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Nov 23, 2010 08:56 AM

Perhaps a dumb, brined turkey question

I bought a Trader Joe's brined turkey for this year's Thanksgiving. I have used kosher turkeys (which are ,by definition, brined) in the past,
Do I ned to rinse the TJ's turkey, or should I just pat it dry with a paper towel before I rpast it? And, if I should rinse it first, how vigorously should it be washed?
Thanks, as always

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    1. re: greygarious

      OOPS!! Sorry I didn't search before I posted. Thnks for the link!!!
      I guess the answer is YES? There was really only one response to the actual question, and some other spin-offs, regarding kosher turkeys and salt.

      1. re: bxgirl

        It can't hurt to rinse, as far as I am concerned. With the salt preserving everything, there shouldn't be any slimyness to the brine so no real need to rinse. But a brief rinse won't remove any of the salt that has permeated the skin and meat. It's good to leave the dried-off bird uncovered in the refrigerator overnight. This will dry out the skin a bit, promoting crispness.

        1. re: greygarious

          "This will dry out the skin a bit, promoting crispness."

          This is a piece of advice I have often read, but that makes no sense to me.

          Given that the turkey will be going into a hot oven, and will reside in said oven for a considerable amount of time, what difference does it make if the skin is wet or dry when it goes in? Wouldn't any moisture on the skin evaporate within 15 minutes (at most?) at 350? If we're talking about Cornish game hens or something small that's only going to be in for 20 minutes, OK, but a turkey that's going to be in for 4 hours, does wet vs dry skin really matter for crisping? Or am I missing something?

          1. re: foreverhungry

            Here's what I think.

            Alton Brown says that he blasts the turkey at 500F for the first 30mins so that the fat has a chance to brown the skin. At low temperature, the fat layer will just melt and drip away from the turkey. If there's any extra moisture in the skin, it will have to evaporate before any browning occurs.

            1. re: cutipie721

              Gotcha. That makes a lot of sense. But it only makes sense given the initial blast at 500. Given that most folks pop their turkeys in at something like 350 for a number of hours, skin moisture wouldn't matter. But following AB's instructions, it certainly would matter.

              Thanks for the insight. And thanks for reminding me to check out AB's turkey cooking instructions - that's the one I'll likely follow. Even if I didn't have a chance to brine my turkey. I figure a slather of flavored butter under the skin should help with preventing moisture loss. Well, that and I'm thinking about studding the breast with some duck fat lardons!