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Nov 19, 2012 06:46 AM

Brined Turkey Storage - HELP

I ordered a fresh, grain-fed turkey from my market. They told me I needed to pick it up on the 17th. We are celebrating on Sat the 24th. When I ordered they assusred me it would be vaccum packed and would last until the SAt the 24. I buy grain-fed chickens this way and they last over 1 week. My husband picked up the turkey and it is NOT vacuum packed. I am planning on brining the turkey. My question is: If I brine the bird today or tomorrow, can I keep it in the fridge until Sat, the 24th. The label says the turkey was packed on the 17th and best used by the 21st.

Would appreciate the experience of the chowhounders out there.

I suppose I could return the turkey, but then I need to find another one.

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  1. The bird will be fine whatever you decide to do.....but you need to determine how long you will brine the bird. Most recipes call for 24 hours at most. You can certainly hold the turkey in the refrigerator until you are ready to roast it.

    I would take the bird out of the packaging and give it a good rinsing now to get rid of the liquid from packaging. Pat dry and store covered or uncovered until you are ready to start the brining process.

    1. I would keep it in your fridge until Wednesday. On Wednesday, take it out, clean it and slap salt on it, wrap it back up tightly and leave it in the fridge again until Friday morning. On Friday, unwrap, pat dry and let it sit in the fridge uncovered until you cook it on Saturday. A million times easier than a wet brine and the best skin you will ever eat!

      3 Replies
      1. re: biondanonima

        +1 on Biondanonima's reccomendation, with the caveat that you also want to salt the cavity, and if your up for it, lightly salt between the skin and the meat of the bird - when I am salting, I also add finely minced fresh sage, some cracked pepper, and about a tbsp. of sugar to dry-season the bird in addition to brining it for juicyness.

        Drying it overnight as she suggests REALLY makes for crispy skin and a spectacular bird!

        1. re: gingershelley

          Oh yes, salt under the skin and in the cavity means the whole bird will be perfectly seasoned. I took the backbone out of mine last night and gave it the salt treatment. I'll uncover it Wednesday morning and have turkey skin nirvana on Thursday!!!!

          1. re: biondanonima

            Thank you all for your replies. I went to my market this morning with the intent of returning my turkey b/c of the date. The meat guy told me the turkey was probably killed on Friday or Sat morning and packaged in the store of Sat morning. The reason the "best used by" date was Nov 21, was that they need to call in a technician to change the date. He assured me that turkey would be good for at least a week and even longer after brining. As someone else suggested he said to store in the coldest part of the fridge and poke some holes in the bag. What make meat go bad is when it is sitting in liquid wher bacteria can grow.

            I will probably wet brine it on Thursday for 24 hours, rince, let dry in the fridge on Friday, roast on sat.

            I also get my hand under the skin and rub the bird with olive oil, pepper and some other herbs.

            Thanks to all of you.