tsp.

        So if you go with the low end of that range, 1 1/2 tsp whole allspice = 15 berries, and if 5 berries equals 1 tsp ground that would be 3 tsp ground allspice. That seems like an awful lot to me.
        I think that maybe you have to reduce the amount because ground spices are more pungent than whole and also the surface area factor that Gordeaux suggested.

        I've been looking through the comments on the Food Network site but have yet to find anything.

        1. re: Zusie

          See and I had 19 per tsp. They really range in size. I posted more details above (or below, or whatever).

        2. re: brockly

          OK, I just found this post from last year that sounds like it's asking about Alton's brine as well.

        3. Allspice berries can be found in spice section of Walmart called Jamaican Allspice berries

          1. Unless you live allspice I'd just leave them out. I think ground allspice would be a bit much.

            His recipe is more like a blueprint with a ratio. You can use and herbs or spices you like.

            1 Reply
            1. re: C. Hamster

              I agree about the blueprint. I was just responding to the query about the Allspice. I "Googled" it and found that the Jamaican Allspice berries were the same. That's for the purist cook :)

            2. that is the brine i use every year. when i am too lazy to get the whole allspice i use about a teaspoon of ground.
              and for what it is worth, i use cook's illustrated's gravy. mmmm.