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Nov 26, 2013 09:40 PM

Frozen, injected Butterball ... how to make the best of it?

When I make turkey, I usually get a fresh or frozen-but-not-injected bird. I dry-brine it for a few days, slip butter under the skin, blast it on high for 30 mins, lower the heat for the rest, and everyone's happy.

This year, due to several factors, I ended up with a frozen, injected Butterball bird. I've never cooked this kind of turkey before, and so I am full of questions.

I know there's salt already in there, but is it really good enough that I can skip the dry-brine? Can I dry-brine anyway or will it be way over-salted? (I'm very devoted to the dry-brine, you see.) I've researched some older threads that generally say to avoid brining, but has anyone actually tried to dry-brine a salt-injected turkey?

Brining notwithstanding, will my usual technique still work? Will this injected bird taste weird and sponge-y? (I'm cooking for lots this year, so the pressure's on!) Should I just suck it up, try find a non-injected bird (harder than one might think; it's not turkey season in Canada...) and do something else with this 17lb beast slowly thawing in my fridge? Am I over-thinking this? (I mean, obviously.)

Would greatly appreciate any butterball-cooking/ neuroticism-reducing tips you have. :) Thank you! [ETA: the dinner is on Saturday.]

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  1. There's nothing wrong with today's injected birds. Just do a dry-rub without the salt and you'll be more than fine. You'll be surprised.

    1. I wouldn't try to brine it at this point. I usually do the 3 day dry brine as anything else is jusr a bird with salty skin. It takes the full 3 days to draw the moisture out and then back into the birdd for the added flavor. I'd just take it out of its package tomorrow. Season it inside and out. Leave it in the fridge uncovered for the day to dry the skin so it will get nice and crispy when you cook it, and cook it by whatever method you usually use. I also like an herb compound butter under the skin. Just use unsalted butter. Oh, I hope it's been thawing since Sat. Or Sun., If not, you may need to thaw in cold running water in the sink.

      1 Reply
      1. re: CapeCodGuy

        Oops, sorry, I should've said that we're eating this Sat night.

      2. As said it is already brined so just season adding no more salt
        Roast according to the directions.
        These are designed to be pretty fool proof, should be one less thing to worry about really.


        1. A very late reply and thank you -- as you all predicted, it was totally fine. I ended up salting it a little bit a few days in advance (I just couldn't help myself) along with some dried herbs, and it was maybe a titch saltier than usual but very tasty nonetheless. The leftovers and carcass made awesome soup. :)