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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 11-09-2011, 03:18 PM   #1
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Default Turkey Brine/Thaw Question

So I am planning on smoking a pratice Tday turkey on Friday. I started thawing a 14 lb bird yesterday. I know I'm a bit behind rookie mistake. So here is the question. Would I be ok to put the half thawed turkey in a brine and let it finish thawing while brining? I plan to put it on the UDS at 300 and let her go until the breast reaches 163. Any other suggestions on a quick thaw or cooking advice is always appriciated.

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Unread 11-09-2011, 03:27 PM   #2
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Check out this thread. The videos should provide some info and the last post is what I would suggest.

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=119492
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Unread 11-09-2011, 03:38 PM   #3
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You could quick thaw the bird under cold running water, then brine and cook as planned. If the bird is only partially frozen it shouldn't take long.
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Unread 11-09-2011, 03:41 PM   #4
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I'm pretty much convinced that if you try to brine while thawing, the brine won't brine effictively because of the frozen meat. Thaw first then brine.
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Unread 11-09-2011, 03:44 PM   #5
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I wouldn't recommend that as the brine will penetrate the thawed portions only, until the rest thaws in the brine. Also it may be difficult to remove the neck & gizzards pouch, etc... from the cavity. Having said that, It's only a test bird, right?

I would submerge the "half thawed" bird in ice cold water. Being surrounded by cold liquid will thaw the bird very quickly compared to cold air in the fridge.
Make sure the water stays ice cold for food safety reasons. It should be fully thawed by Thursday, giving you plenty of time to brine it overnight for cooking on Friday.
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Unread 11-09-2011, 03:53 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JONESY View Post
You could quick thaw the bird under cold running water, then brine and cook as planned. If the bird is only partially frozen it shouldn't take long.
If I quick thaw under cold water should I remove the bird from the packaging or leave it as is?
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Unread 11-09-2011, 03:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroBBQButcher View Post
If I quick thaw under cold water should I remove the bird from the packaging or leave it as is?
Remove it, it will thaw much faster.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 02:01 PM   #8
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So I did my test run and everything turned out very good. One last question. If I get a natural frozen bird that only contains 5% water am I good to use all the salt called for in a brine? Most people say if the bird is enhanced cut your salt in half.
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Unread 11-16-2011, 03:08 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BroBBQButcher View Post
... Most people say if the bird is enhanced cut your salt in half.
Well, I'm no expert... oh wait, I am; on Brining at least :D

Never heard that recommendation.

While some people blog and say "never" brine an enhanced bird, I say think about it with a little food science instead of guessing.

I've talked with some Food Scientists. Brining works on Osmosis and Equilibrium. As such, if you brine an enhance bird, the % of salt in the bird and the % of salt in the brine have to be calculated to know what will really happen.

But, because of equilibrium. If the bird is saltier than the brine, the brine just won't work. In fact, it's the opposite. The bird will try to equalize with the brine solution. If you took a 20% brined bird and soaked it in a brine, the brine would do nothing except take some of the solution out of the bird.

So, 5% for me is nothing and I'd brine as normal. I recommend that if it's 12% or less just brine as you would normally.

Hope that help.
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