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Turkey brinning

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Ok had an Idea. I was thinking of a way to brine a whole turkey. I have a 54qt cooler. I was thinking of brinning it in there and to keep it cool just add ice every so often. maybe find a smaller cooler and just fill it up with the brine to cover the bird.
post #2 of 17
Dan a cooler will work fine the smaller ones would require less brine to cover the bird and use ice in ziplock type bags so it doesn't melt and dilute your brine recipe
post #3 of 17
yup, what ^ said.
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
great idea on the ice in ziplock bags. do you think 6 pounds of ice would be enough?
post #5 of 17
I just brined a 28lb turkey using 3 gal. of brine. Obviously too big to fit in a normal fridge. I used a trash compactor plastic bag, typically heavier than normal trash bags, the turkey and the brine goes in the bag, the bag in the ice chest and surround the bag with ice, and store in garage.

Worked great.
post #6 of 17
That's another suggestion that will work well, without the brine becoming diluted with the addition of the ice. Throw that bird and the brine into a bag, then the bag into a cooler packed with ice.
post #7 of 17
I have a food safe bucket and a refrig in the garage. so I brine then in that and place it in the refrig for overnight.
post #8 of 17
I brine mine in those turkey sized oven roasting bags. They come 2 to a box so I usually double them up and then add the bird and the brine. After twisting the bags and using the twist tie, I place it inside a cooler with ice.
I can get away with doing two turkeys at a time this way and the cooler stays clean and the bags are food grade.
post #9 of 17
I go to our local grocery store that has a deli and buy buckets with lids for a buck. Brine them in that and throw them in the fridge.
post #10 of 17
Yes I agree buckets work very well. As long as you have room to put them where you can keep them cold.
post #11 of 17
I've always used 6 gal plastic buckets, ice in ziplocks if needed for cooling. It's usually so cold around here this time of year, it's not an issue. I'm going to be doing 11-12 10# turkeys for family and friends for Christmas. I struggled with enough containers to get them all done last year, and probably wasted brine. I'm going to use a new sanitzed 30 gal Rubbermaid trash can this year for my brining vessel. I'll post the results.
post #12 of 17
I'd imagine right now in Michigan the temperatures would be low enough that you could just throw the cooler in a garage and not have to worry about the ice.

I just did this with some salmon last weekend. Around 20 degree temps outside, in the garage was mid 30s, so I just threw the salmon in a cooler with it's brine and let it sit in the garage while the brine worked.
post #13 of 17
I would agree.

If you start with a cold bird and cold brine inside an insulated cooler, you ought to be able to keep things cold for a long time with very little ice...especially if the spot you keep the cooler is also cold. In fact, you might find that it freezes the bird with all that salt from the brine.
post #14 of 17
I brine in food grade containers. There are several online auction houses that specialize in restaurant equipment. You can find "restaurant" cambro containers (food grade containers) in just about any size imaginable pretty cheap on these auctions! Here is the link to one I shop quite a bit... www.doubletakeauctions.com
I can't imagine I will ever cook a turkey without the brine!!!
post #15 of 17

heres how i do my brine

I went to my local bakery and got myself a couple 5 gal buckets that frosting came in. You can also get them from delis as pickels come in them as well. Wash them up good and bleach them to remove the coloring from the frosting, and to reduce the smell of the pickels. You now have food grade 5 gal buckets to brine in. I put my turkeys in the bucket head first, add a few quart size zip locks double bagged filled with ice, to reduce the dead space. I then add my brine, cover with a plate and add 1/2 gal bottle filled with water to keep bird under brine, and put the lid on. This time of year i just place them on the back porch to brine. If temps will be above 40 I do 1 of 2 things. 1. take them to work and place them in 1 of the walkins, 2. place them in a large cooler bucket and all and fill it with ice and water, then cover with a blanket, as lid of cooler will not close with the 5 gal bucket. I also add a thermometer when useing the cooler. I tryed the cooking bags, and found that they was a king sized PITA, getting all the air out, and tied. My bags leaked so didnt get a good brine, so i dont use them any more. I wash and bleach the buckets, to kill any thing in them, before and after i brine.
post #16 of 17
i put mine in a big tupperware bin, then i put the lid on and leave it in the garage overnight, thankyou nebraska winter!
post #17 of 17
Just to expand on the cooler idea... that's what I ended up doing this past Thanksgiving and it worked out great. Here's my method which I feel greatly cut down on the amount of brine necessary...

I had an 18lb bird that I put in a medium sized trash bag. I put that in a cooler and surrounded it with ice (outside the bag). Once the cooler was full of ice, I poured my brine solution into the bag with the turkey. It's basically what everyone else describes but doing it in this order really cuts down on the amount of brine solution necessary. If you fill the bag before you put it in the cooler then it requires a lot more brine than if you do it this way. This method also cuts down on the chance of spilling, the bag leaking, etc.
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