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Nov 12, 2012 05:51 PM

Brining Vessel?

What is a safe container to brine our 18 lb turkey in?

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  1. A cooler with a lid works very well (if you can fit it into the fridge!).

    3 Replies
    1. re: chefathome

      Why would a cooler need to go in the fridge? It's insulated.

      1. re: rasputina

        Duh. What was I thinking yesterday???? :-(

        1. re: chefathome

          LOL you probably worked too many hours and was over tired.

    2. In the past, I've used a clean kitchen trash bag as a liner in an ice chest. Brine and turkey go in the bag, and cold water and ice go outside the bag but inside the ice chest.

      3 Replies
      1. re: ricepad

        Is there any concern about a plastic bag that is not "food approved" and causing any problems with chemicals etc?

        1. re: Salbert

          Not by me. Then again, I've been known to eat stuff of questionable or unknown provenance, so I may not be the right person to ask.

          1. re: Salbert

            Not by me either. I use a standard-issue 13-gallon kitchen trash bag, straight out of the box. Been doing this for at least a dozen years and haven't sickened any of my guests yet!

            An 18-lb turkey will fit almost perfectly into a full-size Playmate cooler. I line the cooler with the bag, position the turkey in the bag, pour in the refrigerated brine, and then squeeze as much air out as possible and twist up the top of the bag tightly to get the turkey fully surrounded with brine. Then I close it up with twist-ties, close the cooler and park it outside. Usually it's cold enough where I live that I don't even bother putting ice in it.

        2. clean 5 gal Plastic Bucket. Avaliable at Paint or Hardware Stores

          2 Replies
          1. re: chefj

            $3 without a lid at Lowes - I cover with foil.

            1. Put the turkey and brine in a roasting bag. You can then place it in an ice chest or the fridge. No worries @ food safety with a roasting bag.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Brandon Nelson

                Yes, the oven bag is great because here in the south we can't always count on cool weather to brine a turkey outdoors overnight in a bucket. The bag lets you do brining in the fridge; I just turn it over halfway since it's hard to get all the air out.

              2. I use one of those extra-large 10-gallon Ziploc bags. They're big enough to fit a body in, so they're ample large enough to brine a turkey in.

                Even if you brine in another container such as a cooler, I'd still put the turkey in one of these bags to minimize the cleanup on the cooler.

                Another big reason I like brining in one of these bags is once the turkey (or whatever) and brine are in the bag, if you squeeze all the air out of the bag, your brine submerges the turkey (or whatever) much better with less liquid than if the turkey were in a larger, non-crushable container. A bag is a more efficient way to brine.

                6 Replies
                1. re: 1POINT21GW

                  When I mentioned a cooler above I neglected mentioning placing the turkey into a large bag first. The bags that are "...big enough to fit a body in..."! ;-)

                  1. re: chefathome

                    That's what I do too. I then stick the bag into one of those coolers that plug in. That way I'm not worried about the ice

                    1. re: CanadaGirl

                      We Canadians think alike! :-) We are well acquainted with cold...

                      1. re: chefathome

                        Yep. Although, it was 22(!!!) in Halifax today :)

                        1. re: chefathome

                          And the size of a bag you need to put a body in !

                    2. re: 1POINT21GW

                      Agreed. I cure briskets for my Montreal Smoked Meat inside a gigantic ziploc bag.

                      Technically, it's not food grade- but I've been doing it for years with no ill effects.