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Anyone brined a Kosher turkey?

I am dying to brine my turkey this year- rave reviews on a recipe I want to try. However, I use Kosher turkeys every year, and know they do not "need" to be brined...anyone ever brined a Kosher turkey? I realize I will have to cut the salt down considerably. Wondering if it's worth the effort.

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  1. I don't know if this is an answer since I have never brined a turkey. I was listening on the radio to an interview of a butterball expert talking about brining a turkey. She stated all the virtues of brining, but then said a kosher turkey should never be brined. It sounded like the kashering process would make brining a negative.

    1. All due respect to Ms Butterball, the salting process that is part of kashering birds and the brining of turkeys are not one and the same. I can only say as a kosher chef and caterer set to smoke 100+ Turkeys this week, it's all about the brine! Shavua tov y'all and happy Turkey Day!

      1 Reply
      1. re: gotcholent

        thanks for the input - i didn't think about the kashering thing when i decided to brine my turkey this year but i'm glad to hear that it won't impact. any other cool tips?

      2. Don't do it!!!
        I won't go into the details of how it happened (not my doing), but I can tell you, the results of brining a Kosher turkey is nasty, nasty, couldn't eat it. Do not go there!

        1. I love it! Going deep fried this year, it is interesting to see two postings adamant about doing completely opposit. I am absolutely certain (since everybody is so sure, I ca be too) both turkeys are going to end delicious. Happy Thanksgiving!

          1. In spite of the opposition from some.
            If your plan is to ROAST in an oven DON'T. It is dry brined already,good to go for roasting.

            gotcholent is smoking,not oven roasting.different game altogether.

            1 Reply
            1. re: lcool

              I have to disagree lcool. I have been brining my turkey for the past 4 years and roasting it in the over and it is ever so moist and delicious with a nice crispy skin. I follow the alton brown turkey recipe on good eats and brine for about 12-16hrs before hand. I do lessen the salt just a little bit but not that significantly. I also highly recommend the gravy that is associated with that recipe as it is delicious!

              I would try a different brine if it didn't work...

            2. Its definitely worth the efffort!
              If you have had a bad experience with a kosher brined turkey, it was probably a bad brine, not anything to do with the kashering. Keep an eye on your salt content. I would go 1 to 2 on the sugar vs salt. Also add other flavors that you enjoy, such as coriander seeds, star anise, black peppercorns etc. you also can add fresh herbs to your brine, such as sage, thyme or rosemary.
              Dont be afraid to add a lot of a flavor to your brine. just dont overcomplicate it with many different things. Pick a few flavors and make sure they stand out.
              one more thing, dont forget the garlic!

              3 Replies
              1. re: KosherChef

                Couldn't help but notice Chef Jeffery Nathan of Abigails here in NYC posting back of house pix of his Turkeys just our of the brine before getting shmeered and roasted. I know I'm not crazy on this one, and I can only say with 72 birds brined, smoked and out the door over the last two days the proof is definitely in the puddin' as our birds came out sensationally! Brines are still one of the best ways to get flavors INTO the turkey as opposed to just ontop of it. Kosher birds are definitely ahead of the game when it comes to salt due to the kashering process, but I gotta I stand up and say that anyone who thinks that brines automatically ruin a kosher bird simply needs to try a new brine. We base ours off of my bbq Texas Rub. For pix of Chef Nathan's birds check out... https://www.facebook.com/Jeff.Abigael... Good Cookin y'all!!!!!

                1. re: gotcholent

                  Thanks much for your reply, and the funny part is my sister in law is here now from NYC...she is part owner of Abigail Kirsch catering, and I thought your response was referring to her company. I excitedly told her
                  but she said you were referring to a different Abigail's....and that it is a Kosher caterer,. She is good friends with the Chef Jeffrey Nathan, and will tell him of your post. Oh well,...with all the negative feedback, opted to forgo the brining this year. Will definitely brine my Kosher turkey next year, if not before :). Happy Thanksgiving to all!!

                  1. re: aims709

                    Just one bird,for roasting or frying save the bucket mess because you don't need the salt.If you want to introduce more flavor do an under the skin dry rub,there is lots of info about dry rubs on CHOW and the web.Most for turkey are applied with butter,if kosher kept just switch to light oil or chicken fat with your herbs or spices.

              2. as part of a thanksgiving wrap-up - I dry brined my kosher turkey. I rubbed a salt-pepper-sage spice rub all over the skin of the turkey on tuesday afternoon, and then saran wrapped the bird and left it in the fridge. thursday night i unwrapped it, patted it dry and left it on a rack in the fridge overnight, baking it friday (for a shabbat meal). the bird was NOT SALTY AT ALL! it was moist and flavorful.

                1 Reply
                1. re: ahuva

                  Thank you gotcholent, ahuva et al. Next time I brine the turkey.

                2. I have made kosher turkeys brined and unbrined and the brined ones are so much better. Brine: one cup coarse salt, 1/2 cup sugar and several pieces of citrus fruit (really just oranges and lemons) sliced thickly with a few garlic cloves cut in half. Two gallons of water. Line a bucket with a clean trash bag and submerge the turkey. This year I brined for two days. The turkey was juicy, tender, and totally delicious. Just be careful not to over roast.
                  Even the "I don't like turkey" people ate their fill.

                  1. Its after Thanksgiving, and I see this topic has been thoroughly discussed, but rack up another one for brining.

                    Aside from seasoning the meat, using a brine with herbs or spices imparts flavor to the meat. Here is an excellent explanation on how brining works, from, of course, Alton Brown,: http://youtu.be/uiSfKDiUavo.

                    Alton Brown's two temperature recipe is also foolproof. The turkey comes out amazing each time.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: shaytmg

                      Thank you too! Funny, but I iused Alton Brown's recipe for the Good Eats Turkey, which contained the brine I had wanted to try. I regret now not brining,

                      but will definitely next year , cutting salt to 1/4 cup. However, with the addition of the aromatics, the turkey was superb, even without the brine!