Turkey Talk

This year I put my money where the farm is, and decided to shop locally for a bird. The Turkey Shoppe is a few minutes’ drive away in Talbotville, so in I went and got Mr. Frozen Turkey at a good price. I chose frozen because I wanted to get him early and beat the rush. 

Against Health Canada advice, I thawed him overnight in the sink in cold water and then for the first time ever, brined a turkey. I’m late to the brining game although I do know that hubby loves a spiral ham, which is brined too much in my opinion. (It’s too salty!) I don’t suppose brining is even necessary if you get a Butterball which is already infused with butter or butter-like liquids.

cartoon turkey holding a sign that reads, pork is a nice sweet meat!

There are brine recipes all over the Internet but I bought a brining kit because it supplies you with a giant, tough, sealable bag in which to soak the bird. You boil the salt and spices briefly, add more water, let them cool, and let your turkey sit in the bath in the fridge for several hours, depending on its size. What you should end up with, is a moist tasty bird. And we did. And I think brining saved it because it was done about an hour early according to the 20-minutes-per-pound calculation.

But it’s a lot of work. I can’t carry a 15-pound bird in a multi-litre bath up and down the stairs to our second fridge where there was room to put it, although hubby never minds when he’s called to slug it for me. I’m all about making the holidays easy. I’m glad I did it this time but I think that I’ll go with something easier next time. Jamie Oliver recommends tucking pats of butter under the turkey’s skin. That doesn’t really appeal to me!  So I’ll be happy to take your turkey tips. Be my 1-800-butterball?


6 thoughts on “Turkey Talk”

  1. Jean White

    A friend of mine does the brine thing as well and swears by it; we have never tried it. We buy a frozen Butterball, unstuffed (we make our own) and thaw in the fridge (we don’t like to live on the edge when it comes to food). We do cook for less time then all the directions state but we use a thermometer probe that is in the bird the entire cooking time and we just watch it climb. When it hits desired temp, we turn the oven to warm and you’re good to go. It’s always moist for us.

    1. Sounds great! The sink thing is actually quite safe. The water stays ice cold the whole time. But I hear you!

  2. Lisa,

    My mother has always purchased a regular turkey and then covered it with bacon for the majority of the cooking time and then removing the bacon for the last hour of cooking. This does 2 things, it keeps the bird moist and also gives you a nice pre-dinner snack of crispy bacon.

  3. I did the butter under the skin method. I seasoned the butter beforehand, wiggled my hand around between the skin & the meat, inserted butter, then dried the outside skin, oiled & seasoned and deposited it in the oven after setting my thermometer to 160 degrees (recommended temp=165 degrees). It was delicious & moist and I would recommend this method too. I don’t like butterball as I want to ‘know’ what my bird is basting in.

    1. I read about that but the whole idea of it… I get queasy around meat! But I’m glad to learn that it works!

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