Why another cooking blog?

I decided to create this blog as a way for family and friends to see what I'm cooking and to share interesting food related tidbits I come across.
I'm frequently asked for recipes so I thought this would be a good place to start collecting the old, new, and funky recipes that I have.

Monday, November 21, 2011

To Brine or not to Brine

Good morning all,
I was thinking about (read as dreading) post topics (what to write, when, how) earlier and then I realized this morning that with Thanksgiving on the horizon I have plenty to write about. I just wasn't taking in my surroundings. For instance, my parents are going out of town this year for Thanksgiving. I decided to make the meal myself this year and by golly we are smoking a turkey. Which means Thanksgiving is at their house... without them. Awkward? Maybe. But there is no way I am going to move that smoker over to my house. Plus they have more room.
That being said I have done my research on smoking turkeys and have settled on this website as my instructor du jour. Now while I know that many people advocate for brining meat (Alton included) I have never felt it to be a necessary process. But I am giving it a try this year. I am using this recipe

Apple and Spice Brine
1 gallon water
3 qts apple juice
3 qts orange juice
1 1/2 C kosher salt
1 1/2 C brown sugar
10 whole cloves
1 tsp nutmeg

Simmer spices in the orange and apple juices for 15 minutes. Boil the sugar and salt in the water until dissolved. Cool both, combine, and refrigerate overnight before adding turkey.

*Note - I didn't read the directions right and did not simmer the spices in the orange and apple juices for 15 minutes. Oops. In my defense I had Jeff installing a light over my sink and it was proving to be a distraction.

Here's a video about brining featuring Alton of course.
Here is an article I found on CNN that was interesting as well.

My 13lb turkey is going in the brine tomorrow morning and will be yanked when I get home on Tuesday evening. My instructions are a little vague on how long to do this, it says you can brine from 8-24 hours depending on the size of your turkey and a 14lb bird will probably need 12 hours. Ok. But then it says something about for a less-salty smoked turkey - brine for less time. Well I don't like overly-salty foods so I'm not 100% sure long to do this brining thing but I think from 7pm-5pm will suffice. If not the bird can stuff it.

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